Misery addiction (or compulsive self-sabotage) is a hard label to own. It can be painful, shameful and even a little ludicrous to admit that we’re addicted to misery. Acknowledging the addiction, however, is the first step to recovery.
If you’ve tried everything and can’t seem to make progress in improving your life, work and relationships then read through this list. You may find yourself open to the idea that you could be a misery addict. If you do, welcome! You’ve found a group of caring, recovery-focused individuals that eagerly share our experience, hope and strength so that we all can heal.
Are You One of Us?
Source: When Misery is Company, page 117
How many of these statements can you answer in the affirmative?
- I often self-sabotage relationships, school, work and other positive opportunities and events.
- I avoid feeling or experiencing life fully.
- I often get side-tracked or distracted from the most important things.
- It is not uncommon for me to find or inject the negative into positive situations.
- I often derail positive momentum in my life or circumstances.
- I fear feeling too good, too happy or being too successful.
- I often procrastinate or delay rather than take required action.
- I am often indecisive.
- I am rarely sure how I feel about people, places, or things.
- I have goals and ambitions but don’t do the work required to attain them.
- I feel like I don’t get any breaks.
- I often feel incompetent and unworthy.
- I have difficulty changing my behaviors even in the face of repeated negative consequences.
- I don’t avoid situations that I know will cause me problems.
- I too often act on assumptions rather than facts.
- I resist change of any type.
- I get tied up in the details rather than looking at the big picture (I can’t see the forest for the trees.)
- I refuse (or “forget”) to take medications that are helpful.
- I often isolate.
- I find it difficult to ask for help or accept help if offered.
- I tend to push away or reject the people who care the most for me.
- I sacrifice my own desires and well-being for those of others.
- I am attracted to unavailable people.
- I rarely feel like I fit in or belong.
- I desire closer relationship but avoid the intimacy that ‘closeness’ requires.
- I am easily addicted to substances or behaviors.
We invite you to explore this site attend any of our weekly Misery Addicts meetings and consider reading Anne Katherine’s book, When Misery is Company: End Self-Sabotage and Become Content available online and at many bookstores and public libraries.