There’s a saying in the mental health field: what you resist, persists. What you don’t actually face yourself with will continue to happen again and again. Perhaps that’s why most describe addiction as a cycle. It’s a repeating pattern of resisting something which only repeats and strengthens.
Typically, Drinking numbs you of feelings, but sadly, it only keeps in you in a dysfunctional cycle. There’s a strong, often unconscious need to be free of those feeling, but alcohol use only pushes them away and adds to their power over you. In fact, addiction is a cycle of self-harm, where those feelings are kept at bay, and doing so perpetuates the festering of those feelings, which in turn strengthens the need for drinking.
However, finding sober help means breaking through that cycle, stopping the cycle in its tracks by healing the underlying issues. Finding sober help means allowing yourself to get in touch with feelings, as challenging as they might be, and begin to unravel the events that may have caused those feelings in the first place. The only thing that will lead to sobriety and healing is the expression of those feelings in a safe environment with someone you trust.
In fact, addiction is not only about resistance; it’s also about trying to get something from the outside that you actually can only get within. It’s trying to get something out of the drinking or drug use that you can only find on the inside. Truly, as cliché as it sounds, what most people are looking for in a high state is love.
Yet, by dismissing feelings, by burying them underneath the drinking and the demands of life, they fester and grow and find their way out in a less than healthy form. Instead, love means embracing those feelings. Self-love means letting the lid off those feelings so that there’s more room to breath inside. Love means finding sober help and working through those feelings with someone you can feel safe with.
This is the point of working with a mental health professional. You can do this while simultaneously working with a treatment team who can address recovery from addiction. In fact, ideally, your recovery would include a holistic plan that includes the following:
- Regular sessions with a medical doctor who can address the physiological needs of the body during recovery.
- Regular sessions with a therapist to address unresolved events of the past and their associated feelings.
- Regular sessions of family therapy to address the underlying issues present in the family system that could be contributing to the addiction.
- Regular sessions with a substance abuse counselor to learn the dynamics of addiction and healthier ways to cope with challenging emotions.
- Regular sessions in group therapy with others who are on the road to recovery, providing an environment of support.
Other methods of sober help and treatment might also include yoga/meditation for cultivating peace and inner connection, acupuncture to help balance the body, and meetings with a nutritionist to encourage a healthy relationship with the body and an overall sense of well-being.
Recovery is not easy, but with a team of professionals on your side, you can make the necessary changes to create a fulfilling and successful life.
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