“I was just self medicating myself”

When I was a young man, around 19 or 20 years old, a friend and I were exiting a parking lot and saw a woman who was clearly intoxicated at the street corner. She was in no state to be outdoors at such late hours, by herself. She told us she “self medicated” herself. I ended up calling for the police to escort her home. The words “self medicated” would stick around with me for years.

We often hear about the importance of “self care” and the advice to “bury our problems,” but at that time I came to realize that these phrases are deceptive. In reality, they are excuses to avoid confronting our issues and turning to harmful coping mechanisms instead.

  1. Self-care becomes an excuse for self-indulgence. While it’s important to take care of ourselves, self-care is an excuse for indulging in things that aren’t actually good for us, such as our vices. For example, binge-watching TV shows, eating junk foods, or overspending on material possessions might make us feel better in the moment, but they don’t actually address the underlying issues.
  2. Self-medication leads to addiction. Using drugs, alcohol, or other substances to cope with stress or emotional pain may provide temporary relief, but it can quickly turn into an addiction. This leads to more problems in the long run, by causing physical and mental harm.
  3. Burying our problems only makes them worse. Ignoring our problems or pretending they don’t exist doesn’t make them go away. In fact, it often makes them worse. The longer we avoid dealing with our problems, the more they fester and grow. Eventually, they may become too big to handle on our own.
  4. Avoidance leads to anxiety and depression. When we bury our problems or use self-medication as a coping mechanism, it leads to anxiety and depression. We may feel overwhelmed, helpless, and hopeless. These negative emotions can spiral out of control, making it even more difficult to address the root cause of our problems.

It’s important to address the root cause of our problems. While self-care, self-medication, and avoidance may provide temporary relief, they don’t actually address the root cause of our problems. It’s important to identify the underlying issues and work on solutions that will address them in a healthy and effective way.

Real self care is when a person eats right, works out, and gets enough rest. Real self care is prioritizing your responsibilities and living a balanced life. Real self care is when you self reflect, identify your issues and address them. You can’t feel happy in the long run if you don’t truly take care of yourself.

In conclusion, self-care, self-medication, and burying our problems may seem like easy solutions to the stresses of life, but they do more harm than good. By avoiding our problems, we only make them worse and risk developing anxiety, depression, and addiction. It’s important to address the root cause of our problems in a healthy and effective way, whether that means seeking professional help or finding other healthy coping mechanisms.

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