I'll Fix You, I'll Hurt Me
Posted: May 30, 2011, 5:43 PM

Posts: 1
Joined: May 30, 2011

I’ll Fix You, I’ll Hurt Me

Recovering addicts are taught many new terms and quotations during their time in rehab. Stinking thinking and fake it ‘til you make it are two slogans that spring to mind. “Stinking thinking” is a term used to describe an addict’s poor attitude, such as blaming others for his or her drinking. “Fake it ‘til you make” it helps addicts to remain focused during the early stages of recovery, rather than falling back on old ways of thinking. There are dozens of others, as well, but none were more relevant to my life as an addict than this one - I'll fix you, I'll hurt me.

Many addicts are driven by anger. In fact, I'll go out on a limb here and say that the vast majority of addicts suffer from anger and resentment issues, which is why we start drinking or using drugs in the first place. We want to escape reality, even if only for a while. It's far easier for addicts to drown their sorrows than it is to face them.

In my case, a traumatic childhood had left an emotional scar. By the time I left home eighteen years later, my socks and toothbrush weren’t the only things I took with me. There was also a deep-rooted sense of hidden rage and frustration, which triggered the urge to drink or get high on a daily basis. And for a while, it worked. Alcohol and drugs helped me to forget all my troubles. I was happy-go-lucky and the life of the party in the eyes of friends and strangers alike. Drinking helped me forget the shy, fearful child within and transformed me into someone far more courageous, adventurous, and carefree. Alcohol was my miracle in a glass and it was my first love.

But something changed over time. Addiction is a progressive disease, meaning it causes the addict to feel progressively cynical, depressed and isolated. Alcohol and drugs eventually lose their pleasure producing effects and leave the addict feeling anxious and empty. We keep using or drinking in an attempt to recapture the same euphoria we felt in the beginning, but it never does return. Instead, thoughts and emotions become increasingly negative, often causing the addict to focus on traumatic events of the past. We can no longer escape feelings of shame, guilt and frustration within ourselves, nor the deeply rooted anger we’ve tried so long to escape. Yet, most addicts are either unwilling or unable to express their emotions in a normal, healthy way.

Instead, addicts express their feelings another way – I’ll fix you, I’ll hurt me. I’ll show you, mom and dad. I’ll phone you while drunk at 2 a.m. and remind you of all the pain you caused in my life as a child. I’ll get myself arrested and have my name posted in the newspaper so all your friends and neighbors will read about it. I’ll go on a binge drunk for two weeks straight and cause you to wonder whether your child is dead or in jail.

I’ll show you, wife. I don’t like the way you cook bacon, spend money, or complain about my drinking. I need most of that money you’re spending on household bills and groceries for drinking. You want a real reason to complain? Here’s an idea - rather than discuss it now, I’m going out drinking and getting high with some friends. We can talk about it when I return home at 3 a.m. When I finally do sober up the next day, don’t bother asking to discuss my addiction problem. I’ll be feeling too sick and tired to discuss it with you or anyone else. And don’t bring up money issues. If you do try, I’ll only walk out the door and drink myself sick.

Yeah, I’ll fix you, alright.

It’s not that most addicts or alcoholics want to harm the people in their lives. There are exceptions, of course, but by and large most addicts are not out to hurt anyone but himself or herself. Childhood events or other trauma have taught the addict that people can’t be trusted. The longer he drinks or uses, the more he distrusts. The addict withdraws from the outside world, emotionally, attempting to block painful memories of the past through drugs or alcohol. The addict feels misunderstood and isolates himself from friends and loved ones. But old resentments, combined with an inability to properly express emotions, form a volatile combination.

So the addict expresses himself in the only way he knows… I’ll fix you, I’ll hurt me.

Dan Farish is a former alcoholic. Today, he works as an Addiction Recovery Coach helping others to beat addiction. Dan is also the author of Three Steps to Recovery – One Man’s Triumph Over Alcohol and Drugs – A Simply Approach Anyone Can Use to Overcome Any Addiction.

Read free book chapters at 3 Steps To Recovery

  top of page  Top