Addiction Recovery is finally coming to the forefront of medical journals and new addiction treatment centers seem to be popping up in local areas. This trend indicates that addiction recovery is being more widely accepted. However, while there are more openness and acceptance around the fact that addiction is an illness and those who are dealing with an addiction are powerless over it, there is still some stigma associated with addiction and not everyone with addiction is ready to seek treatment due to fear of being “found out”.
In light of the hesitation of pursuing addiction treatment, there are three signs that you may be ready to start addiction recovery and; anyone who is seeking treatment deserves an abundance of recognition for the courage and strength that it takes to ask for help because taking the steps toward achieving health and putting themselves in the light of their addiction treatment recovery program is scary, wildly frightening and absurdly intimidating. There is safety in doing the same thing every day even when it is bad for you and change of any kind creates fear even though we know it’s for our own good.
Whether you are a person who struggles with an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or if you are a food addict in recovery, all addictions are similar in the sense that they take over a person physically, mentally, and emotionally. An addiction to any substance controls a person’s life and makes the addiction the focal point before anyone and anything else. It is with tremendous difficulty that a person with an addiction admits to themselves and to others that they are ready to seek treatment for addiction recovery.
Here are three signs you may be ready to start addiction recovery, and some indications that it may be time to ask for and seek outside help:
Sign One – You start hearing off-hand, sometimes small comments from family and friends that you might be drinking, eating, consuming drugs, or some other substance too much. These comments sound irritating and grate on your nerves. You may feel annoyed by these comments. You may want these family members and friends to mind their own business and stay out of your life. You might feel angry and start to avoid these members of your family or avoid these particular friends. You may even pick fights with these family members or friends in order to subconsciously, push them away.
The truth of the matter, which we (and I include myself here) have not yet accepted, is that these family members are right! They love us and they know that we are in trouble. However, we are not ready to admit that we need help. We are not yet ready to ask for the help we need, so we push them away; which in turn pushes our problem away. When we are ready to look at our own addictive behavior, we will be ready to ask for help. However, those who love us usually notice that we need help before we see it ourselves.
My husband used to ask me, “why can’t you drink like a normal person?” That question made me start to think about my drinking more and more. He didn’t ask me to stop drinking. He just made me think about how I was drinking. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I couldn’t drink like a “normal” person. His questioning was what helped me to realize that I had a problem and I knew that I had to stop my drinking and ask for help.
The smart thing to do for family and friends is never nag, never push. Ask questions to make the addict think about what they want. Unless it is a matter of life or death and you must intervene, give the addict time to choose addiction recovery for themselves.
Sign Two – You have tried to change on your own and you have failed. You have tried to stop your addiction to drugs, alcohol and/or food one or more times and have not succeeded. Whether you have tried multiple diets to lose weight and found yourself losing a few pounds and just gaining them back once you “fall off the proverbial wagon,” or you try to quit drinking and say that I am not going to drink anymore. This is the last time! Only to pick up a drink at the next party or social gathering.
We tell our family and our friends that we are on a diet or that we quit drinking and then we hide our food or hide our drinks from them in order to sneak our habits and trick ourselves and others into thinking that we have actually “kicked the habit”. Our lying and our sneaking around become increasingly worse until it permeates our lives. We put our addiction before our work, before our children, before our family, before our friends, and before our health. We think of nothing else except the next chance to drink or the next snack or the next fix, we may turn into expert cheaters, expert thieves, and we avoid all our responsibility at all costs. We blame others when things go wrong and wonder why we are so unhappy.
If you have tried to stop the madness of the addiction cycle by trying to trick yourself with different strategies like:
- drinking/eating/drugging less
- drinking/drugging/eating sweets/carbs only on the weekends
- drinking different types of alcohol
- using different drugs
- trying different diets
- drinking/drugging/eating in different locations
- never drinking/drugging/eating alone.
Whatever your addiction, if you have tried to quit and failed, it’s time to seek treatment for recovery.
Sign Three: You are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. You feel tired most of the time. You lack the energy to get through the day. You feel mopey, sometimes sad, perhaps you feel anxious, you have the feeling that something is just not right. You are not motivated to get your work done. You may like your job but you don’t want to do it. You have difficulty focusing. Your overall health is literally getting worse. Your blood pressure may be up or down. Your blood sugar may be up. Kidneys may be malfunctioning. You go to the doctor more frequently. You might also be feeling overwhelmed. There are so many doctor appointments to go to. So many medical bills. Unhealthy eating is wearing you down and you feel like you have tried and nothing works. You feel like giving up.
At this stage, you may have been lying to the doctors about your actual food addiction, alcohol addiction, and/or drug addiction and you cannot figure out why your doctors can’t help you get well. Now is the time to be honest and now is the time to enroll in a Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center Recovery program.
If you have dreamt about a future without your addiction, a future for you without drugs, without alcohol, without food issues, seeking Treatment for Recovery for your Addiction may be right for you.
When you admit to yourself that you want a healthy, sober life free from pain to living in a joyful connection with family and friends; then you will be ready to choose to enroll in a drug, alcohol, or food addiction treatment recovery program. Or any program that will offer the tools necessary to live the life of your dreams.