What is Addiction: The Journey
Addiction needs radical interventions that stop it in its tracks and keeps it from growing. The many forms of addiction touch all our lives at some point in some way or another. Addiction is a process that escalates, lays dormant, or can flare up to a crescendo. The secrecy, stigma, shame, silence, hidden abuse, dysfunction, fear, stress, and so much more have such an impact on self-esteem and one’s concept of self. It can take someone you or someone you love in an instant and change them to be unrecognizable from the inside out.
I’m going to break down some areas of addiction that warrant thought and reflection.
The healing process:
As humans, we thrive on relationships. Each other. People. Love. We were made for it. Addiction harms relationships and cut them at the core; sometimes damaging the roots where there is little chance of, well, “a chance. “
Learning and hearing other people also go through their ordeals provide a vessel of hope and support. With mercy, gratitude, and awareness healing is possible to take place. Whether you are in active addiction, recovery, or the people affected by addiction, it’s not all your fault.
Recovery is likened to seeds that need to be sown. Seeds that need to be cultivated and harvested. We are all the farmers, needing to keep throwing seeds until finally, one will sprout. A harvest will come after a long hard winter. Some springs will be more plentiful with colorful fruits that are ripe for the picking in due time, but each year brings a new winter of hardships, setbacks, and obstacles. It’s how we face each day believing, learning to trust tomorrow will be better, that’s how healing builds.
The long the way:
There will be pitfalls, disappointments, and heartache. Challenges present themselves on this long way and people are far from perfect. The short definition of insanity is repeating the same thing getting the same results. They say relapse is a part of recovery. How does one define a “relapse” is up to the addiction and the identified terms of an individual and/or the family/support system. Without knowing or acknowledging the truth and building trust the way to recovery and healing will be longer, more complicated, devastating, and harder for all touched by the addiction. Ownership and reflection on yourself are key. If you are the support system of the addict or love someone struggling with addiction, my hope is that your love for them is tough. If you are the addict in recovery or facing recovery as you read this believe, or try to believe, accountability and the ones holding you accountable are doing so out of their love for you.
Encouraging and denial only influence recovery to take longer. Not seeing or learning the red flags of addiction or the red flags addiction in general causes residual damage. See some addicts are talented at “bending” the truth. This is why trust and accountability are so important in a long way to healthy living.
Addiction is a family disease that affects the entire family and support system. Often children can develop newfound respect as they learn about addiction and even build admiration for their recovering parents/loved ones. Becoming grateful for their parent’s hard work and dedication to recovery. Children are far wiser than we give them credit for. They take in so much and they give more allowance for their family to heal, for their relationship to heal. Sometimes I think we “grownups” need to take a few cues from the kiddos out there like, sometimes “just say no,” or “I’m sorry,” or even “it hurts.”
Financial Impact and Time Spent:
Addictions are expensive and time-consuming. Addiction steals your time and money and sense of their worth. How you spend your money and time is often a reflection of what you value in life. Do you value relationships, healing, health, grateful loving hearts, or are you investing in the cancerous addiction?
SO MANY! The litany of types of addictions could go on like the π number. Alcohol, Substances, Sexual, gambling, food, purchasing, health, etc. Indicators of addiction and signs of addiction are often anger, stress, self-doubt and self-esteem manipulation, self-centeredness, immaturity, isolation, defensive, irresponsibility, and unhealthy patterns in relationships/childhood/attachments. Addictions can cause a person to prolong and put off health care causing more health issues throughout life.
Co-occurring Disorders: (Two disorders that tend to make each other worse)
When a person has a disorder that affects their mental health it can cause an inability to cope and people who suffer from the disease of addiction often have co-occurring diagnoses. This can cause the long way to be more complicated and increase swerves along the way. Co-occurring diagnoses complicate what is known as “enabling” and can even be counterproductive and then the addiction escalates. Co-occurring disorders create a much more complex path of treatment or recovery. Often natural consequences of failing and protecting the addict with a co-occurring disorder can be a hard line to walk and extremely difficult to navigate. No one walks this alone.
Don’t give up. Seek help and support. Addiction touches us all in one way or another. We are here to help. Coping with a loved one’s addiction is hard, so hard. Learning coping skills to process in a healthy way and manage stress from the addiction is essential for those who are facing recovery whether by proxy or themselves. Come in, let us listen, let us sit with you as you tackle the preverbal beast of addiction and its grasp it holds, or at least learn to manage it in a healthy way. We are here to help and provide hope while you develop strengths to contend with one of the more formidable opponents in life, Addiction.