When you’re in physical, mental, and emotional pain, you are willing to go to great lengths to alter your mood.
You want to do something, anything to just get through. At that early of an age, I couldn’t possibly conceptualize something that vast, obviously. But inside of me, I just knew I had to be the best at everything, otherwise I wasn’t good enough.
Fear often drives addiction. At this early of an age, I was afraid of not being validated. I feared being inconsequential unless I could be extraordinary. I of course didn’t know that I felt these deeply disturbing feelings then, but I knew that I thrived and flourished when I was getting a gold star, when my accomplishments were being praised.
I was prone to complete breakdown when I would be criticized or chastised for any poor work or wrongdoing. It would literally break me to be told that I had done wrong or that my work was not good enough to be rewarded.