How the Victim Mentality Leads to Relapse

Family Therapy | Just Recovery

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Life is a glorious thing; to most people at least. Sure it has its ups and downs, as well as its good times and bad times, but there’s no denying that there’s plenty of beauty interwoven between the layers of harshness and pleasantry. It creates a roller coaster of different experiences that are oftentimes unpredictable, but worth every bit of enlightening adversity if we can rise above to see things that way. Every action has a reaction and every stimulus creates stimuli, but it’s entirely up to us as individuals to do something with it. Life is after all only a small percentage of what happens to you, while the larger portion is all about how we react to it.   

That sort of higher learning makes it easier to understand why a wise woman once said, “Some people create their own storms, then get upset when it rains”. After all, we are the product of our own actions. Alcoholics have to keep this fresh in their mind on daily basis. We tend to create our own problems, and even the ones we don’t, we still at the very least are the solution to those problems. With the power of choice, we can change most anything we put our mind to.    

So with that being said, why do so many of us victimize ourselves when things don’t go our way? We sit wallowing in shrouded emotion as if we feed off of it. Nothing good ever comes of that. The victim mentality just leads to relapse by slowly poisoning ourselves from the inside out. The mind can only take so much negativity until the dark shadow of unawakened alcoholism activates itself, pointing you in the direction of a drink.


Resenting the Victim

Recognizing the victim mentality is the only way to call anybody out, including ourselves. As alcoholics, resentment is our second language. Much of the victim mentality that leads to relapse is based solely off of this resentment. Resentment to people, places, things- it doesn’t matter. The amount of internal fussing that builds up in most of us could fill a novel real quickly. That’s just the alcoholic stinking thinking slinking it’s way back in for ya.  

I mean for one, it’s easy to complain. To top that off, most human beings are subconsciously infatuated over the sound of their own voice, thus overlooking how their victim mentality leads to relapse. They begin enjoying their complaints in a twisted way. One of mankind’s largest flaws is the inability to close their mouths, even when it is internal dialogue. We can never stop the gears from shifting. However, again, we can change the thought patterns that they are spinning if we want to. Yet, then again, that does take a lot of effort. Why on earth would we exhaust ourselves from putting effort into positive change? It makes more sense to gripe over things and hold grudges. Sound Familiar?


Leading to Relapse Mentality  

The victim mentality leads to relapse because it is essentially relapse thinking. Relapse begins in the mind always before the physical act of picking up. So by victimizing, we are feeding into the powerlessness that alcoholism accompanies. By playing the victim role, we are basically handing over our choice of mental freedom, accepting that life has some cruel fate for us that is out of our hands. This is the same thought process most of us had while using. Then grandiosity tells us that because we think it, it must be true. Sigh. Alcoholism.

With this prolonged negativity, our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change, but in an opposite manner to that of the “Promises” in the Big Book. The victim mentality will typically lead to relapse through an onslaught of negative feelings reminiscent of:

  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Hostility
  • Passive Aggressiveness
  • Close Mindedness

Some of the mentality won’t even be justifiable to the particular situation at hand, but defense will be out of cynical instinct from victim role playing. The addict will indirectly be on guard against life as expression of their victimization, ready to recoil against anything/body they feel is threatening their irrational way of life. They’ll essentially be a mess of emotion, only feeling even more sorry for themselves for being that way. It becomes an ugly unmanageable cycle frequently leading to depression if relapse isn’t on the horizon yet.  


Not Feeling Sorry for Yourself

Whether it’s craved self pity or acknowledgment from others, the victim mentality leads to relapse for the simple fact that it is untreated alcoholism. Relapse is not completely inevitable because of such, but the mindsets go together like cheese and crackers. Some will dive into self loathing, while others will search for somebody to cry the tears for them since their tear ducts are dry. Either way you have it, the problem being wept over is still there; much like the act of relapse.

Victimizing is a distraction from what it truly going on. The problem has to be dealt with firsthand, or it will snowball into “more reasons to victimize”. It goes back to that solution within. Sure it is easier to still complain at the end of the day, but it wont right any wrongs. Action must be taken to fix any/all problems. Taking action to correct the victim mentality will in turn create longevity in recovery. It really boils down to do you want to stay sober or not? Relapse will only be another reason to feel sorry for yourself at the end of the day.  If you or a loved one are suffering with alcohol or drug dependence, please give one of our addiction specialists a call today to see how we can help 877-351-7932.

Just Believe Recovery is a fully licensed, Joint Commission accredited, comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment center located in Carbondale, Pennsylvania

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