How to Stop Self-Destructive Behavior

self destructive behavior

There are many ways to abuse yourself: excess alcohol consumption, overeating, and being addicted to shopping or gambling are just a few of them. Any activity you compulsively pursue which harms you in a significant way is self-destructive.

As a teen my destructive behavior consisted of spending whole days in front of the computer, overeating, and totally avoiding any physical activity. When I turned eighteen I was drafted to the military service. This forced me to completely and immediately cut these negative patterns out of my life.

After leaving the army I fell back on my old self-destructive ways. This took a while to happen because at first I tried to make the most out of my new-found freedom. I was eager to see the world and find my place in it! That I did. Still a year and half later I found myself spending more and more time being immobile in front of the computer while also gaining weight (after losing more than 90 pounds in the army).

This went on for several years until I couldn’t take it anymore. It made me miserable, lifeless and depressed. So I set out once more, to change my life for the better. Only this time it was my will that fueled the process, instead of the compulsion to conform to an unforgiving environment like the army.

It wasn’t long before I managed to lose most of my excess weight and get rid of almost all of my addictions. Most importantly, unlike before, these positive changes I made in my life were sustainable!

I want to share with you the key factors that effectively helped me get rid of my self-destructive tendencies.

Begin by Cultivating the Right Attitude for a Change

I learned that it’s important to start the process by forgiving yourself for pursuing self-destructive activities. Feeling guilty or hating yourself for it will actually give you more reasons and drive to continue behaving self-destructively. These negative feelings also tell your subconscious you wish to continue harming yourself.

By forgiving yourself you break the ongoing circle of guilt and self-hate, which leads to self-abuse, which leads to more guilt and self-hate. It also tells your subconscious you wish to approach this part of your life in a more constructive and empowering way.

Accept that you are not alone in this; every person abuses himself in one way or another. Life is hard and we are not born with an instruction manual on how to go about it. Instead, we learn how to live properly as time passes and there’s no way to avoid making mistakes along the way. Sometimes these mistakes stick and become a part of us. It happens.

Stop comparing yourself with other people who you view as perfect. Chances are they are just good at hiding their faults. Even if they are less self-destructive than you are, they didn’t become like that overnight. If you still find yourself comparing you will be better off to use them as inspiration rather than a reason to reject who you are.

The antidote for self-destruction is love and self-acceptance. It makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? Most people don’t realize it though and try to fight self-abuse by directing more of it at themselves in the form of self-rejection. Don’t. You can’t build a better life for yourself based on negativity.

Practical Tips to Stop Self-Destructive Behavior in Your Life

1. Take responsibility for your actions

Acknowledge that your self-destructive habits are the outcome of your decisions and actions in the past. Know that you can create new empowering habits in much the same way and make a conscious decision to do so.

This way you will stop being a helpless victim and become a purposeful leader of your life. This step is crucial as self-destruction is often used as a way to escape your inability to deal with parts of your life. When you stop feeling helpless, and start taking charge of your life you wouldn’t need to turn to destructive behavior anymore.

2. Know your enemy

There’s no use charging blindly forward and trying to change your bad habits by will power alone. The more you learn about your problems, their causes and ways of solving them – the better. Luckily for you, attaining such knowledge these days is not a problem. The Internet is filled with detailed advice written by people who succeeded in what you’re striving to achieve.

You never know what treasures of insight or inspiration you might find.

3. Eliminate as many self-destructive habits as you can at the same time

This goes against the popular approach of gradually making changes in your life. I admit this step is not suitable for everyone, but it is super effective!

In my experience self-destruction breeds and supports more of its kind. In the past when I tried to tackle only one of my issues at a time I found it hard to maintain and the results were short lasting.

For example: I tried to be more productive in my spare time, before attempting to get rid of my addiction to sugar. Now, consuming sugar makes me moody, lowers my energy and harms my concentration. Needless to say, it was hard for me to change my habits and be productive under these circumstances, and so I gave up after a while.

Getting rid of all of your bad habits all at once is hard at first, but is much easier on the long run then the gradual approach. This way you leave no doors open for your self-destruction to use in order to creep back into your life. This means less struggling for you.

Also, since getting rid of addictions usually starts with nasty withdrawal symptoms – why not suffer all of them all at once instead of finishing with one before moving on to the other?

4. Deal with the root causes of your bad habits

As I stated earlier, self-abusive behavior is usually a form of escapism. Observe your life; what are you running away from? What are the issues you can’t deal with?

Maybe you are in an unhealthy relationship you don’t know how to change, or you do know but your partner is not cooperating with you. Maybe you can’t deal with all that life demands of you. Maybe you’ve been hurt so many times that you’ve got stuck in survival mode.

These are just a few examples. Whatever the roots of your self-abusive behavior may be, identifying and dealing with them will do you a world of good and make the process much more effective and sustainable.

Try to talk about it with your friends, as they are likely to see things that you are not aware of regarding your problems. In case you have big scary issues to deal with don’t hesitate to see a professional about them. There’s no shame in wanting to improve your situation. Life is too interesting and fun to miss out on just because you are too proud to seek help.

5. Don’t feel deprived

Don’t tell yourself that you can’t indulge in the things you’re trying to avoid (TV, cigarettes, eating junk food). It will only make you feel deprived, which in turn will make you want to compensate yourself by giving in to your craving. Instead, think about the negative impact these things had on your life in the past and say to yourself “I can have them, but I choose not to.”

This is a very effective advice that helped me resist temptation on many occasions. I believe I learned about it from Jon Gabriel.

6. Replace bad habits with their opposites

I’ve heard about many people who have tried to compensate themselves for quitting smoking by letting themselves eat as much as they want.

Self-destructive behavior is a way for us to “deal” with hardships in our life, by making things worse. If you got rid of one bad habit just to replace it with another one, you’ve done nothing.

Instead, strive to replace your destructive habits with constructive ones and after a while you will never want things to go back to the way they were!

What self-destructive behaviors do you have? How are you dealing with them? Please share your experiences in the comments below.

Photo by martinak15

88 thoughts on “How to Stop Self-Destructive Behavior”

  1. My main thing is over-eating. I have been dieting for a little over 2 weeks. It seems to be going well but I find myself getting discouraged. I find the change blog helpful, thanks.

    1. Hang in there for one more week. Then your new eating habits will become a habit and your diet will become much easier.

      Why do you get discouraged? Is it because of the difficulty of pursuing the diet? Or is it because you see no improvements, or find it hard to motivate yourself?

      1. Halom.

        My life is a literal mess, since conception, i always hear I should write a book…But that would be too depressing. In any case, I have several; sugar, smoking, and sex! And when I don’t get the later, the first 2 take hold, the pounds have really started to roll in…or should I say “on”! I am in a live in relationship, and I expect too much from my boyfriend, and he is at a loss, and pretty much just exist. So we exist…I sit, eat, stay on the computer, and gain more wieight and get more depressed. I can’ t even talk to him any more, which makes things worse, and I aside from loving him, there is no way I can financially live on my own. A mad mad circle. But I haven’t given up, but I’m frustrated, and way overweight! I am sick of going to sleep each and every night with no idea how to jump off this pony ride… Everything you shared is true for me in many ways, I just haven’t been able to get past the anxieties that lead me to eat or smoke.

        1. Hello Keisha,

          Thank you for sharing your story.

          The situation you’re in must be hard and painful.

          It sounds to me like you’ve lost sight of your long term goals in life. Addiction often fixes our consciousness on the present. It dulls our senses and makes us focus only on things that are related to our addictions.

          Once you rediscover your ambitions in life, it will be eaiser for you to find reasons and strength to overcome your addictions.

          Consider your talents, your gifts to the world. Shift your focus to what you wish to do with your life and how you want to contribute to others. This will take away some of the energy you direct towards your addictions and weaken their hold on you.


          My other advice for you is this:

          The place you are in right now, may be hard and far from being perfect. But it sounds to me like you do have people around you that can support you and help you with what you’re going through.

          Addictions are often our misguided ways to try and heal or deal with hardships in our life. Its a way to stay in control in the face of life that seems out of control.

          But by holding on to our addictions we cut ourselves from the support and nourishment that other people offer us. Addictions not only deny us of contributing to people around us, but they also prevent us from recieving all the great things those people has to offer to us.

          That happens because we try to get everything we need from our addictions, but that will never happen. Sugar can never give us the nutrients we need, the computer cant replace healthy social interaction, and although sex can be a way to express love it cannot support and maintain the entire relationship.

          Once you let go of the control that you try to maintain over your life, and accept what others have to offer you instead of what you want or think you need of them, then you’ll allow prosperity back into you life.

          For example: expecting less of your boyfriend, and learning to accept what HE has to offer you.

          Its hard to leave behind the safe haven the addictions provide. Exposing yourself can be painful, but also very rewarding. If you remember what you wish to accomplish in life, then it will keep you going forward even when you’ll face the difficulties of living without your addictions.

          Its a long and hard journey, but these two steps will get you going. And you’ll be rewarded with each change you make, because reclaiming your life and happiness is its own reward.

          Good luck on your journey Keisha!
          Tell me how it goes.

          simple (at) howtolivesimple (dot) com


      2. I think the hardest thing for me is I know I’m self destructing but carry on regardless, god knows when my behaviour started attention seeking at school heroin addiction at 16 prison 17 that was my life untill 30 mad relationships 2 children and I got clean then I found gambling so more subtle than using drugs but the pain shame guilt all the same I constantly think I’d be better of dead what have I got to show for nearly 50 years and life feels such a chore.

        1. I am in the same boat. I have lost my last three checques to gambling. I am not on the street because I have a girlfriend who supports me. I have, however, lived in a shelter while still holding a job but unable to pay rent all because of gambling. I was going to GA but stopped and now everytime I get a tax refund or something like money I ge overwhlemed with the uncontrollable urge to try and win on the machines. I tell myself that this time it will be different, but, with the losses, as you know, it never is. I’m not working now so I don’t have money usually to gamble with, but as fast as I get a guitar out of the pawn shop, it’s back in the same day. Gambling. Truly one of the most horrific, self-debilitating of vices. And when I don’t gamble, I drink or take whatever would be available.

      3. i always find myself self destructing at work. i am always over tired and raising my son alone with all that entails, i also started up my own business. but still have to work full time. i am either short on nerves, moody, or cant pull myself out of boss mode and take it into my day job. i dont fit the anxiety or depression tests that are online, but i know something is wrong, i also am oversensitive to anyones comments. i do get sleep, but dont eat right. help! i feel like i am losing myself.

  2. I’m overeating as well. I get addicted to sugar, when things go badly I indulge. I know I am a lot healthier if I don’t but it can be hard.

    Thanks for the tips, they have come just at the time I needed them.

    1. Thank you for sharing!

      Sugar was one of my biggest addictions. I haven’t touched that stuff for months and I feel great!

      Its amazing how much hold and influence such substances can have on a us…

      Good luck!

  3. YOU ARE RIGHT ON TRACK and have everything nailed down psychologically that i am on a path to doing right now!! You really sound like you have a psychology background which i do and am working towards my Grad in Psych!! For 12 years i worked in the addiction field with teens as a counselor and again everything almost verbatim you said is right and not MANY ARE WILLING TO ADMIT THAT FOOD IS AN ADDICTION, AN ESCAPE!! It totally is….in America especially!! Mine love affair with food began in 5th grade when i would eat a whole box of hohos!! and hide them from my family!! i was in no way obese or even chunky BUT THIS WAS MY WAY TO COPE WITH ALCOHOLIC PARENTS (who were welll educated, dad was a lawyer mom a teacher) but they were emotionally devoid from our lives hence the reason i fell into counseling teens!! Why i say you are right on is becuz from age 10 to current age of 44 i went from FOOD, TO ALCOHOL, TO COCAINE, TO PILLS, (BECAME SOBER FROM ALL DRUGS AND ALCOHOL WHEN I WAS 22) than back to FOOD, SPENDING MONEY, EXERCISE and the list goes on!! ANY WAY TO ESCAPE PROBLEMS ECT!!! I have always loved GOOD FOOD, ORGANIC ETC….PROCESSED FOOD AND FRIED I ALWAYS STAY AWAY FROM….my problem is SWEETS!!! SO NOW I AM WORKING A PROGRAM TO CHANGE THE HABIT OF reaching for a sweet when i’m STRESSED and looking for alternative healthy coping skills ……

    1. Thank you for your kind words.

      It always amazes me how people fail to recognize the important role food plays in our lives.

      I guess its easier and more profitable to diagnos people with ADHD, depression, or other such ailments than to tell them to change their eating habits.

      I wish you luck with your attempt to stop eating sweets!

      Look into Paleo (or Raw vegan if you’re vegan) diet, it may help you in making the changes you desire. I know it helped me a lot.

      I’m sorry to hear about the hardships you went through in your life, but I’m inspired by all that you’ve accomplished with your life!

      Take care!

    1. Halom Vered,

      I love and agree with everything you wrote in this post.

      Just want to add that no-one is perfect, so we need to be accepting of ourselves.

      I too fall off the wagon, but then, I get back on.

      I share my experience in my blog.

      Overeating and eating sweets is my problem as well. So I try to help myself, when I do, by balancing the blood sugar and keeping Candida under control.

      Thank you for sharing your info with the world! It’s great meeting like-minded people!

  4. I cant pinpoint what my destructive behaviors might be–except that I often stay up too late trying to get one more thing done, and when I do try to sleep regularly I can’t–so how do I know what’s causing me to not know how to get the life I want? I don’t know where to turn! I volunteer, i do things with friends, I’ve read countless books and blogs about how to get a new career, organize my life, etc, but I never get the job done. Too many obstacles-kids’ activities, cleaning, etc. I feel useless. Sick of the “oh but you’re healthy and your kids are healthy so be thankful!” I AM–but I want a life thats mine, too. Is that so wrong? How do I get a little autonomy?

    1. That’s a big question you ask.

      Before I can see if I can offer you any good advice, can you please tell me a bit about the life you wish for yourself?


      1. Thank you so much for offering your advice! I truly enjoy your column.
        I live a good life but am somewhat trapped – ? – in husband’s hometown, small and, not fulfilling, aside from basically the “nice life,” which I truly appreciate but want more from. No prospects for employment, no close family here (his is difficult and we have recently chosen to distance ourselves almost completely), but that’s ok – since my family isn’t physically close, I have leaned on friends and feel they are as good as or better than family, and I know I am lucky in that way, too. Just feeling lost – I thought I would do something with myself and can’t get motivated anymore to wish for something I’ve done that will make me proud as well as lead to future success/endeavors. I’ll never be Ivanka Trump or Oprah or the great author I was sure I’d become, a million years ago, but I am lost trying to find that something that keeps me hungry and alive. I won’t get “recognized” here, no matter how much volunteering I do (a LOT, and I’ve loved it all, recognized or not doesn’t matter!), maybe because I’m an “outsider?” So I must find fulfilling work online or out of the area but don’t know what or where to begin.
        Thank you again for your input!

        1. It seems to me that you know more or less what you want to make of your life. (write a book, build an online career, etc).

          I think that the first step you need to take in order to reignite you passion and motivation of pursuing your passion, is to observe and change the way you perceive and react to the people closest to you.

          Take your friends for example- do they have a “small husband town mentality”? Do they only concern themselves with daily routine and the “small picture”?

          I grew up in a small town. A few of my old friends still live there and every time I visit them I get sucked back into their small town mentality – Which deals mostly with economic survival (as opposed to prosperity) and keeping yourself entertained in your free time in the simplest way possible.

          Now these things aren’t bad in themselves, but they tend to be quite counter productive for people who wish to reach far, or think outside of the box.

          If this is the case with your friends, the best thing you can do about it is be aware of it. Once you realize how your relationship with them affects you, you can change the way you interact with them so that your relationship with them won’t stand in your way.

          As for your family – You wrote about how much your family demands of your time. It is really hard and time consuming to support and raise a family. But still many people manage to do that AND work on a project on the side.

          Maybe you don’t ask for enough time or space for yourself? I’m sure that if you’ll ask, your wife and children (if they’re grown enough) will be happy to help you so that you’ll have at least two hours for yourself everyday.

          Its really important that you’ll have some obligation-free time for yourself each day. It will even be better if you’ll have your own space and that no one will bother you there. Without it you will be constantly pulled back into the daily routine, this way it will be almost impossible for you to accomplish (or even realize what are) the things you want.

          If you do manage to get some free time and space for yourself, but you don’t know yet what to with it – don’t worry about it. Use that time to reconnect to yourself and to your motivation. This alone time will allow your ambitions to resurface.

          Don’t feel guilty about having that time for yourself, as you are doing it for your family. When you’ll be happier and more fulfilled they will only benefit from it.

          Hope I could help.
          And sorry for my poor English – its not my native tongue.


        2. Lexi,

          You sound so much like me so many years ago, except that at least you have some friends.

          Yes, children/family take up a lot of your time, and small town’s life is so different from a big town’s, which I was from as well.

          It took me years to change my attitude at perceiving other’s and my environment. As my son was getting older/sick, learning to help him forced me to look for answers and educate myself. My self-respect grew, and with that my attitude towards others/my environment.
          My need to be useful to others and to share my newly-acquired knowledge completely rewired my attitude to being more positive. Hard life experiences made me more resilient and appreciate even more life’s simple pleasures.

          Good luck!

          Searching for answers is a big step in the right direction!

  5. That’s a big question you ask.

    Before I can see if I can offer you any good advice, can you please tell me a bit about the life you wish for yourself?


  6. Hi. My boyfriend of 5 years just moved out. We had been unhappy for awhile. He was the 1st guy I went out with after my marriage ended. Anyhoo, I’ve become obese… I’m at my highest weight I’ve ever been. I lost 40 lbs in between relationships and was doing pretty good. I know I’m an emotional eater. I’m at a point where I want to get back on track so I can enjoy living life and do things I can’t do right now, but I feel blocked. I feel tired, lazy and I worry I’m depressed. I don’t feel any motivation. Some days are better than others and i often start the day saying I’m going to get on the treadmill and log what I eat. I always fall short and end up on the couch. I also recently lost my job of 4 years, my ex husband killed his self and I’m raising my son alone. Some days I feel so overwhelmed and alone. I know there’s a world of possibilities so I don’t understand why I don’t just do it. Blocked.

    1. Wow, it seems like so much is going on in your life. With all of the difficulties you’re going through no wonder you find it hard to deal with your weight issues.

      Don’t be hard on yourself! Most people, put in a similar situation to yours, will find it hard to do anything, let alone lose weight.


      There is a simple solution for your specific problem. Simple, but not easy.

      Don’t try to lose weight.

      You said:

      “I’m at a point where I want to get back on track so I can enjoy living life and do things I can’t do right now, but I feel blocked.”

      Well it seems to me like you think being thin will enable you to be more happy. Well what I think is that unhappiness is what made you gain weight in the first place.

      Try to find happiness in your life right now, regardless of weight.
      Find a new job (to get rid of the stress of being unemployed and to get yourself moving again). Then pursue activities that makes you feel good. Even if you lack energy, or don’t have enough time, do the best you can with what you DO have.

      This change alone will open a whole new window of opportunity in your life.

      Your current attitude towards diet is to see it as a struggle (treadmill and logging? that’s no fun!). In your current state of low energy, struggle is the last thing you need.

      Instead, recharge your energies, rejuvenate yourself. Then you will be able to change your eating habits out of a different attitude. It will make the process easy and happen almost by itself. Once you rediscover your happiness, you wont need to eat unhealthy food anymore.


      What kind of activities do you enjoy doing (focus on the more active ones, and leave the passive ones for when you want to rest)? Is it dancing? walking? Going to art shows?

      When was the last time you felt happy? What things in your life then made you happy?

      Can you focus more on the good things in your life and try to enjoy them more?


    1. Shiskey offles

      Hello sir,

      I’m a huge fan of your website 2knowmyself.

      You’ve been invaluable for me in so many stages of my life.

      Once again thank you so much for your work and support.

  7. I only have one behavior I don’t like. It’s lust. I’m usually able to control it, but occasionally give into my temptations. I don’t let it consume me. I’ve become aware of my problem and have slowly learned to accept myself as I am, while continuing to change for the better. It’s all part of being human.

    1. Yes it is!

      I can relate to what you’re saying. Actually I’m quite the enthusiastic promoter of the “accept yourself attitude”.

      I was happy to hear about your positive approach for dealing with your unwanted behavior.


      1. I actually have a problem with this too, except I go to online sources instead of finding someone to appease my needs/wants. At the same time, those are things I want to do with a serious partner, so I’m not the type to go out and pick someone out of the crowd. The thing is, looking at stuff online makes me feel really guilty because I know it’s not good for me because it makes me feel bad – but I still do it. I’m not sure why, I am concerned I might be addicted, and that may be exacerbated by loneliness. I have some other self-destructive behaviors, like not exercising, not brushing my teeth everyday. I’m also trying to write a book, but every day I wake up after writing and I feel like everything I just wrote was complete garbage. Sometimes it’s as if I want to fail and I don’t understand why. I had a therapist in college (the same year I flunked out of) but we never got to this because I had a lot of other things at the time. Now it’s really just down to this though. It makes me feel guilty, but it relieves my loneliness in the moment, so I don’t 100% hate it. I’m not sure what to do. I would go out and try to find someone (if I had the guts), but I live in a small town right now that’s full of old people, high schoolers, and druggies, so I have zero options. I feel pretty trapped which I think makes these feelings worse – I feel desperate so I act and then feel like a gross loser afterwards. Any advice? And thank you for this website, it’s comforting to see other people with similar issues. I’m not alone, you know?

  8. Halom:

    I loved reading your article and thanks for your insights and sharing from the heart. You are so right about the consequences of self-destructive behaviour- if one does not face the real driving forces that are at the root of such behaviours, they can literally destroy one’s life.

    Ever since becoming a Christian and understanding the impact of generational spiritual strongholds on self-destructive behaviours, I realize that unless we deal with these issues in the spiritual realm, the spiritual roots of such behaviours remain. The supernatural power of prayer, repentance and knowing who I am in Christ has healed me and others of such strongholds. There is power in the Living Word, my Instruction manual. And do not be deceived-there are generational strongholds in every family that if not addressed, will kill, steal and destroy.

    1. Thank you for you feedback.

      Faith is indeed one of the strongest healing forces there are.

      I am happy to hear that you have found yours and that it works its wonders on you.


  9. Wow, I just discovered the change blog today and already it’s made a difference, not a bit one but one that I can see. This summer I plan to work on stopping my self destructive ways for sure and I think reading this is one step towards success.

  10. HI Halom
    Thank you for your insight and your writing is fantastic.Your article hit a nerve as feeling stuck and unmotivated is something new and very difficult for me. The self acceptance and forgiving yourself is an important step that is not talkied about, so its refreshing to see this as a step before other aspects can be worked on. I think that is the key to getting started and I’m sure will really help people come out of their stuckness. It’s amazing how accepting most people are of otherswho are struggling but how hard we are on ourselves when in the same boat. I’m sure the forgiving and moving on is the best medicine. Thank you for your openess and keep writing – it’s great and really, really helps.

    1. Thank you for you positive feedback!

      I’m more than happy to be able to be of any help to you.

      It is truly a blessing for me.

      I wrote three articles about self-acceptance in my blog(that was before I stopped with the articles and started with stories). Its on the first page of the blog(it has only two pages at the moment) in case you want to read them.

      And again, thank you for your kind words!

  11. Hello, Halom I to have been on a quest for self improvement, but it’s taken me a long time to implement what I have learned over the years. I have dabbled in every kind of knowledge there is from all walks of life and many different cultures. All of what I know now is a part of my self help Bible. One thing I have never thought of is trying to kick all the bad habits at once. Maybe a little threatening but I love a challenge. Also i am fed up with trying failing and then starting over again. I am going to use that method of all at once and let you know how i did. I am pretty healthy for my age and bad habits, smoking, alcohol and the worst for me is picking my dry skin. But i have remedies for all of them that did not seem to work by themselves. So i will try the all at once approach. Thanks for your passing of great wisdom onto those seeking it… Peace.

    1. The pleasure is all mine!

      I would be more than happy to hear about how my (quite unconventional) advice works out for you.

      My email is simple(at)howtolivesimple(dot)com

      I’m honored to be able to add a new advice to the bible of a self-help veteran like yourself.

      Good luck,

  12. Thank you for this article and all your heartfelt replies to people’s posts.

    I googled “self destructive behavior ” before I started a self destructive behavior to see if it would help me. It has!!!! I stumbled on your blog and read what and why and how …. I think I will take my dogs on a walk instead of having some wine…. Thanks for being the change I needed !

  13. i`m facing many problems recently. ranging from smoking to …god knows what kind of internal hassle i got myself into! i gust can not control my will to ..anything.

  14. I’m a local artist, a writer. In short, I have had issues with my father…my whole life. I have a nagging little voice in my head that speaks up when I begin to spiral; the more mistakes I make such as, if I am dealing with any kind of conflict and I can’t seem to handle it, or nothing I am doing is resolving anything, if I am feeling insecure about my work or who I am based off of stress such as work or school, but I am a nurturer. I don’t find faults in other people; only myself. Even though I know this is irrational thinking, (sometimes I have the strength to ‘snap’ out of it) I still fall back into the same self destructive behavior (I’m not worth anything, I ruin everything, I’m a failure, I was never made to be loved, etc.) It takes a lot to push me there; I’m a very patient, kind, empathetic person. I feel…everything. It’s a blessing and a curse. If I feel as though I’ve hurt someone unintentionally…most recently…just the other day actually. I have been having issues with my mother in law. She and my fiance are struggling in their relationship due to her inability to communicate with the people around her. We went out of our way for her, their family, supported her, reached out to her, everything we possibly could, and there was no reciprocation because that’s just ‘not who they are’. To make matters worse, she took out her frustration on me through our wedding planning, and talked about me to my fiance; I was so hurt and so upset and worried (what if they don’t like me? Can we not do this? But I love him, what they think shouldn’t matter, what about our children?) Every insecurity you could think of was brought out from its hiding. I’ve tried to talk to my fiance to resolve the problem, and last night, he lost his temper, and because he has seen me in the past ‘punish’ myself and make my shortcomings seem like such a huge deal, I didn’t realize that he would start to feel that way about me as well…so his frustrations that he has had with his family, disappointed in their actions, not responding to us reaching out to them, and the situation having not been resolved for 2 months now…he took it out on me. I guess he knew where it hurt the most. I stayed calm for the majority of the time and tried my best to talk to him…it got to the point where I finally stood up for myself and he realized what he had been doing. I then felt the urge to throw myself, hurt myself, consume alcohol in a short period of time…anything I could do to ‘pay for what I had done’ to assume that this would never work, give back my ring and tell him that I wasn’t made for this, we can’t do this, all of the above…the fear that no man has the ability to unconditionally love me for who I am, that one day, if not now, he will leave me and find better, that I’m not good enough. He tried to hold me down as I struggled and fought to just be alone saying, “I’ve dealt with this my whole life alone, and I don’t want you to see me this way–just let me go so that I can get rid of this and do what I need to do” unfortunately, he knows that that consists of me banging my head, hitting my arms, drinking until I am puking on the floor (which had happened before we met; I was dealing with issues with my father–I felt it was ‘my fault’ for not being able to handle him) and now…now, when I am that way, I feel like I can’t go back. The more I let myself go, the more I out of control I get, the worse I feel because I can’t control it…I’m devastated. He’s the one thing in my life…he is my life. I don’t want to get to this point anymore because I’m so hurt…can you help me?

  15. My problems are tangled within each other. I may overeat from time to time, or just simply eat what i shouldnt. I smoke (both cigs and mj) prolly too much, I rarely drink but i use it as an escape. I have trust issues in relationships bc I was married at one point and was cheated on by her. I seem to be finding all of my exes moving on and getting engaged not even a year after we split. I feel every choice Ive made from joining the military, to going to school 12 hours away, to moving back home to the people i thought i missed but cant stand for some reason. like i hold myself to a higher standard when in all actuality, im prolly a bit worse off.

    and in the end, all i truly want is someone to be with. a woman who has no harsh social implications, judgments, or superficialities. then i go on further to say that this woman being “a needle in a hayfield” is a huge understatement.

    there u go, internet. i know out of all of this, i am my own problem. but how do i go about fixing it?

  16. I can relate to a lot of the things you’ve mentioned. I feel like I’ve been on a downward spiral since I broke up with my first boyfriend. We had an amazing relationship and seemed like the perfect combination. Unfortunately he had some self-esteem issues stemming from his inability to pursue his passion for sports, which led to his self-destructive behavior of over-eating, and enhanced his low self-esteem. It got to the point that I felt like he wasn’t letting me love him, and I was unhappy for a long time before I ended it. I quickly jumped into a relationship with a friend that I knew for a few months who turned out to like me, and pursued a relationship once finding out I was single. He had a hard childhood and got very angry when he would drink. He would pick fights with his own and my friends, and after a few episodes, and his emotional abuse towards myself and my family who invited him into our home, I broke up with him. He didn’t have anywhere to stay, and I didn’t want to anger him by kicking him out on the street, so he stayed for months, regardless of my requests for him to find somewhere to live. He got drunk one night and tried to fight a family member. After refusing to leave, he attempted to kill himself. I went to the hospital to bring his car and his belongings, and promised that I would be there for him, but it was too hard for me to deal with in reality. There was a lot of crying and sitting alone staring at walls before I started to feel normal again. I stopped drinking and smoking weed, which were the two ways I usually dealt with having crappy feelings, then there was a point where I was drinking all day at work, and all night, usually alone, as I was working in a secluded place. I have been telling myself that I need to talk to a counselor in order to get back to being the happy-go-lucky person I remember myself being, but have yet to do so. I’m not sure if I just don’t feel comfortable talking with a stranger, or if I’m scared what they’re going to tell me. I’ve started to date someone new, who is everything I’ve ever wanted in a man, but find my self-destructive behavior ruining our relationship. When he chooses to be with someone else, or not do something that I want to do, I get so hurt and upset and feel like he doesn’t love me. Every time I have to leave him or he has to leave for school or work, I get overcome by sadness. It’s worst when I have to work or go to school, and he has free time…most of which he spends with a very close friend who happens to be a girl. I find myself absolutely hating her for this reason. I’m starting to recognize my self-destructive behavior, but just can’t figure out how to stop blaming myself for everything, and relying on my boyfriend to make me feel loved and give my life worth. It seems crazy because when I think about it, there are so many reasons for me to be happy, and my life is going in a really good direction…one that I couldn’t even have dreamed to be better. I have gotten so many opportunities for experience and schooling in the field that I love, but nothing seems to make me happy enough. I recently went back to school in a subject that I have always loved, but have no motivation for it anymore. I procrastinate in my school work to the point that there’s no way I can do a good job, when I used to be very studious and get great grades. I have an amazing boyfriend loves the same things I do and loves me unconditionally. I want more than anything to be the person I used to be. He’s even told me that I was so different before and he feels like us being together is the reason I’m this way, when I know it is far from that. I want to show him who I really am before it’s too late and I drive him away.

    1. Molly J-

      After reading this I am in shock and almost speechless at how similar our situations are… I came to this site after someone suggested that I have self destructive tendencies toward my relationship… (much like the one you mentioned at the end of your post). I am wondering, did you ever find anything that helped?…. I do not want to become a shell of a person that I once was before my previous relationships… or destroy the one I am in now because of my emotional baggage.

    2. Molly J,
      I see so much of myself years ago, always blaming myself for not being good enough, for not wanting other’s sympathy, etc., etc.

      I never physically hurt myself, but emotional wounds sometimes are so much more painful.

      Over the years, I found that, accepting/forgiving myself and not being responsible for everyone’s lives/decisions helpful. Walking away from the problem (taking a walk, breathing, etc.) gives time to “digest” the situation.

  17. Halom,
    I heard the words ” She has Self-Destructive Behavior” on a documentarie today and thought to myself ” that is me….” So I googled it and found your site. So First of all thank you for being who you are and for how much you are helping the world. I have been self destructive for as long as I have been alive or at lest as long as I can remember. I called it kicking my self in the A$$. I have learned how to stop alot of it, smoking, reque sex, and sabatoshing my relationships, but I have been hurt so meany times, my myself and other people, that I am becoming a shadow of who I was as a person. The happy out going I will never show anyone how much they hurt me is now gone and I am finding my self eating myself in to a early grave. I was alway the giver and the person that would do anything in order for some one and every one to like me. It would always end up with me getting the short end of the stick. I now work on a small island in the Alaska Alutions where there isn’t very meany people and all the food I can eat. I only go home every 90 days. Needless to say I have no friends, got a divorced and have pushed my family away(sisters and brothers), since I feel they are apart, and some of the cause of myself hate. I do try to stay close to my mother but only because she is my mother. I just moved her in to my home, so she isn’t alone. At this point I just want to protect people from me and to keep from getting hurt. I don’t think I can haddlegetting hurt any more. To love anyone especially myself is as far as my home is in TX. Do you know how I can find and save myself?

  18. Hi everyone,My name is Gary I’m 49 yrs old and today I just had my truck impounded for not registering it . This is not the first time I’ve let this happened.Since I was in my 20’s I continually get my self in trouble by letting traffic tickets going to warrant then being arrested for Failure to appear on the work history is spotty, working for a while then having gaps where i don’t work for extended periods.I have a history of drug use Pot,Cocaine(in the 80;s & 90’s) Meth more recently.But I really don’t use anymore (can;t afford it) and I’m not driven to seek it out.I don’t why my problem with Authority and conformity can’t be overcome. I’ve had the resources to (money) to take care of my problems but chose not to.I’m scared I will never break this cycle.If anyone can suggest a course of action to help me from continuing this way please reply to post or e-mail at

  19. I am trying to work out what’s wrong with me still, and I have over the past few years been gaining insight into my mental challenges.

    What I am writing below is hard for me, and I really don’t want to be judged…. I’m hoping not to be.

    I am a high achieving individual and I am very good at hiding my obsessive and compulsive behaviours and thoughts from others.

    I have a wonderful wife and 2 gorgeous young children and I am early 30s.

    I think probably all my life I have had some compulsive attributes, whether it was twisting my hair, biting finger nails, excessive doodling in class, etc….

    In my 20s, I became quite sexually deviant, leading to over a number of years the outcome of having anonymous and meaningless sex with a lot of other men. I do not think I am gay, but I am open to maybe being bisexual, given that I enjoyed it on a physcial level, no doubt about it. The key thing for me in literally 100s of hookups was that I was the dominant person, and it was almost narcissistic. The gay community was excellent for this because a lot of guys just love hooking up at beats, etc… for no strings fun. It was always safe, because, paradoxically, I didn’t want it to hurt my gf/wife.

    There was also a lot of sexual energy released on porn, chat sites, etc….

    All this time, I was keeping my relationship with my then gf in tact, although there were surely signs.

    I am now at the point where 3 years ago I absolutely quit hookups, to be faithful in my marriage (been married 6 yrs now). Six months ago I gave up live chat sites (I would still pretend to be after hookups, get off on that and then not hookup). That is now gone too, thankfully. In the past few months I have been trying to give up getting off through any means other than with my wife.

    I really do enjoy sex with her.

    So I feel like I have evolved a lot from a wretched cheat who lived a double life to a person who now understands the better way to live.

    However…. (there’s always one of those!)…..

    I excessively ruminate over my past. I look into my wife’s eyes and think about what an asshole I was, how I let her down. I try not to think that way about my kids, but I worry excessively that I will tell my wife about my past and our relationship would end (I rationally think it would), and then my kids would be robbed of a Dad in their life and my wife would be lonely forever because of no-one other than me. I think about what a shame that would be since I have now cleaned myself up.

    I feel like I am now living a lie, which is true of my past but much less so my present. I am also scared about what drove this, because I have not been diagnosed with anything. I am scared about exploring that because I don’t know where it would end up.

    I can be overwhelmed by this, especially on weekends when I’m not working, and on family holidays. I know it’s fear, obsession, etc…. but the more I try to tell myself to move on, the worse it gets. Then again, I do have some good times.

    So there is a lot going on.

    I am just throwing it out there for thoughts/support. This is the first time I have ever done that.

    1. Im sorry for taking this long to answer, as it is not my website I check this post for new comments every once in a while.

      I’m afraid there’s no quick fix for your problem, and I think that the best solution for you is to go and consult a professional who can safely lead you through the crisis you’re having. You deserve to find the peace and prosperity you deserve with you’re family, so don;t underestimate the importance of finding someone adept to help you with that.

      Good luck

    2. I read this blog and some of the comments, which seem to be mostly about addiction…until I saw yours. I’m having a similar problem, though unlike you I haven’t been able to give up the cheating. My husband is wonderful and I know what I’m doing is wrong, but I can’t seem to get it together.

      The last 5 years of our marriage has been a roller coaster ride, and I’m always at fault. I feel like he is better than me and deserves someone better. I hate myself for cheating, and I just keep doing it. i really don’t know what to do.

      We are starting therapy this week, I hope that helps. I just wanted to thank you for your post. It made me feel like maybe there is some hope.

    3. DC – I’m wondering how you have fared in your marriage and your struggles since 2012. I have been in a similar place, and am still struggling to find a way out of it.

  20. I smoke cigarretes on a daily basis.
    Watch tv for more than 3 hours daily.
    Watch porn and masturbate daily.
    Have so many addictions that I feel like i need to get rid off to become a free man. I feel like these things are holding me back. I am the ultimate self sabotager. Help!

  21. Hope u get back to me soonest. I have a number of issues and I feel like I’ve taken the first step to a better life by acknowledging dat. I wake up by 4:30am every morning for no reason; I cry at anytime even when nothing is wrong; frown a lot; nag my bf even when he trys to make me happy; always bothered when he doesn’t call even wen I know he’s busy. I often feel like am not good enough; I refuse to trust people; always think of my failed relationships; scared of ending up alone, tried hanging myself at age 14 when my mum yelled; took pills to sleep wheneva am having issues in my relationship. Refuse to eat for days when am going through a breakup. Am just 23 yrs old pls I need advice on how to stop this self-destruction.

  22. Hi Halom
    Please know that what you are doing is helping soo many out there who need help. Thank You so much.
    Here is my problem:
    I used to be a very bright student and in my 8th grade i had discovered my super ability to concentrate at studies. Man, i used to love doing that. But then I don’t know why this thing came up in me that i started trying not to concentrate on studies. I was having a beautiful life- I was enjoying it. I was in my school athletics team, had my secret crush as a very good friend and was enjoying my studies as well. But then this problem came up. By the way i had at that time attained puberty and started jackin off, sometimes way too much but then i tried to control it, it didnt get in control. Then the next year i partially won over my problem of not studying properly as i found a new love for maths. But now i am in my 12th grade and am preparing to get into my country’s best of colleges, all my family has high hopes- but inside i am stuck in here not studying with proper concentration. Sometimes i try way too hard by counselling myself but overtime the problem comes back at me. Sometimes i get a feeling it might be my jackin off habit but its pretty much controlled and i see most guys of my age do that. Then i feel like i am trying to make a fool out of myself. then i am not able to focus well on my thoughts too. It all gets worse. Please help…..

  23. hi halom

    i read ur blog and found it helpful in certain issues of my own..but my root problem stems from denial…everytime i think i’m fat..i think of people who are more fat than me and then it makes me feel at ease..same goes for wasting time…i am a grade-A student and i convince myself that i do good when the time comes…but i know i am just reassuring myself…i hope you have some advice on it too..i would like to make a change now..coz i am sick of my own lifestyle….

  24. Ive been an addict to chemical depndnacies for all of my adult life pretty much.. Speeders to be exact. I was going at it for about 9 years.. Got pregnant with my first baby girl in 06. Became sober for a short time then started using again.. I was charged with some pretty bad felonys and sent to prison in 2009. While pregnant with my second daughter I should add. I got out. Met new people and was determined to make my life better and my surrondings better.. I did good for quite some time then started spiarling back to the old ways but more with alcohol instead of speeders.. I now to this day know that sacrafice is a huge thing when comes to being a good person and parent and I take care of what now is three of my babies and mother them to what I use to believe was the best of my ability.. Really though I know its not.. I dont know if its all stemming from anxiety of guilt and my concsious speaking to me or if Im going through what maybe a trial and tribulation of my higher power telling me its now or never life on earth wont always exist and when we all do go I wanna be with my three amazing babies… AHHHH IS ALL I CAN SAY.. I wanna do better and give a better life to this world and like I should but for some reason cant fight my addction to chemical soothing to help deal with my anxiety or whatever it is…. I have good people in my life to help me trough this but no one can change this but me,,,, can I have some advice? Thanks

  25. I am 32 and I have really hit rock bottom. I would abstain from drinking but then once in a fortnight go out and go through 3 to 4 bottles of gin or whiskey or vodka, whatever. Last Friday I was walking home and I literarly walked into a stop sign. I have a wound on my head, forehead top part and woke up with blood all over my pillow.
    I really need to overcome this, and the only reason I drink is because I have anxiety and it calms me, but more productive ways need to be found. Mostly as I am very athletic and so I work out, run, box, skip rope etc. 4 to 5 times a week.
    I was watching Mickey Rourke, on The Actors Studio , available on Youtube. He is, was , a self destructive personality type and it’s a sad story of someone who lived both heaven and hell at the same time. It’s rather like that with most of us, we have these amazing lives and then make ourselves suffer by choosing a destructive habit as a pressure release walve. I have reached a point where my physical well being is in jeopardy. Having a head wound from getting so drunk, is unacceptable behaviour, my parents raised me to know better. I can only choose to overcome this once and for all. Cut out all the alcohol from my life, for the rest of it, as I obviously cannot control my drinking. and focus on building a constructive life, whatever changes are necessary. I am damn unhappy that’s for sure, and it’s only because I choose to be. I think it’s time to make a change, one that will resignate and shake the very foundations of my being and on a sub conscious level cause the changes I need. Once the wave is heading towards the shore, the momentum is there, it’s just getting it together that seems so hard. But I have no way out, I don’t want to end up hurting myself one night out drinking, not to mention the amount of suffereing my parents , grandparents have to endure by watching me recover for two to three days after a Friday night out. It’s really a Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde syndrome and I think we all have the tendency to overlook and make up excuses for ourselves. I need to learn to love myself and I hope others who read my post will also say a prayer and forgive themselves for whatever suffering they are enduring and choose to have a better life. Read a book, go for a walk, swtich off the laptop and cell phone, and go back to normal, real life, the one we all knew as kids. When a Sunday afternoon was playing with your friends inthe park and not so hungover that I cannot see three meters infront of me, trying to get my life together. Life is a gift, I want to cherish it and myself and I hope you can do the same. God Bless You and Be strong! :)

    1. Hey John… I have exactly the same problem.. I just do not seem to be able to control drinking when I’m out. It only happens once every few months but my behaviour appalls me. I’m married to a wonderful woman and the guilt I feel the following day when I look at her kills me. This last weekend I ended up at some strangers house, not in a good part of town with a group of people I didn’t know. It is all so blurry but anything could have happened, its actually quite scary.

      I’ve not walked into a stop sign but I have nearly broke my wrist, tore open a very expensive suit etc etc.

      On top of that I feel a compulsion to chase women.. women I would not even look at when not in the state and to think I’m risking everything I have, which most men would die for is just unbelievable.

      I really feel I need to just stop drinking… I don’t see another way around it.

      Good luck!

      1. John I am in a very similar situation as you. I love my girlfriend so much but seem to chase the most normally undesirable people when I am drinking. I am so ashamed the next morning. No matter how many months I go without getting insanely drunk it ultimately happens again and again. I really messed up this past time, I am not sure exactly what happened but the parts I do remeber are not good. I took some adderall while I was drinking this time which let me drink even more and longer. I now have to come clean to my girlfriend and tell her what happened.

        1. I have a very similar situation. I have battled with Alcohol abuse for the last 12 years of my life. Much of that time, letting the problem go untreated. I hit rock bottom about a year ago. Infidelity is a very serious problem with me. I don’t even know why I look to cheat. I have an incredible fiancee who I love with all my heart. There is something inside me that pushes me to destroy my own life. I had an ex girlfriend contact me by email out of the blue. I knew all I had to do was ignore her and pretend like she had never existed. Instead I go on asking her to sleep with me in secret. I knew very well that I was risking my entire happy life, but I did it anyways. There was some kind of adrenaline rush associated with doing something wrong. I lost control and now my entire life is ruined. I then went on a drinking and gambling binge to cover up the pain. I hate myself for hurting her. I hate myself for not being able to be happy. I have lost the only person that really cares about me in the world and I feel like my world has completely ended. I don’t know how to break this cycle. I don’t drink compulsively on a daily basis like I did in the past, but I still turn to the bottle when things get bad. I am extremely depressed and I feel like I have destroyed my life. I knew what the right thing to do was, and I did the opposite. I don’t understand why I keep making choices that hurt me and the people that I love more than anything in the world.

  26. I am young but I have already noticed reaccuring bad habits, I’ve tried to fix them but then the weekened comes, I find I have nothing to do, nowhere to go and my family does not have as much control as I do. I than I get affected and I go along with their bad habits – their main one is overeating, and junk food.

    On top of that, when I realize I’ve eaten too much I start getting short tempered with everyone, and I stay awake through the entire night, I just can’t bring myself to go to bed.

    I have always had self destructive habits, I guess, our family situation was never an easy one and I feel that I have made more progress than the rest of my family – in not allowing it to depress who I am.

    Since I am still in school I’m told that ‘ you have your whole life ahead of you’ but I am not happy, so why should I have to wait?

    To me, if I have a bad habit it at least gives me something to work on, I guess, other than that I would literally drown in a schedule. It makes life a bit more intresting for me.

    I have definatly made progress though, I try to get out more, meet with friends, monitor what I eat but than I lapse once (usually on the weekeneds) and I get fustrated and I lose hope that I will ever get out the rut I’m in.

    I feel like they are stopping me from being the best I can become, effecting how I look, feel about myself and what I do. But as I said, it is the most intresting thing I have going on, or maybe I’m stuck in ‘survival mode’.

    Perhaps you have some insight?

  27. I’m hurting myself through sport. I train as hard as I can, until it hurts, until I cry, until I throw up.
    There’s no love for the sport left in me, yet I cannot stop it. It’s so difficult to explain it to anyone because – unlike cutting yourself, over-eating, drinking, drugs, etc. – it’s met by other people’s approval and admiration. Even when I’m trying to stop, all I hear is “Keep going, the training has to be hard for you to get better, a few more sessions and you’ll have a chance for that medal in the competition next month”.

    I used to be very successful, although I’m not so much any longer, even there are still great prospects for me. My partner, friends, family – they all remember me smiling on the podium, they encourage me to train harder because they know I can be great in this sport.

    The point is, at some stage I started using it in a self-destructive manner.
    Years ago there was bulimia, now it’s the sport, looks better, does the same.
    I hate it, I know that at this stage it’s bad for my body, my mind, my soul. Yet, I can’t stop.

    What should I do?

  28. My problems are many ranging from sex, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, food, sloth… I seem to go from one to another and back again. But my main problem is destroying my relationships. They are usually good for a while until I seem to get bored and try to ruin things to create interest. I don’t know why I can’t just be content in relationships, but even with life long friends I seem to do this and over the years the recovery time has gotten longer and longer. I have lost so many people because I got bored. I don’t know how to fix this, I know people won’t try to stay in touch with me forever and the people I love are fading away. How can I change this behavior? I want to be happy deep down, but I am convinced that I have a deep hatred for myself, I don’t allow myself to accept happiness.

  29. Hi Halom. First of all let me tell you that you are doing a wonderful job. My problem is that no matter how much i try i am always late for work. I tried following a schedule, but found i am very bad about it. I am unable to stop the activity within the mentioned time. Since i wanted to start my day in a positive note i have put read empowering as well as motivating articles for 20 minutes. Now these are the things that usually happens, even if i have bookmarked several articles even without me realising i start browising to find something to read. Even when i realise that i am wasting time i am not able to stop me or sometimes at the beginning itself i remembered and i read one of those book markedthings some days if it get finished before 10 minutes i start reading one more stuff because my schedule says 20 minutes of reading and the 2nd article turnout to be a long one, now once i have started i cannot stop until i finish it. Another thing that happens is i before hand tell myself just for tomorrow i am not going to exercise so that i can read relaxedly and i do that, but after i do everything i see i have 5 MINUTES of spare time even without realsiing or i have an uncontrolable urge for exercising and i start exercising and like in any other situation once i start i am unable to stop. Please tell me how to breake this wrong routine

  30. Hi my name is Edward. My self destructive behaviors started as young as 16. Each school I went to I start doing well, then I end up worrying about everything, then I start destroying everything I’ve worked for, including school and friends. It usually haven’t gotten this bad until now. I don’t think about things until AFTER I do them, and it’s hurting me in school. I’m losing everything, and I just don’t seem to get it right. It’s even making me fell like I don’t wanna be alive anymore……I’m hurting my professional life before it even started…..I am a really bad person and it’s killing me slowly until I have nothing left…..PLEASE HELP!

  31. Hi there, your article has already helped me a lot I would really just like some personal advice, so here is a little about my situation. I have always been self destructive and often hated myself. I don’t even know where to begin with the things I regret but the biggest one has to do with my current relationship. I was with a girl for a year and we were practically perfect, but she offered so so much more to me than I ever could and I felt like I didn’t deserve her so I ended it because I thought I wasn’t good enough. After this I began smoking weed and cigarettes basically every hour of every day for a few months. I was so beyond depressed that I hated myself for being an idiot but never changed the day it got to be way to much so I messaged her a huge apology and asked if she would just be my friend again. She amazingly to my surprise said yes and we became close and started dating again. I have given up cigarettes, weed and every other substance I used to turn to and that was an amazing step in my life. But I still hate myself for leaving her and hurting her, I don’t know why I did it and hate myself more and more every day because of it. It has been causing so many problems she is about done with me. I lie to her so she isn’t disappointed with me and it only makes it worse because she always finds out, I freak out over small things that don’t matter because I still feel like I’m not good enough for her. When she talks or hangs out with her guy friends I get angry because I feel like they could make her happier then I could but me getting angry about it only pushes her further away and then I realize what I’ve done way to late. She doesn’t even want to talk to me afterwards because I only add to the stress in her life and I want to be the opposite of that. We are getting to a breaking point and this is the girl I wish to marry so please I need to stop being self destructive I need some advice…

  32. I’ve been dealing with my self destructive behaviors for 30+ years. I periodically get out of all of them and then I always fall back into them. I can NEVER sustain the positive. Last year was my best year and I got in the best shape of my life and never felt better. Then the past several months have spiraled down and I’ve put back 16 pounds and I’ll get going for a month and lose 8 and then give up for a month and gain the 8 back. And now I feel depressed and don’t even want to try anymore, but I will hate myself it I slowly start putting back 50 or more again.

    And I don’t know how much of this stems from this financial disaster I got myself into. Last year I was sure the economy was going to tank, so I invested all my savings against the market. But the market kept going up, so I took out loans, and maxed out all my credit cards with interest free cash to average down, and the market kept going up. Then the interest free period expired and I had to take out a huge loan against my 401k to pay back all the credit cards, the I used the rest to average down and take out more interest free advances, and the market keeps hitting new highs. I’ve lost all my savings and I’m losing the money I borrowed and I see my chances of ever getting out dimming. Every day I have to hope for a horrible catastrophic world incident that could crash the stock market so I can get out of this mess. So I’m constantly in a negative mindset and it drives me insane. I need the stock market to crash 13% just to break even and pay back all the debt.

    Then on top of this, my job is killing me because they keep expecting more and more from me and after 13 years, I’m still working 80-100 hours a week for about 8 months on this last project. One week I had to work a record 134 hours. And I’m salaried, so I don’t get paid for any extra work. And now I can’t quit because the huge 401k loan would have to be paid back immediately, so I feel trapped. And my wife lost her job 2 months ago, so I feel even more trapped with two mortgages and 3 kids to support.

    And now I just ate a quart of ice cream and skipped my workout and I’m lying in bed more depressed reading about self destructive behavior. I’m going to wake up tomorrow and try the approach of choosing not to eat unhealthy food and see if I can get my health going the right direction again. I really need to learn how to stick with something long term. But I don’t know how to help my financial disaster. Even if I just sold everything and got out. I wouldn’t have enough money to pay back all the debts and then my life savings would be gone as well. But I hate hoping for economic crisis everyday and then bad reports come out and I get excited, but the market still goes up to all time highs anyway.

    I haven’t seen any responses to the posts on here in a long time, but it helped reading them. I guess I’m mostly writing this for myself to get it out.

  33. Just now saw this thru a google search. Thank you sir you’ve helped me immensely. May peace be with you. BTW you’re also a good writer.

  34. I am come from a long line of substance abusers and self destructors, my family dynamic growing up taught me that lying stealing and cheating is the way to get by and also if it is ignored it never happened. Being the emotional person that i am i found suppressing an emotion, feeling or event took more than just ignorance but also required something outside of myself. This something would take on the nasty face of substance abuse from food to drugs (everything in between). It removed me from myself numbed reality and made me feel like god in many respects. This had become my life from the age of 12 till 21 where i managed to lead a new life for almost five years. Im 26 now with my first child on its way in two weeks, the fear of the destruction that i may cause in her life has caused me to back step five years, i find myself sitting here in the office battling stay awake two days clean of a 3 week meth binge. What worries me is that i know what to do and i know how to live yet the tendencies within myself to destroy what i have and who i am are sternly imprinted within myself that i actually find it hard to live life on its terms. I know the patterns and i know that in many ways i tell myself that the destruction is well deserved.
    Thanks for your blog i now know that self forgiveness and self acceptance are all key to living a long life free of destruction…

  35. I most definitely have 3 major self destructive habits. 1. Too sensitive: I have a hard time letting things go like I’m someone with high authority “how dare you talk to me that way”
    2. Over thinking: I definitely find it hard to let things go. If I create a tense moment, I have to make it right, instead of just letting it be an letting it heal itself which creates more tension hahaha. and 3. Dwelling in things: it’s very destructive and can bring your peace away.

    The root of my destruction is definitely REJECTION: I’ve just recently began a new relationship and this girl likes everything about me. All my past girlfriends were annoyed by the same things I did. (Natural habits, mannerisms, etc) but she likes it all. And within the first week. I’ve done all 3 things hahahaa. Luckily she’s patient and I have a chance to stop these habits. I actually went ahead and made a list of my self-destructive habits. then labeled my root problem an added all these positive things about myself. Try it!

  36. I found this article to be quite helpful. I also have several. Overeating, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, and the worst of them all, alcohol overconsumption. Last night was the drunkest I’ve ever been and it ended with me in the ER for poisoning. My behavior beforehand was embarrassing to say the least and this was not the first time I had an episode like this. I used to be able to have a couple drinks and be fine. Now, if I start drinking, I’m not going to stop until I’m drunk. And if I run out of alcohol I’m doing all I can to get some more. I already take full responsibility for my actions. I don’t know what constructive “opposites” I can replace the bad behavior with. I also don’t know the root of my bad habits. Can you give me

  37. Hi,
    Thank you for your insights into self-destructive behaviour. I find it so crazy that we are the only thing we truly, 100% have until we die, but we are often our own worst enemy. I don’t really know why I am self-destructive, but I think it’s rooted in low self-esteem- just thinking that I am incapable of being a thriving adult, so I stop myself before even having the chance to be… I seldom finish anything- I quit so easily. I push people away- or should I say, I never really get that close to them (even friends, family..), or if I do (like a romantic relationship) I will just eventually do something to mess it up, or pull away…when things get serious. Right now it’s really affecting my relationship of just over one year, so I am trying to read about it, and I will get some counseling too.

  38. Well here goes,

    In my younger years I am mid 50’s now alcohol and drugs seemed to be my issue. It seems the drugs were an association problem so I eliminated people from my life that pulled me that direction. Then it seemed to be alcohol which I still fight but not to the degree I can’t put it away but it does not control my life or inhibit it. I don’t spend nights in bars, hide it at home but I do have 2 or 3 every night this is not my concern but have always heard that addictive personalities move from one thing to the next.

    Now I deal with a sexual problem and as I think about it I think all of this is a self esteem issue but I can’t be sure. One minute I am wanting to find younger women to have sex with I suppose to prove I still have it and the next it’s well I’m too old so I will try and hook up with guys. WTF I’m married to the best person on planet earth why am I struggling with this crap?

    As I said I am mid 50’s and have a wonderful family and spouse and I fear one day I will ruin all of it because of my behavior what do I do?

  39. After 3 yrs of losing 80 pounds, and quitting smoking I moved across the country away from my daughter and took a job that was horrible. I let that and my moms lung cancer areas me out so i started eating, drinking and smoking again.

    Fast forward and I now have a great job but so insecure about my bad habits that outside of work, in a new town I never leave the house.

    How do I get back to the 10k running, smoke free healthy lifestyle and finally ditch the booze?

  40. I have felt very low for about two months now. I feel I am starting to get to a point where there is no way out. The negative part of my brain keeps over-ruling the positive and telling me I can’t get through this. I find every day a struggle and I can’t concentrate on the things that really matter to me. I haven’t been well, with anaemia, and now and iron deficiency. As well as having had huge hormonal changes in my body. I try to distract myself from my bad thoughts, but I find it very hard as my mind is so stuck in its ways. I have also been negative about everything for so long I feel like what my negative brain is telling me is true. Even though it’s not. For example, I have no reason to not want to be with my boyfriend, but my negative brain keeps making me doubt that. And I really don’t want it to be true; because it’s not. It’s as if I’m being told to push everything I care about, away. I keep stressing about stupid small things, and how I will feel when I wake up and this builds up to a bad anxiety. I can’t get motivated and passionate, which I’ve never had trouble with before.
    This isn’t me at all, and I am completely fed up of feeling like this. I want to get out, be happy again and be in love again. After all, I’m only 19 and at university. I should be living the dream, but I feel like I am trapped in my own head hell.
    Please help, I am getting to my witt’s end.

  41. My main problem started when I broke up with my now ex-girlfriend, many years ago. She was the closest thing I ever had. I never had any attachment with my parents, my father was a violent person who hit me to the point of physical abuse when I was a child. My life has always been a struggle for moving on from that, a constant question on whether to forgive my parents or not.

    Anyways, when my girlfriend left after many years together, my life fell apart. On the late stages of my emotional recovery, I started to abuse a bit from alcohol from time to time. At first, it was just the typical fun of a 20- something, but my drinking started to become a problem a couple years ago, as it started to include very heavy after-parties, with hookers included. These parties only occurred every 4-5 months, but were self-destructive in many ways: STD possibilities, overuse of alcohol for many hours –usually until noon or even later– and of course pricey, around $1500 for 5-6 hours of girls, drinks, champagne and sex.

    I’ve been mad at myself for a long time about this, but I think that I’m ready to forgive myself after reading your post. All those mistakes cost me around $9000 in 3 years. The good news is that during that time I didn’t have a girlfriend, and didn’t go out much, except those binges of everything, so maybe I would have spent that money elsewhere anyways. But the problem is that everything was meaningless, unlike having a serious relationship or whatever else I could have done.

    But, again, those were my mistakes. I’m learning to live, my life was never easy, and I want to forgive myself, try to continue improving, be a better person. I have decided to stop drinking a few days ago, no more parties for me. I decided I can go out for dinner and have a beer or glass of wine, but that’s it. Alcohol causes me to do stupid things, I learned that the hard way, but hopefully it’s on time, since I’m still young, single, I have a great job and a long career ahead. I haven’t hurt anyone with this but me. I read about people who are married and have kids and do these things, and I don’t want to end up like them.

    Thanks for the great post by the way, it’s really helpful. If you have any thoughts or suggestions just let me know!! :)

  42. hie….
    i am in zimbabwe and 27yrs of age. I got married in 2010 to my 22year old wife and we are blessed with a boy,who is 4 now.I have attitude problems, i drink i smoke and i have been cheating on my wife since 2012.I dont want to do that anymore, this has been mainly due to the fact that I am training to be an Environmental Health Technician 571km away from my family. She recently discovered alll these skeletons in the closet and this has killed our relationship in a serious way. Now we are on separation and she is all that I think of everydae, it is true u neva knw wat u got till its gone….i need to change my perception of life and change the way i live and make it up to my kid and wife but i dont knw where to m please

  43. I am writing in regards to a behavior I have when it comes to relationships,
    I’m just asking for a little input. I was in a very abusive relationship for 15 years. I’ve met a man that only wants me to make better choices and yet
    I spite him every chance I get. I feel I deserve to be alone instead of having happiness in my life. When I listen to him i flourish when I spite him I’m alone and depression kicks in along with smoking. I quit smoking in April but find any kind of stress leads me back to it. I don’t know how to change
    my behavior, I know I’m making a mistake while I’m doing it but yet I can’t stop myself. Please help!! Thanks so much for your time, Heather

  44. Hi, I’m 51 and struggling with alcohol dependence and compulsive eating, i.e., binge drinking red wine followed by binge eating, at night and at home for the most part. I was a single mom and now I live alone. I’ve been doing MUCH better with the eating (no more ice cream at night!), but I suffer from reflux a lot and I have gained 25-30 lb in 2 yrs. I used to be very into fitness, but injured myself and that combined with several personal relationship failures led me into depression. I have gotten back into a good fitness routine but I keep going in circles because drinking wine leads to eating and/or staying up too late, watching tv, sometimes being productive but mostly not, mentally anguishing over mistakes and regrets, failed relationships mostly… all leading to lack of quality sleep, and the next day bad food choices, a general numbed-out sensation, weakness, bad detox symptoms, etc., which in turn makes it hard to get up and exercise! I hate what I see in the mirror and I’m afraid I’ll never make a difference or have meaningful relationships again. I don’t want to waste my life in this hell I’ve created for myself. Today is Day 2 of abstaining from wine and I’m starting to feel normal again. Any words of advice would be so much appreciated. Thank you.

  45. I have many food allergies and a disease that makes my life hard in every way. I don’t know why I do this but I eat foods that I am allergic to and get sick whenever I try to escape. It just makes me feel worse than i already do with my disease. I want to be more constructive but I’m not sure how to replace bad habits with good ones sinc I am not well enough to excercises. I thought instead of eating something that will make me sick I can just drink a glass of water. Any other ideas?

  46. I discover last week that my binge drinking issue was part of a much larger problem, I also suffer from Bulimia and never really link these two behaviours as self-destructing acts, so after ready lots about it I find out that I need to address this problem as one.

    I started with the antidepressants 2 weeks ago and I feel so much better, I don’t have the itch to drink, smoke or eat lots… my mood is flat but I don’t mind that because the sense of peace within myself is worth it.

    Deep inside I am worry, because I have fail in the past and failing this time means losing my family absolutely everything… I am at the lowest I could be and need to find strength to get my act together and move forward…easy said than done..

  47. How does a man forgive himself? I think this is the basis for my self-destructive behavior. The worst of which is, with a severely damaged spine, I’m in constant pain, but I take more pain pills than I need. I used to think I was using the high to escape emotion, but after several years its clear that I’m only doing so I will run out of them too soon. I have never gotten ‘High’ for the sake of feeling groovy, anytime I’ve felt good i have done extra work, or went out of my way to offer assistance, etc. I don’t drink or smoke anything. It really is clear as day that I abuse my pain pills, specifically so that I run out of them, of money, of pain-free time. If I didn’t have a real medical need for pills, easy – I’d go to rehab, or just go thru detox after dosing down. But I keep screwing myself… and truthfully, I have been out to screw myself since I can remember. I’ve sabotaged every relationship, every job, and every opportunity I’v ever had. What do I have to forgive myself for?… Hell if I know. I DO believe that God will forgive me if I ask, but how do I forgive myself for feeling that I need to forgive myself? Its cyclic, right? I wasn’t abused as a child, I never hurt anyone, and I make sure every stray cat I see has more food than I do. I was a Marine, but don’t have PTSD or any reason to have it. I have always been a bit depressed, low on testosterone, and an official I.Q. of 135, but I can’t even put a rough point on why I self-destruct. I’m 32 and have never been close to suicidal. It doesn’t add up, does it? So, HOW do I let myself shed this sickness on my soul?

  48. Indulgence is mine. This surfaces mainly by overeating and overspending.
    I cannot control either, though I am ambitious and usually good with most things; I also like myself, feel balanced etc.
    However I have a “trigger” somehow, when it comes to food and shopping. I buy a lot of small and medium things that are not necessary. I eat, always, everything. When I try to just get myself to be more modest, not even to diet, I feel like a part of me wants to “deprive me” of something that is “My higher right to” . … I am puzzled as to WHY I am feeling like this. Like two people in one, where one is trying to help and the other feeling deprived and stubborn.

  49. This is a very interesting topic I came across while searching, “how do I stop my self destructive behavior” with Siri. Appreciate the feedback. -valley Cali girl trying to make it in Vegas with an addiction

  50. I can’t stop drinking. I recently stopped smoking. Now I started drinking and over eating. I always seem to need some compulsion. Last year I was in the best shape of my life. I’ve been working out for 20 years. Now I am grotesque. No motivation. I can’t remember the last time I was this fat. Can’t seem to find my way back to health. I’m over 50 and scared. These are the heart attack years. I help others every day but I can’t seem to help myself. I’m so afraid.

  51. I have been staying up forever, I think since high school untill now I’m 31. Everyday night I’m telling myself “tonight I’m gonna get some good rest and go to bed on time” and then when it’s time I’m keeping myself occupied with youtube videos to watch, comics to read, games to play, or articles to look at, I feel like I continually finding things to do at night, except things that help me sleep. I also get addicted to new fun things easily, be it a new game or a new hype, and then I got bored with it really quick. I used to go to bed at 12am, and gradually, 1am, and then 2am, and lately 3am, 4am or even 5am, sometimes I stay up untill morning. Because my part time started at noon so I ended up I can sleep till I need to get up for work, while I’m aware I’m wasting all the time I could’ve done some thing else produtive with it. Other than that, my health took the toll, my skin and my immunity system are not in good shape most of the time. I fall sick easily and my acnes keep popping up from time to time. I know I should stop doing this, but the temptations seems much stronger. And I was told I don’t love myself because of this, if this is true, I guess I really don’t know how to love myself. Even though my parents and my boyfriend have been telling me to stop, I feel bad that everyday I’m failling them, and dissapointing them. Looking for help, I came across your article.

  52. I have always been a non happy person all my life but I was ok. The last three years I have been in my self destructive mode of my life. It all started after I was hired after been unemployed for 3 years. This instead of making me happy it made me depressed and anxious. Then I started taking sleeping pills in order for me to sleep because it caused me insomnia. Now I am in very strong sleeping pills and can not keep my head in one place. In the period of these 3 years I was doing so much better and now I am much worst than before. I can not relax and even pills are not kicking in. I do not know what to do. PLEASE HELP ME GET OVER MY SELF DESTRUCTIVE MODE.

  53. Mine is pushing boundaries and limits of what I can and can’t do. Because ‘I can do that’ not because its right, not because it’s ok to do that, but because I can do that.
    And I want to stop it, but it’s the only enjoyment I get out of life.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *