The fear of abandonment is universal. 

The problem is – many people try to medicate that feeling with whatever gives them instant gratification (drugs, alcohol, food, television, sleeping, social media, shopping, etc.) 

Whatever that looks like, addiction can stem from an unhealed abandonment wound. And when you fail to take care of that wound, it can lead to self-sabotage. 

So how do we heal our abandonment issues?

A Doing Process

Susan Anderson, the founder of Abandonment Recovery, explains how addiction stems from a universal fear of abandonment. And we can only overcome it by taking action, not just having awareness of it, although it’s the first step.

Abandonment and Addiction

Abandonment translates to separation anxiety. Now, the receptor sites in the brain for separation anxiety, respond strangely enough to heroin. It gives instant relief from separation anxiety. 

Other ways to medicate that feeling include alcohol, other drugs, eating, and many other addictive forms of self-soothing to calm the nerves down.

Abandonment and Self-Sabotage

If you’ve had a lot of abandonment, you have a lot of self-sabotage and you repeat the thing that’s so familiar. 

Self-sabotage can manifest in relationships. If you experienced rejection during childhood and you wind up going through adulthood getting a lot of rejection, the self-sabotage can be in the form of chasing after the wrong people and always being attracted to the unavailable. 

Perfectionism is another form of self-sabotage, which leads to dealing with self-anger and self-frustration because you’re doing it to yourself.

Insight and Action

The outer child part is that part of ourselves that is sabotaging. When we’re aware of it, we can see ourselves messing ourselves up. But insight is only the first step. 

The way out of abandonment is when you take the insight and you actually do it. There are actions you can take that begin to systematically and incrementally overcome the behaviors.

If you want to learn more about how to treat addiction through healing your abandonment wounds, check out