Addiction Recovery is something that you should be proud to say you are in. Addiction, like cancer, is a disease in which the word “cure” does not really exist. Instead, the word remission is used to describe someone who is no longer using what they were once addicted to. The truth is, recovering from addiction is a lifelong process. It does get easier with time, but the truth is that the urge to use may never completely die. Accepting this fact is an important step in the journey to being clean.
Addiction is not just a disease that affects the addict; it affects the entire family. At Family Restoration Counseling, we understand this and can work with everyone involved to help you and your family through this difficult time. Please contact us for more information and to schedule an appointment.
What is Addiction
Addiction is defined by Merriam-Webster as a strong and harmful need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something (such as gamble.)
What Causes Addiction?
Research has shown a link between addiction and genetics. However; addiction can strike anyone at any given time. The causes of addiction can vary from person to person. Some common reasons why people become addicted are to numb emotional pain, to fill a void, seek a thrill or ironically to feel in control of something. Most drug addicts do not fit the stereotypical mold; they actually can maintain a job, have good families and look well put together.
A lot of people diagnosed with addiction also have a co-morbid condition-meaning another mental illness. Post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, has a high rate of substance abuse as well as anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses.
Feel to Heal
We tend to get addicted to whatever numbs the pain. So naturally, when we take away what is masking our pain we are forced to feel it. It is important to remember that while drugs may make you feel good for the moment, it is only short lived. Once your high wears off the demons return full force, maybe even worse than before.
One of the hardest parts about recovery is experiencing the pain that you used to have returned. Often times, it feels like it is returning ten-fold. The fact that your body is probably going through physical withdraw does not help.
When we start to recognize old feelings return, we go into crisis mode. The urge to use will be strongest during this time. It is a great idea to seek professional help from a therapist during this phase. Do not go it alone, there is an easier way contact us for more information. We can help you and your family get through this difficult time. Remember, it will pass.
Old Habits Die Hard
It is unrealistic to think that you will not have moments, even long into remission, where you are tempted to go use again. Maybe you think, “just one time will not hurt me.” That mentality will lead you quickly to a relapse. Instead, think about how far you have come. You are clearly a strong person to have made it to this point. Also, do you want to go through the whole process of recovery again? This would be a great time to launch into a new activity. An exercise is a great option, plus it releases endorphins. Calling a friend who is supportive will help. Also, your therapist or counselor understands what you are going through and can talk you through it.
One of the hardest parts about addiction recovery is that you are not always sure you want to recover. That is OK. It is healthy to admit that. You will have good days and bad days.
Purpose and meaning are what makes life great. If you can find meaning and purpose out of your journey through addiction I guarantee you will be able to stay clean for the rest of your life and you will actually have the desire to remain drug-free.
The best way to help yourself is to help others. Try and find a support group who has members that you can sponsor, or coach. Trust me, talking to people who understand first-hand what you have been through, and are going through still, is the best way to keep on the right track.
Writing may not be for everyone, but nearly everyone can do it. You would be surprised at how therapeutic writing can be. Write your life story. Talk about your struggles and strengths. What makes you, you. Show yourself in a positive life and show off how strong you are. Who knows where it will take you.
You are Strong
Addicts in remission are the strongest people I know. Remember, not everyone has what it takes. Not everyone can do what you are doing. The temptation is everywhere and you still do not give it. Think about it, who doesn’t want to take a pill, snort, inject or whatever it was you did, to feel better?
Take this experience for what it is. Learn something about yourself. If you are wise enough to know that you have a problem and need help and brave enough to go get help, you can accomplish anything.
You are strong enough to continue on. Maybe you were given this burden for a reason that you do not yet understand. You can take your weakest and lowest moments and turn them into defining moments. You can get through anything if you can get through this. Write about it, talk about it or help someone else through it.
Anyone can recover from addiction. The secret is wanting to get well. Addiction recovery is a process and it may take some time to feel back to your old self, or maybe even better than you did before using drugs.
“I understood myself only after I destroyed myself. And only in the process of fixing myself, did I know who I really was.” Unknown