I am constantly witness to people's internal pain when I am in session with them. We don't realize how that comes out in us or how it affects us and we are not skilled in recognizing it.
For me, addictions are just ways to mask an internal pain. We cannot deal with the pain that we feel at a soul level, so we change our state of mind by turning to drugs, alcohol, gambling, food, shopping, anything that will allow us to move away from the pain. Since it just returns, we have to keep changing the state and that is when it becomes an addiction.
We aren't taught how to handle our pain as children. Instead, we are taught to suppress it. When we feel bad, often times our parents will give us a "treat" to make us feel better. So we learn that when we feel bad, we reward ourselves with something and then we feel better at the moment. And since children have a short memory, they will often forget what made them feel bad. As adults, our memories are not so short and when the feel good moment is over, the pain will return. Or we are told that we shouldn't feel a certain way or to stop crying, anything but how to be able to deal with what has hurt us.
Pain is a way to let us know that we are out of balance and that something needs to shift in order to put us back on track. When we use distractions to avoid it, it only becomes worse. And then it can manifest as anger, depression, anxiety and any number of ways that cause us to turn to something else to relieve what we are feeling.
I find when working with people, it is not uncommon to ask them how they feel about something and have them answer, "I don't know." Because they really don't know. They have pushed their feelings down for so long that they no longer recognize what they feel. When allowing those feelings to resurface and look at them, it can be a difficult process and one that might take some time to learn how to sit with the pain and to let it go.
I invite you to look at an area of your life that you find painful and to see if you are dealing with it or suppressing it. Do you actively work at dealing with it or do you work at ignoring it? Try taking tiny steps towards looking at it, allowing yourself to feel it, to grieve or to feel sad or whatever comes up. When you release the burden you'll be amazed at how much better you feel...............