People in the rooms of 12 Step fellowships such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous will recognize underlying causes and conditions with little problem. 12 Step fellowships define addiction or alcoholism as a physical allergy, mental obsession and spiritual malady. The spiritual malady is often described as a “hole in the soul”, a disconnection between the addict/alcoholic and the world around them or just feelings of difference and separation from others and in not ever feeling comfortable or fitting in quite right. Much of this stems from a self-centered perception that addicts and alcoholics have of themselves, as only seeing things as they relate to themselves and their circumstances. Another common trait is feeling “less than” and constant negative self-talk resulting in feelings of “I’m not good enough”, “I’m a piece of shit” and/or “I don’t deserve happiness”. Underlying fear, doubt, insecurity and self-esteem issues are common amongst most if not all of people that suffer from substance use disorders.
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