Why Do We Blame Others for Our Addictions?

Why Do We Blame Others for Our Addictions?

One of the emotional traps we fall into as addicts is our tendency to blame other people for our problems, namely our struggles with addiction. We blame our parents for having children when they knew they might pass on the genetic traits for addiction. We blame them for not sparing us a lifetime of suffering. We blame them for exposing us to their own destructive habits and lifestyles, which may have influenced the development of our own addictions. We blame the family members and friends that first introduced us to drugs and alcohol. We blame the partners and friends who enabled our patterns, who themselves were addicts and tried to stop us from getting the help we needed. We feel angry with these people, and we come to resent them. Sometimes we push them away and separate ourselves. Sometimes we decide it’s in our best interest to remove them from our lives altogether. At the root of this tendency to blame other people is often our own fear, our fear of responsibility, fear of holding ourselves accountable, and fear of looking at ourselves honestly.

We fear responsibility and accountability because with them comes hard work. Once we take responsibility for ourselves and our recovery, we then have to do the work to recover, or deal with the consequences of avoiding that work. When we hold ourselves accountable to ourselves, we can no longer look outside of ourselves for the reasons why we’re suffering. We have to look at the ways in which we’re causing our own pain, how we’re compounding our own issues, how we’re preventing our own healing. Once we realize the part we’ve played in our self-destruction, we can no longer hide behind denial. We can no longer pretend that we don’t know just how serious our problems have become. We can no longer deflect our issues onto other people or assign blame elsewhere.

We fear looking at ourselves honestly and objectively because that requires vulnerability. It means we might have to admit, finally, that we need help. It means we might risk being judged by other people, rejected or shunned. It means we might have to confront internal pain we’ve been trying desperately to suppress and forget. When we blame other people, we’re often trying to take the spotlight and the attention off of ourselves. We don’t want to be honest and open with ourselves, because it can be tremendously scary. It can be painful to unearth buried thoughts and feelings.

Once we reach a certain point, when we feel ready to do the work to recover, we realize one of the things holding us back has been our habit of blaming other people, and we know that is a habit we must work to change. With courage and inner strength, we can.

Beach House Treatment combines soothing locations with addiction experts to deliver patient-focused procedures that can help anyone defeat their addiction once and for all. Call or text (310) 564-2761 today for more information.

Kimberly James

I am the founder and owner of The Beach House Treatment Center, The White House, Indigo Ranch, Sweetwater Mesa and Beach House Center for Wellness, all in Malibu, California.