Is Addiction A Choice?

Dealing With Addiction | Transcend Recovery Community

Life is all about choices. The people we choose to be with. The things we choose to do. The words we choose say. At the end of the day, our lives and what we did with them are our responsibility, and it is up to each of us to live a life well-spent, and well-lived.

At least, ideally, that would be the case. But we can’t always take responsibility. Sometimes we must accept that certain circumstances led to a bad outcome, and that we must move on past through those circumstances to make the best of things.

If something goes wrong, it’s not necessarily your fault. But it may not necessarily be someone else’s, either. Sometimes, when there is no one and nothing to blame, the hardest thing is to let it go. When it comes to addiction, in most cases, there is no single thing or person to blame. Addiction develops over time, and the factors that cause it likely developed over years.

But there’s a fine line between living a life free from meaningless grudges, and living a life free from accepting any responsibility or owning up to your own mistakes. Mistakes and failures are a part of life, and often enough when something does go wrong, it is our fault.

When it comes to addiction, one of the many questions people have is whether it is one or the other. Is addiction a matter of circumstance? Or is it a choice people make, their responsibility? It’s a tricky question – but anyone who tackles the issue on a personal level must find an answer to it.


What Choices Mean To An Addict

Choice is critical. To be able to choose, not just based upon some sort of biological programming, but out of your very own reasoning, is important. We all need to be able to choose our beliefs, our partners, our actions.

But true free will – and the ability to choose beyond some predestined way of thinking – is difficult. One thought leads to the next, and most “logical” conclusions are the result of inevitable, and uncontrollable circumstance. As such, these reactionary choices are still choices, but the one’s were forced to make.

This his how addiction works. Your brain compels you to think a certain way, and the choices you make are in favor of that way of thinking. But that doesn’t mean you’re really choosing anything. You’re forced to act a certain way.

Choosing outside of these cravings is exceptionally difficult – otherwise, addiction would not be a problem to begin with. It doesn’t have to do with willpower. Instead, it’s a matter of motivation.

Someone who struggles with addiction may not have the motivation to stay clean. They may find themselves constantly being doubted, by others and themselves. Sometimes, people lose hope in their own recovery. People in recovery need friends and loved ones to remind them what they’re fighting for, and to keep that motivation ignited and that passion burning.


No One Chooses The Pain Of Addiction

Regardless of whether you find that people are responsible for their own addiction, the fact remains that most people who struggle with a drug do not want the pain of their addiction. They don’t want to fear relapse, or overdose. No one needs that in their life.

In fact, no one should need drugs in their life. It’s only when something is missing, lost or stolen when drugs become a viable option to help us fill life’s voids. Unlearning that, and relearning how to live a sober life and be free to fill that void with real living can take months and years – but people go through those journeys all the time, putting one foot in front of the other best they can, despite their own cravings.

That’s the true power of choice in addiction – it’s the choices we make to become better people, and recover from addiction. Those are the choices that, in the end, count the most.


Choice Is Important For Recovery

While most would say that they didn’t choose to become addicted, choice is incredibly important for getting out of addiction. Overcoming addiction requires you to choose to get better, and commit to that choice completely. Unlike addiction, which can creep up on you, the road to long-term sobriety is long and its pain is very noticeable.

It starts with a simple and small commitment, such as wanting to get better. Then it becomes something more concrete, such as going to rehab, seeking the help of a known specialist, or joining a recovery community. Then it becomes a daily routine, a fight you must fight from sunrise to sunset, and beyond. Eventually, you’ll get past the painful stage, and you will begin to love live again.

Living life, the way it’s meant to be lived – without the cravings – can take some getting used to. But if you choose to get better on day one and commit to that choice – even through the failures and the hardships – there is always hope that one day you won’t feel like you need a fix when things get tough.


Blame And The Role It Plays In Addiction

Blame can be an incredibly destructive force in addiction. On one hand, blaming others will deflect the failure off yourself, and it will keep you from understanding the dangers of addiction, and learning how it can hurt others around you. On the other hand, blaming yourself too harshly will lead to another problem, wherein you may lack the confidence in yourself to stay sober, or even find a reason to.

Addiction is a terrible thing, and different people must struggle with completely different circumstances. But it’s always tough, and the last thing you need is to cast doubt on your ability to get better. While completely ignoring your failures is just as bad, being too hard on yourself can invite just as much trouble.

Try and find a way to continue believing in yourself, while acknowledging the work that must be done in recovery.