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Throughout my interactions with people suffering from addiction, I have found a common experience: many people have described a negative relationship with mirrors. Some have said they have difficulty looking in the mirror, while others have stopped looking at their reflection altogether. Still, others spend a long time staring at themselves in the mirror.

So, what is it about seeing one’s self in a mirror? I think it is different for each person. Some might say they see a monster. Others might say they see deterioration, or that they don’t recognize themselves anymore. These are all common thoughts when dealing with addiction.

With addiction comes immense pain. Addiction is often associated with avoiding or numbing some sort of issue or trauma. Unfortunately, being intoxicated only helps in the short term. It also adds another layer to an already present issue or trauma.

The reason people with addiction avoid or become obsessed with looking into mirrors is that mirrors don’t lie. When they look in the mirror, they see their pain. They are confronted with what their addiction is doing to them. While avoidance is a big part of addiction, secrecy is another large component. The mirror takes those things away: a moment of clarity in the chaos, a moment that brings them back down to earth and breaks through the numb.

Many people turn to substance use to cope with their issues and traumas. Many times, people haven’t been taught another way to cope. Know that you are NOT a monster, and it is NOT hopeless. It can be scary to think about facing your inner demons, but you ARE capable. You are stronger than you know. If the time has come to release yourself from this cycle, know that help is here.

We are always here for you. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our team to begin working on your own self-care plan. Or sign up for one of our group programs.

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Calm Sea’s office hours are Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and our Clinicians hours vary

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