Many people that seek treatment have had a period when they are in the throws of substance abuse and they don’t even recognize it. The stigma behind alcohol addiction may seem like it has to be an extreme problem for it to be a “real” addiction. For a number of clients as they seek recovery, they didn’t understand or see just how far the addiction process had taken them before their lives were falling out of control. There are a variety of scenarios, histories and psychological factors that play into this way of thinking. Here are just a few traps that people fall into before recognizing that residential treatment is necessary to recover.
I Can Stop Anytime
This way of thinking is so easy to justify. It’s just a one time thing. I’ll quit tomorrow… and the justification goes on and on. No matter how many “last” times roll around, there is just one more… These kind of excuses that we tell ourselves are actually a great defense mechanism that we build up to protect ourselves. However, in this irrational state, our thought process is not protecting us, it is hurting. Falling into the cycle of alcohol addiction can often catch people in a vicious tug of war match between what you want and what you think you need. The body is being altered by chemicals, the brain is being rewarded by actions that cause harm indirectly. This is one reason why people justify the actions of addiction even though they know there are negative consequences. So as we go back to the defense mechanisms, it is easy to see how confusing this irrational state of mind in addiction can be.
The reality is that there will never be a last time if you can “stop anytime”. Even when setting specifics, it may not happen. Social factors are one motivator to helping people get out of the cycle of alcohol addiction. When the people that surround us begin to see signs of addiction; their involvement may be one of the great motivators to finding help. Being accountable to others, finding support through friendships or family and having more reasons to recover are often some of the ways that people reach out for help to find recovery that will last.
I’m Just Having Fun
Especially in our youth, there is a time when each of us just wants to have a good time. When this justification becomes the reason to hurt our bodies, it may seem innocent. Hurting ourselves is never innocent. This is a false illusion portrayed in the media and in popular culture; but it is a lie. When we hurt ourselves, there is more to it than just “having fun”. Our mental health is a delicate balance. Relaxation is important for each of us in our own times and in our own ways; but finding the line between fun and harm is an important boundary to define. It’s common for some people to drink a “night cap” before bed. It’s common for some people to go to a social event and drink a beer… there are a variety of scenarios where using substances isn’t necessarily harmful. However, it’s important to keep in mind our own weaknesses. In analyzing our own mental states and understand why we are behaving in different ways may keep us from doing something to harm ourselves. Alcohol addiction may seem like something that is extreme, but it doesn’t have to be. If we are using substances for the wrong reasons, there can still be a problem.
Genetics, experiences, trauma and situations make each of us different. For someone who has an alcohol addiction, limiting the use of certain substances may be a priority. Knowing your limits may mean keeping yourself from situations where there may be a trigger. Without treatment, it can be extremely difficult to develop the skills necessary to identify triggers. Treatment can also help develop skills for real life situations and gaining support when those who have been through recovery may need extra help.
That Can’t Happen To Me
For some reason, this is one lie that we tell ourselves all the time. “That can’t happen to me”. “I’m an exceptionally careful person”. “I’m stronger than that”. “I am in control”. While all of these things may be true, we are never completely protected from what happens around us. Even the strongest swimmer on a hot summer day in the right situation may drown. Even the most cautious and conscientious driver may be involved in a car accident. There are a number of elements that we cannot always control. Substances are one of these variables that can be extremely dangerous to involve ourselves with.
Respecting the predicament that can lead to addiction, the key to recovery is acceptance. Accepting that we can change. Accepting that change MUST happen to have a happy life. Accepting that it is going to be hard. Accepting that it will be worth it. There is a lot of introspection that can happen through the process of recovery; but do whatever you can to understand your own value. Your life is full of potential. Finding help is the best path to helping yourself find that potential.
Addiction is a very vicious cycle. Many people can’t identify themselves as an addict until it’s too late. Have the strength to seek help. Find the support that you need to ensure recovery will be possible. There is hope and we can help! Call our knowledgable team to learn more about the treatment programs at New Roads: 888-358-8998