I believe INFPs are particularly prone to addiction due to their sensitive nature and dislike of pain (I had my own problems with alcohol). Addiction can mess up your entire world, and your vision of reality. When your understanding of reality is wrong, it can cause you a lot of confusion about your purpose and ultimately interfere with your career, your family and many other aspects of your life.
The worst part? We rarely know we’re addicted to something, or don’t think it causes any problems for us. A friend of mine recently discovered she was addicted to something. She’s going through a lot of pain right now, so I wrote this for her and think it may benefit other INFPs in similar spots:
Recovering from addiction will cause you to feel tons of pain. You’ve decided that the mask of happiness that you’ve been wearing all these years isn’t enough. You want to be happy with you. You want to be content living your life, playing with your daughter and spending time with your husband. So you’ve started peeling back that mask and found lots of ugly things.
This is likely to cause a lot of pain. Your addiction tells you that you don’t really want this, that it’s too hard, etc. It tells you to just put the mask back on and deal with it later.
The ugly is like a mess that you brush into the closet. It will always be there, waiting to fall on you when you open the closet.
Whenever you walk past the closet, you feel anxious. Eventually you avoid going past the closet. The only way to get rid of the anxiety that is caused when you pass the closet is to face it, open it up, let everything fall out and take the time to clean it.
Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed with the thought of the entire mess. Just clean up one or two items everyday. That’s it. Set a very small and easily achievable goal of one or two a day. The purpose of the small goal is to get you started. You’ll likely do more once you get started. But if you don’t start, it will never get clean, so keep the goal simple.
Then you have to KEEP IT CLEAN. You have to pick up the little things that get dropped on the floor and devote time every once in a while to deal with it when a small mess shows back up. In otherwords, talk about your problems. When someone hurts you, bring it up. Don’t bottle it or you’ll end up with a closet full of crap again. The best way through life is with an clean closet 🙂
Have you or are you dealing with addiction? Do you have any insight into helping other INFPs deal with their festering negative thoughts? Leave a comment to let us know.