For those of us who are go-getters, and are used to doing things on our own, seeking help once we realize that we have an addiction problem may be the last thing we want to do. We may figure that we got our own selves into this problem, and we are the ones to get ourselves out of it. Aside from the drive that some of us possess to go it alone, there is also often a matter of pride. Admitting that we have a problem – and that the problem is bigger than ourselves – can be a humiliating experience.
The interesting part of the idea of humiliation is that it comes from the root word, humility. Humility is the state of being humble, and successfully overcoming our addictions often involves this as a prerequisite. After subjecting ourselves to the temporary embarrassment of admitting that we need help, we may find that we are set free from some of what has hindered us in our past.
Seeking help can be a powerful first step toward setting our lives on the right course. While pondering whether to put any lone-wolf tendencies to the side, here are some practical considerations of how seeking help with your addiction can assist you on your journey of recovery.
Medical Interventions Can Ease the Difficulty of Withdrawal
Some of us know of folks who have kicked their addictions cold turkey. While this may be something to admire their tenacity for, detoxing from addictive substances without medical intervention is a modern-day equivalent of yanking a bad tooth with no Novocaine. You can do it – if you have to – but it is nice to know that there are less painful options available.
When seeking the help of professionals during the initial phases of recovery, you will often receive access to medication regimens which are specifically tailored to combat your withdrawal symptoms. While these medications are still, technically, a drug, the amounts and types administered allow the body and brain to more easily wean itself from the targeted substance. Addiction withdrawal symptoms range from headaches and digestion issues to seizures and coma. Taking any extreme physical discomfort out of the equation can provide you with the space to begin the work toward changing your life, sooner.
Professionals Understand the Journey
Many people who are caught up in addiction have faced scenarios where those they love have, unwittingly, made the situation worse. Instead of compassion, there is anger. Instead of useful solutions, there are ultimatums. Instead of understanding, there is judgment.
Our loved ones aren’t often behaving in this way because they hate us. It is usually a result of their not being equipped with the insight and education which would allow them to react to our difficulties in a more productive way. Their own needs, perspectives, and hurts are often what guides them toward their reactions.
When working with drug treatment professionals, you can expect a refreshingly different interaction. The training and experience of substance abuse professionals allows them to take a partner view, rather than that of a combatant. They know not to take your symptoms personally. They know that recovery is a process , and that certain – sometimes unpleasant – experiences are a required step along the journey. They have been trained to know the road map of recovery, and can assist you with discovering where you are on that map. Having a map for our journey makes arriving at our intended destination much easier.
Addiction Preys On The Isolated
It has long been recognized that those who suffer from addictions often feel socially isolated. This type of disconnect from society is repeatedly cited as a factor in what drives a person toward seeking relief through drugs and alcohol. And, not only can feeling isolated contribute to the initial substance seeking behaviors, it can contribute to its persistence.
When it comes down to it, we are all alone in our thought world. Unless we make effort to share our thoughts, the conversations that go on inside our head are known only to us. Those private conversations are sometimes positive, such as when we have the one which leads us to consider changing our lives through ceasing our substance abuse. Other times, those private conversations can turn dark.
Recovery from substance abuse and dependence is a cycle. Many people will experience an initial determination to rid themselves of the self-destructive behaviors, and will set out on their journey toward wellness with this idea in mind. As time goes on, though, those old, less-positive, thoughts have a way of creeping back in. If we have kept our journey a secret up to this point, the temptation to battle those negative ideas alone is great.
Many lone warriors have fallen to the horde of negative thoughts which eventually gather forces and attack toward dragging us back down into our addictions. With professional support, you will be able to wage that war with an army of supporters. Having an army at your back makes your victory more secure.
Social Support Is Crucial For Success
Humans are social creatures. Without the connection and teamwork of others, we would not have been able to develop the concept of civilization. Our ancient ancestors understood that we need others around us if we are to survive the harshness of our environment.
While overcoming our addictions, we are in one of the harshest environments that exist. Not only are we facing the physical discomfort which weaning ourselves from the toxins can produce, we are also faced with emotional and psychological struggles. The thoughts and feelings which the substances tend to numb can arise in full-force during recovery. They emerge, and we are tasked with facing the elements fully.
A vital component of a professional sober living program is that of putting us into connection with others. We can begin to network with those who have our best interests in mind. Those positive contacts can help us to build our house of recovery, and to plant our fields of prosperity. The connections made as part of a treatment program can become our new tribe.