It’s interesting to note the differences in thinking when someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol versus when he or she is in sobriety. What’s obvious later but not so obvious when you’re in the throes of addiction is that you’re willing to do anything to feed your habit. And this is how addiction gets destructive.
However, when you’re in the middle of an addiction, it seems obvious that what you need to do is get high or drunk. And since that’s just as important as eating or breathing, then there’s nothing wrong with breaking the law or hurting someone else in order to get what you need. Although this kind of thinking seems rational when you’re experiencing addiction, later when you’re sober, it becomes obvious that thinking in those terms gets very dangerous for yourself and others. That’s how addiction begins to eat away at the boundaries around who you are in life. And those boundaries are important to have.
For instance, if you say to yourself, I’m never going to be the kind of person who begs for money. Well, then to never be that kind of person, you do whatever it takes to make sure you can meet your bills every month. Or you get a second job when medical bills get high. You make it work for yourself. However, when an addiction sets in, that boundary and moral value that you’ve created for yourself begins to deteriorate. You forget about who you are. You are willing to give up everything, including your self-worth and dignity in order to feed a habit that has become a physical and psychological necessity. You’re desperate when you’re in the throes of addiction, and it shows. It not only shows it affects the lives of others. This is when you know that it’s time to get treatment.
Events that could trigger the thought that it’s time to get treatment includes (but is not limited to):
- When your future seems hopeless.
- When you can’t imagine a day without a drink or without a high.
- When your friends know that you’re experiencing an addiction.
- When you’re family doesn’t like having you visit anymore.
- When you would do anything to get a drink or get high.
- When you’ve broken the law to feed an addiction.
- When you experience severe memory problems because of your drinking or drug use.
- When you’ve already lost a lot in your life such as your relationships, job, or financial stability.
- When you suffer from black outs and you’re forgetting what you did while you’re drunk or high.
- When your children and spouse begin to question your integrity.
But what happens if you are experiencing these things and you never have your own realization about needing to get treatment? If you never reach this epiphany on your own, that kind of inner deterioration can go on and on. It might not end until something drastic happens like losing your life or killing someone else in a drunk driving accident. To prevent these sorts of drastic events, the loved ones of those who are experiencing a severe addiction might facilitate an intervention, an event that encourages someone to get treatment.
The inner deterioration around your own values and self-worth can really change your life and the lives of those around you when you’re experiencing an addiction. Fortunately, the healing that takes place with addiction treatment is the restoration of your values, of your self-worth, and sense of well being. Addiction is a disease that can eat away at physical, emotional, and spiritual well being. Treatment, however, can facilitate healthy thinking again. It can restore your ability to make choices that are life-affirming, self-loving, and healthy. Treatment can finally return to you all that you’ve lost.
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