Recognizing that you have an addiction might be one of the hardest things you ever do. The nature of addiction means that we exist in a state of denial for a long time before we come to terms with the fact that a problem might be there. It can take even more effort to recognize that this addiction cannot be fought on your own. Here are some of the things you need to do when you have recognized that you or a loved one needs help with an addiction.
What Makes an Addiction?
In this modern world, we throw around the world “addict” far too comfortably. People are shopping addicts or social media addicts. They might be addicted to going to the gym, or to watching TV series in one go. However, these are rarely true addictions.
A true addiction will always impact your life in a negative way. It might affect your relationships or your financial security. It might even affect your mental or physical health. However, there will always be some very real and tangible signs that your addiction is out of your control.
You might not even initially recognize that you have an issue. Thanks to us “softening” the word addict and applying it to normal obsessions and hobbies, it can take something as extreme as a visit to an addiction treatment center to help us recognize that something is indeed wrong. However, if your life has seriously changed to accommodate your unhealthy habit, you might want to consider that has transformed into an addiction.
Help from Health Advisors
There are so many ways to fall into addictive behaviors. One of the easiest is a heavy drinking problem. What might start as a glass of wine with your dinner might escalate until you are heavily drinking a lot more. It might reach the point where only a course of drug and alcohol abuse treatment will help you recognize the damage you are doing to yourself.
In scenarios like this, your doctor is likely to be one of the first people to point out that something is wrong. They are likely to be a sympathetic yet firm voice who will try to make you see the damage you are doing to yourself. By listening to them when they raise a concern, it might be one of the first key indicators you get that all is not well. It can be difficult to listen to them, especially if you have been unaware of this problem, but they might be able to offer you the first step you need to beat your addiction.
It also might take you a while to find a course of therapy that works for you. Some people are able to jump into a residential course and will leave on the path to healing; others might take a while to find the right path for them. While you are trying different solutions, you need to make sure that you stay open and communicative with your healthcare professional. This will allow both of you to easily work towards your goals in a more productive manner.
Help from Friends and Family
Your support network is going to be crucial in supporting you through your issues. When we first develop addictions, we often try to hide them from our loved ones. Whether we feel shame over our actions or we don’t want to burden them with what we are going through, there is no reason why you should feel ashamed for what you have put yourself through.
If you want to talk to them about your addiction, try to arrange a chat in a quiet area you feel comfortable in. It is likely to be a stressful experience for everyone so you want to find a safe space where everyone will feel at ease.
Another key part of letting your loved ones into this part of your life is to educate them about what you are going through. Our friends and family might not have had any first-hand experience of addiction and they might not know precisely how to help you. By educating them on your treatment for substance abuse, they will be in a better place to support you when things are a little bit more difficult.
Help from Yourself
If you want to recover from an addiction, you will need your own support more than anyone else’s. Unless you are willing to change your ways, there is a strong chance that you might relapse. Overcoming a drug addiction is going to be an uphill battle for you, even with a solid support network behind you.
One thing you can do is remove some of the temptations away from your life. If might require you to cut some toxic people out of your life, or you might need to make some serious changes to your daily routine. This is why a support network is crucial as they can help you as you make these changes.
The first step you should do is reflect in your substance abuse so far. This might be incredibly difficult to do, so you might want to lean on a therapist or a caring family member. Try to work out what the underlying cause of your addiction is and review any previous attempts at recovery you may have had. Both of these might help you come up with a plan and manageable goals that you can put into action.
The Road to Recovery
Helping yourself heal is never going to be easy. What can be harder is recognizing that you need some help in the first place. Though they might be shocked initially, most friends and loved ones are happy to help you out and they will want the best for you. By working with them, your physician or therapist, and most importantly within your own mental stance, you may be able to make some progress. This is likely to be a marathon, not a sprint, but it is one that you definitely can achieve.