By the time a substance (alcohol or drug) user progresses from recreational use, to taking up addictive behaviors and habits, and finally to a point of dependence, the disorder has reached high levels of complexity. For the addict, it’s no longer a matter of getting high or buzzed. It’s a matter of surviving day to day.
Telling an addict to “just quit,” isn’t realistic, and quite frankly, it’s unfair. Besides the physical complications that go hand-in-hand with addiction and subsequent withdrawal, there is a lot going on in an addict’s mind. In the early days of recovery, it’s not always good stuff either.
“I should quit.”
Please understand that those struggling with substance addictions and chemical dependencies don’t WANT to be. Addiction and dependence don’t happen in the imagination. They are physical disorders that can affect the biological makeup of the body which, in turn, wreaks havoc on mental and emotional well-being. It can be the merry-go-round ride from hell, until figuring out how to get off.
“I want to get sober. But I don’t want to go through the pain.”
A very common fear among people contemplating active treatment and help, is that it’s going to be hurt. To a degree they’re correct. The physical and mental withdrawal symptoms associated with drug detox won’t be easy. However, detoxing your system is a critical first step on the path to sobriety. Much like childbirth, the pain will be forgotten and the reward will stay with you a lifetime.
“One more score won’t hurt. This will be my last time. It won’t kill me to take a small sip.”
The mind of an addict is rarely quiet. Driving, obsessive thoughts are like a broken record, urging and coaxing an addict to seek out their vice. Ignoring thoughts like these for long is not a simple feat which is why relapse happens frequently.
“I’m tired of having to pretend to be someone I’m not. I’m worn out from pretending to be okay.”
Maintaining a drug addiction takes a lot of time, money, and energy on the part of the user. Often, deceptive behavior (lying, sneaking around, and stealing) develops, further bringing an addict down. Guilt and feelings of shame or embarrassment are not good bedfellows, and they can quickly mutate to include disappointment.
Addicts are often aware that they are disappointing their loved ones and themselves . . . again.
“I don’t have a real problem. Or do I?”
Nobody likes to ask for help, addict or not. Asking for help implies weakness to some, a failure to not have been able to do it ‘all on my own’. Even scarier, when a person finally breaks down and asks for help, they are admitting to themselves and everyone around them that there is a problem.
“Were those rumors about me? Why do I have to be so sad all the time? Are my kids afraid of me?”
Physiology changes with addiction—imagine being a hormonal teenager all over again. Tenfold. Mood swings, hyper-sensitivity to anything others say or do, irritability and depression. When you’re all over the mood map, people tend to back away. Friends and family don’t want to abandon you, but they’re also afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. Addicts, especially dependent addicts, are walking emotional time bombs.
“I’m high and life is great! . . . so why do I feel so awful?”
“I don’t like hurting my family or lying to my friends. But I have to feed the craving.”
“I can’t remember the last time I laughed. Really laughed.”
“Maybe it would be better for everyone if I weren’t even here.”
The pit of depression looms large when suffering addiction. With it comes a myriad of negative thoughts and feelings. There is no shame in experiencing this, it’s completely normal to have them. What does count is how you choose to act on them. You don’t have to be caught on the continual wheel of despair.
The staff at Treatment Now are standing by to take your call, whether you have a question or just need a friend. Recovery begins with YOU.
We’re here to help any way you need it.
CALL US TODAY AT 844-438-8689!