It can be a scary thought to think that you may be addicted to alcohol or drugs. Most people begin to notice signs of losing control but feel embarrassed or uncomfortable talking about it. Other people avoid taking a closer look at their consumption and thus end up kind of “pretending” that it’s not really there. I’ve worked in addiction treatment for several years and know that admitting you have a problem is one of the hardest things for people to do. Why is this? Well, admitting you are addicted means that you might have to stop. That can be terrifying. No more parties? No more wine at nice restaurants? No more pills to get me through the day? Scary!
There is a benefit of getting help before your problems with drugs or alcohol turn into a full-blown irreversible disease. There are people who can get a hold of their substance use before it gets worse. There are many who can not. Both options are good.
Pretty much everyone I know who has had to quit, you know, get totally sober, is happy they did. Chances are your life wasn’t so great if your drinking or using was out of control. It probably became less and less enjoyable and you ended up spending more time trying to control it then actually enjoying it.
It’s normal and expected to think that life without your drug of choice will be lonely, boring and maybe unmanageable. I’m here to tell you that that is rarely the case. It’s interesting. All of a sudden people get sober and they realize there are a ton of other people who are as well. When we’re actively using/drinking, we think everyone else is too. Like attracts like, right?
If you’re not quite ready to give total abstinence a shot, why not try to cut back, or abstain temporarily? If you find this too difficult, maybe it’s time to get some help with learning how to manage it, or quit for good. Nine times out of ten, if you’re truly struggling with a problem, stopping on your own may prove to be very difficult. Maybe you can quit for a week or a month, but then what?
End Your Struggle with Addiction
Are you having a hard time giving up drugs or alcohol? Are there times when you feel you can control it and other times where you can’t? Maybe you’ve started on the path to recovery already. Or you’ve tried to stop using drugs or alcohol before, but haven’t been successful. Perhaps you’re already part of a 12 step program and are looking for something more. No matter where you are, or how far you have left to go, therapy can begin to help you end your struggle with addiction.
It takes a lot of courage to seek help for a substance abuse problem. I am happy to see that there appears to be less and less of a stigma attached to addiction and there are definitely more people reaching out and talking about it. It’s encouraging to see! Best part is, treatment can work and people recover from addiction everyday. Like other chronic diseases, addiction can be managed successfully. You may hear the common analogy that addiction is like diabetes, you will always have it, but it can be taken care of and controlled. It is entirely possible (and likely) that you will live a normal everyday life. Actually, most folks in recovery end up living better lives than they could have ever imagined as a direct result of sobriety. More on this in later blogs..
What Does Your Road to Recovery Look Like?
How does this work? Well the road to recovery is never the same for two people and therapy will look a little different for everyone. You may discover that you have unresolved pain that led you to substance use. You may discover that there wasn’t really anything leading up to this, that using “socially” turned into something more. Maybe you inherited the disease? Whatever the case, therapy can help you get you back on track and take a closer look at what you can do to get better.
Lindsay Melka, LPC
If you connected with this post and would like to speak with me please call 720-295-5490 or contact me here.