Abuse is always an addictive behavior. We abuse things in order to stop the pain of life and to make us momentarily feel better–stronger, more in control–or to escape from the reality of our lives. Because abusive behavior gives us a sense of control or fosters the illusion of escape for the moment, we repeat the behavior. But abuse always generates guilt and guilt produces a vicious circle. It is like a snake with its tail in its mouth. We do something that we know is wrong or bad, then we feel guilty about it and this feeling of guilt is a panacea. At first, we are relieved that we are feeling guilty because that means that we are not bad people because we have learned that “bad people” do not feel guilt. But after awhile the guilt keeps growing and the pain of the guilt becomes intolerable. The we begin to externalize and justify our guilt. we say things like: “I wouldn’t have done that if he/she had not done what they did”. They just don’t understand me. All too soon our rationalizations or defenses begin to sound so reasonable and our behavior justified, that we do it again. This is the vicious circle of addiction, guilt, justification, and more addiction. This is the circular snake. All addictions, all abuse of self or others, have one thing in common. They are a product of insecurity about yourself. They are all a way to try to externalize your lack of love to yourself. You cannot love yourself and behave in loving ways to yourself and abuse yourself. All, abuse, all addictions are first and foremost, self-centered. They mean that you are perceiving the world only through your eyes of your needs. The mean that your insecurities, your weak ego, are so powerful they totally control your behaviors. Replace a “bad” with a “good” addiction. The abusive behaviors are replaced with a constructive behavior, support groups, example. They give you something else to focus upon and they give you a place to spend your time and energy. The groups give you support and you are in an encouraging environment. Your do not have to be strong to in order to conquer your addiction. You do not have to be perfect. You need to learn about self-esteem. By accepting you as you are, the group teaches you to accept yourself. By encouraging you to be the best you can be, the support groups become a positive role model for self-love.