One of the most common things we hear from clients at our treatment center is that they were “filling the void with drugs and alcohol.” Descriptions of a hole or void are common from people struggling with addiction. They experience emptiness in their lives that they do not know how to fill.
Many turn to substances for an answer, but only end up with a larger problem: addiction. Learning about the empty-hole symbolism in addiction can help you or a loved one overcome a substance use disorder.
The Root Cause of Addiction
Once in treatment, many people struggling with addiction realize that they started consuming drugs or alcohol to fill an emptiness in their lives. This is a very common phenomenon, and points to a widespread issue among all substance abusers.
What is the “emptiness?”
It looks different to different people. For some, it may be a hole from a severed relationship. For others, it may come from years of bullying and depression.
Still others may find the source difficult to pinpoint: There’s no clear reason to be unhappy, just a generalized dissatisfaction with life.
Some people find, especially when they’ve obtained a certain level of success, that outward accomplishment doesn’t translate to inner satisfaction, that life isn’t what it should be, or what they expected it to be. Whatever the cause, the existence of the hole is often the root cause of addiction.
An abusive childhood, a parent’s divorce, feelings of no self-worth, a lack of close personal relationships – these are all potential precursors to the feeling of emptiness. Unfortunately, many people do not have the proper coping mechanisms to fill these voids or repair their inner damage. Instead, they turn to drugs and alcohol to try to numb the void and forget the source of their pain.
Do Substances Really Fill the Void?
When substances provide relief from the pain, sobriety becomes synonymous with having to face the emptiness – an idea many cannot handle. Thus, they continue to use and eventually develop addictions.
What many people don’t realize (until it’s too late) is that “filling” the hole with drugs and alcohol does not fill it at all. In fact, it widens the gap until the issue seems insurmountable.
Feelings of emptiness may temporarily disappear with substance use, only to come back with more power later, especially as substance use starts to create new problems. These feelings exist in almost everybody struggling with addiction. It’s how you fill your emptiness that makes all the difference.
Feel Whole, Happy and Healthy Again
Imagine being free from your inner void, not just temporarily, but forever.
Imagine learning techniques to prevent this hole from ever consuming you again.
This is what the right addiction treatment program can do for you. Whereas substance use can only provide a temporary, Band-Aid type relief to psychological pain, the therapeutic methods used in addiction treatment help you heal the wound permanently.
At The Dunes East Hampton, our professionals work closely with you to learn what initially caused the void, and we help you start recovery from there, creating a program tailored specifically to you.
Additionally, you learn positive, healthy coping habits that you can use in the future whenever you experience stress or trauma. With new knowledge and skills in place, maintaining sobriety becomes so much easier because you have other methods to turn to.
And, of course, once you stay with us, you are part of The Dunes family, so if you need additional help in the future, you always have a place to find the support you need.