Many people don’t realize the power of addiction and how much it takes away your ability to see you are worthy to live a life that meets your heart’s desires.   When it seems impossible to find your way back to your authentic self then asking for help becomes the first step to change the rest of your life.

Family members have lived with you so they can see clearly changes in your life which reflect a struggle within.  This struggle only gets more complicated when masked with alcohol and drugs.  The challenge for your family is to also ask for help in order to understand how they can encourage you in your treatment. 

Addiction impacts not only you but those around you who love you and in the end the choice point is yours.  When to begin to see everything clearly and open your heart you realize there is “no place like home” for here is the “life worth living.”  

Being free of addiction will create a path to freedom.  True freedom comes from loving yourself and loving others while understanding that all decisions you make are critical to purposeful outcomes.

“There is a courtesy of the heart; it is allied to love,

From it springs the purest courtesy in the outward behaviour.”

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“At the core of any alternative to choosing your heart, is the risk that you follow your emotions or you trigger more emotions within you, your family member or both.  Should you react with emotion, and very likely you know the kind of situation where you are inclined to do so, it will be like pouring fuel on a fire, unless it is with a loved one who has a strong and loving heart that does not react and is able to help you” (Baur, Klaus, 2016).

Here are some steps to help you find your “worth” and “life worth living”

1. Wisdom say’s to seek your heart for the answers.

“Only the heart knows the correct answer: It taps into the cosmic computer – the field of potentiality, pure knowledge, and infinite organizing power- and takes everything into account.” –Deepak Chopra

Be mindful of the people in your life who you know you can trust and will be there for you if you call them.  Once you have established that person(s), find a time to talk with them either in private or with your therapist.  You begin by asking for forgiveness for any behavior that was outside of your true self and hurt them.  The next step is to ask if they would be interested in being a support for you during your treatment and healing journey.  Don’t be surprised if they say “no” because sometimes the individual is just not able to help.  Ask your heart.

2. Outcomes must be intentional and anticipated to maintain your thoughts of accountability. 

Of course, the number one outcome is to be free of addiction.  However, you may write down all of the desires of your heart.  As you place your faith in the process, you will picture your checklist of goals and objectives being met. 

3. Relationships only work when both people are committed to each other’s happiness. 

It will take time to heal your emotional wounds, and both forgive others and yourself.  Everything in life is relational and finding a balance for loving self and others is the key.  When you can do this, you find your worth.

4. Think before you reach for your drug of choice in response to being anxious, angry, sad, or “just because it is there.” 

There is a feeling of empowerment when you can turn away from the drug and “just say no.”   You will find after you have success in this area that you will begin to step forward into your true heart’s desires. 

5. Hope can be found in your heart. 

The heart is the center of peacefulness and calmness, and when you focus on your heart, you will find hope has always been there. In order to do this you can start by placing your hand on your heart and close your eyes, and with deep breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth you begin to release fear and find a deeper love for self and others.

As human beings, it is too easy to convince ourselves to use substances that harm our minds, hearts, and body especially when we feel we have no worth.  Feelings of helplessness and low self-esteem are indicative of individuals who have a substance addiction.  The problematic pattern that forms from the use of intoxicating substances can lead to clinically significant impairment or distress.

The chart below reflects the choices you make a reason for using drugs and the facts on the impact of substance addiction.

I choose to continue using drugs because:

The impact of substance addiction:

I want to keep using because I like the way it makes me feel.  It gives me the energy to get through the day.

You may have the energy to get through the day but a great deal of your time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the substance, use the substance, or recover from its effects.

I want to continue to use because when I am “high” on drugs, I get along better with my friends.

Continued use of the substance despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of its use.

I know that I feel better physically because of the drugs help to numb my emotional and physical pain.

Use of the substance is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by the substance. Actually increasing pain due to a rebound effect.

When I take the drug, I feel like I can get more work done.

Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of use of the substance.  Most employers drug screen their potential employees.

I can quit anytime just need a little to get me through the day. 

Tolerance, as defined by either of the Tolerance, as defined by either of the following keeps a person from cutting back and actually increases the amount used because:

    1. A need for markedly increased amounts of the substance to achieve intoxication or desired effect.
    2. A markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of the substance.

As you can see by the chart above some of the reasons you choose to use alcohol and drugs is to accomplish something you perceive as good when in reality, it is doing the opposite.  You are a unique individual with gifts that are yet to be discovered. 

When you find yourself focussing on getting your next “fix”, you end up hurting those who love you, but most of all you are hurting yourself.  You are worthy of a drug-free life, and you have so much to give.  Choose to get help so that you can find your “life worth living.”

You can learn how you can build a life worth living at New Roads Behavioral Health and how we support your family members as we coach them. We help bring families back together. www.newroadstreatment.org 888-358-8998

Cindy McFeature, Ph.D.

Substance Addiction Steals Your Dreams of a “Life Worth Living”
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