Addicted? Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes
Are you addicted? Is a loved one? If you are living with your own addiction or that of someone you love, you don’t have to be reminded of the struggle and pain involved. You know it all too well. What you may not know right now, is what the solution is, or even if you know that, how to get from here to there.
You are Trapped if You are Addicted
It’s true. Addiction is a trap, and once you are in it, you can’t find your own way out. There are forces at work more powerful than you, and more powerful than the love, support, and help of those who love you. If this weren’t true, we’d have no drug addiction epidemic, and people would not suffer, sometimes for years, and sometimes for the rest of their lives. If we could step out of addiction easily and simply, we would. No one signs up for endless misery. If our loved ones could pull us out easily and simply, of course, they would, and quickly–at the first signs of trouble.
What is the solution to this entrapment? Professional help. Professional addiction treatment providers have the knowledge and expertise to help you out of active addiction and well into a recovery process. It’s important to have people help you or your loved one that understand the addiction process and what it takes to free you from active addiction. Of course, it is not a passive endeavor. Others can’t do it for you, but you do need the right setting and the right guidance to get free and stay free of active addiction.
It’s Easier Said Than Done
Indeed, getting to treatment, or helping an addicted loved one get to treatment, is easier said than done. There are numerous barriers and obstacles that anyone who has an addictive illness must deal with before getting into rehab. Just as developing an addiction is a process, so is overcoming one, and the process of overcoming starts well before most people would imagine. In fact, it starts deep in the pain of active substance use.
No one can ‘give you’ a successful treatment or recovery without your full participation and willingness. With that said, there are lots that can be done to free yourself and prepare yourself to gear up for treatment. It is vital that anyone seeking recovery be receptive to the recommendations, suggestions, and information that comes their way. That preparation can take a while. It unfolds as a process, too.
Preparing to Let Go of Substance Use
Of course, all preparation to let go of substance use naturally starts when someone is using. There has to be some reason(s) that using is not completely congruent with who you are or how you want to live. The incongruence is typically what we consider the ‘negative consequences’ of substance use—the negative effects that arise because of use.
The chief requirement for change is that we feel discomfort with the way things are. Otherwise, if we are content and happy, we would be prone to continue things as they are. The first inklings of discomfort can be small—the first seeds of doubt about the wisdom of what you are doing. Of course, as discomfort increases, so do the thoughts of change and the yearnings for it.
The decision to go to rehab is likely to come and go in one’s life for a period prior to any steps taken to get there. And, then some will have a period in which they do take some steps but return to home base. All of this is progress of a sort, even though it can be a frustrating process in which one feels hopeless and helpless, unable to make healthy and wise changes. However, this period can also be seen as preparation, trying on the thoughts, feelings, and actions of change. Sometimes it is called the contemplative stage—or a stage in which change is contemplated.
When Loved Ones are Out of Sync
Luckily our loved ones are not always in sync with us when we are ill-meaning they aren’t always supportive of our substance use. We would find no support for a change in relationships that reinforced our addictions, and we need all the support we can get if we want to get well.
When our loved ones remain outside the illness, looking in with love and concern, they are at odds with us in many ways. They want something for us we aren’t pursuing—chiefly a life without active addiction. And, they can at once be our best allies and people we consider our worst enemies.
Addiction and someone who is compulsively using substances, want to be left alone. They want to go about their business without interference. When loved ones are watching and consistently expressing concern, it is difficult to do as you want, or as your addiction wants. It is also difficult to continue on without the seeds of doubt taking hold. The consistent concern of others can erode denial.
Also, conflict is apt to set in, and commonly does, when loved ones continue to express their observations, worry and concern. If we’re intent on using, who wants to hear it? It only stirs up the internal discomfort that is already there—one’s own knowledge that compulsive substance use is not working in the grander scheme of one’s life.
Putting It All Together
Naturally, concerned loved ones add fuel to the fire of the contemplative stage. The more we hear concern and feedback about our substance use, the more discomfort we feel. And, discomfort as a starting point of significant change is a good thing overall. However, in the midst of this process, we may choose separation from the people who care enough about us to confront us, and we may engage in a great deal of conflict with them.
At some point, things begin to come together inside us, and others are not the only ones who see the problem. Our own denial cracks and we are able to observe ourselves more objectively because our increasing pain cannot be ignored. The problem becomes clear, and the solution becomes clear: we need help to overcome an addiction. From there, steps can be taken. We know the issue and we know what ultimately needs to happen. What we do in between is put it all together in preparation for our eventual action.
In the preparation stage, we ready ourselves mentally and emotionally to take on the task and challenge of treatment and the recovery process. We also put together the information and resources we will need. We might, for example, talk with those closest to us, mobilizing their support, but also preparing them.
Taking Steps Toward the Change You Want
Having realized that if nothing changes, nothing changes, we begin to take action. We don’t want to live in the pain of active addiction anymore, and we’ve accepted that only we, with the skilled help of others, can really do anything about that. This is the phase of finding that help and reaching out—following suggestions and recommendations and taking the action we are guided to.
This phase can begin with a simple search for information about treatment, making a phone call, or setting up an appointment. Even the smallest act can start a domino effect that results in recovery. As soon as you take a step, you have started the process. The key is to let that first step lead you to the next, and so on. This action phase continues on until you have completed treatment, and then you enter the maintenance phase of maintaining the gains you made in treatment.
Finding the Right Help When You are Addicted
It is difficult to put a plan together when you are suffering and in crisis and being on the threshold of rehab is apt to be a crisis not only for you but for your loved ones as well. Emotions are typically raw, stress has been chronic, and everyone is tired. It’s a time that you all could use a helping hand.
At Elite Rehab Placement, providing you a helping hand is our job. We’ve created a service to help match you or your loved one to the best treatment programs we know about. In a free consultation, we will clarify clinical needs, preferences, and insurance coverage. Then, with this information, we can easily comb our database for recommendations for you. Our service is always free, with no strings attached, and it can significantly reduce the stress and confusion of sorting through all this information yourself.
If you or your loved one is ready to take action and overcome an addiction, there is a great deal of hope and help for you. We are fortunate to have a great diversity of programs available today. You can find the treatment philosophy and treatment methods that make the most sense to you. You don’t have to squeeze yourself into a rehab that isn’t quite right.
Give us a call today and let us help you find the help you need. You have already done a good deal of work to get this far. Keep going. Treatment works, and recovery happens. There are countless people like you who have successfully overcome active addiction, and you can, too. Keep in mind it is a process. One step prepares the way for the next step. And, step by step you can get it done. There is plenty of help out there waiting for you to reach out. Reach out today.