How to Cure a “Wound Addiction”

In my last two articles, we’ve been looking at what happens when we over-identify with or have become addicted to our wounds. When we’re stuck in the story of our victimhood, it’s as if our identities are frozen or stuck and who we are has become inextricably linked with what happened to us.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

The following are six steps that will help you cure your wound addiction and help you write a new, more empowered story:

  1. Recognize that while you may have been victimized in the past, you are no longer a victim. Some people worry that moving on means that what happened to them didn’t matter; this isn’t true. What is true as that you are choosing to bring your attention and energy into present time so that you do not continue to live life as a victim.
  2. Make an honest assessment of whether or not you have done the necessary healing work, and it is time to move on. Only you can know the answer to this question. If the answer is no, you need to spend more time on your healing, that is the most compassionate choice. Otherwise, you may just be suppressing or ignoring emotions instead of truly moving on.
  3. Honestly assess whether there is a payoff for you in staying stuck in or fused with your wound. One of the best ways to get this information is to notice how much you talk about what happened in the past, or how often you repeat the same stories again and again and again. If this describes your behavior, you are receiving a payoff for staying identified with the wound.
  4. If you discover you are getting a payoff from being stuck and you want to become unstuck, make a decision to severely limit or completely eliminate stories of the past from your conversations, internal dialogues, or writing. Tell others that you want to get unstuck so that they can support you by not joining you in re-visiting the past or telling you how bad they feel for you about what happened in the past. This can take some real effort, but over time this change will stick (as you become unstuck from your wound).
  5. When you know it’s time to move forward and write a new story, begin imagining how you want to feel and what you want to experience in your new life. Fill in every detail in color, tuning in to all of your senses as you envision your new life.
  6. Find communities of support that help you focus on what is true and real for you now and the future you want for yourself, rather than on what happened in the past.

Recognizing and admitting that your identity has become fused or stuck in a past wound is courageous and vulnerable. It is completely possible for you to write a new story, beginning now.

What new story would you like to write for you?

 

© Vicki Tidwell Palmer (2021)

 

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The deepest experience of the creator is feminine, for it is experience of receiving and bearing.”

Rainer Maria Rilke