In this writing I will be discussing what the worst things are for an addict. In the first portion of the writing, I will be introducing myself so that you can get a little bit of my background and understand that I am speaking from personal experience. After that I will touch a little bit on what addiction is. Then, I will be explaining how there are four things that an addict needs to be successful and then explain how, if two or more of these things are missing, then the addict is in very serious danger of a relapse.
I am 33 years old and have been working in treatment for a little over a year now, however it is not my first experience with treatment. I struggled with drug and alcohol addiction for 11 years, I was a chronic relapser and I was in and out of treatment from the age of 18-28. Needless to say it was a long journey and I really struggled even after getting clean and sober, however going to therapy to do inner child work and going through trauma treatment really helped me to process what was going on underneath everything because for many years I focused solely on the alcohol, which was good because it is important to know your enemy which I will be touching on later, however I kept looking at alcohol as if it were the problem not realizing my greatest enemy was me being unaware of my own weakness’. My real issue wasn’t alcohol, my real issue was me.
So now let us talk about addiction. Addiction can be a very scary word and it has a lot of weight to it because addiction brings a lot of pain and not just to the addict but to everyone involved in that addict’s life. However, I want to take some of the fear out of the word by showing you that addicts really aren’t much different than you. You see we all are creatures of habit and develop routines that we find works best for us, gives us the outcome we want every time and stick with that routine. An addict’s routine simply involves substances and once substances are involved then chaos follows.
Another thing we have in common is we all like to feel good, however an addict doesn’t want to wait, an addict wants to feel good immediately and doesn’t really think about the consequences of his actions or is entirely aware and just doesn’t care. Typically, in life you must demonstrate that you are responsible and then you are rewarded, often with more responsibility. The addict simply wants the reward first, then, when the responsibility comes, instead of taking the responsibility they run to the next reward. Put simply, addicts have it backwards.
Finally, we are all passionate about something and have something that we obsess over. For some it’s their careers, for some it’s their family, for some it’s their spouse, for some it’s simply helping others. Addicts are simply passionate about substances and obsess over substances. What’s cool about this is we can help recovering addicts and alcoholics find healthy things to put their passion towards. But just like anything else, developing a new habit is extremely difficult, even for “normies”.
Finally, let us discuss the four things an addict needs to be successful by talking about some of the worst things for an addict. The four things are: Connection, Purpose, Identity, and Value. If the addict is lacking any one of these things, they are in danger of a relapse.
One of the worst things for an addict is “Isolation”. Isolation is dangerous for an addict because they have nobody there to talk to them and help them process the thoughts that are going through their head, addicts obsess over negative thoughts. Addicts are also addicted to comfort and find it difficult to be in uncomfortable situations. This can be very scary for an addict because they are not used to being held accountable and they are not used to sharing their thoughts with others; however, accountability and support is why connection is one of the things that is necessary for a successful recovery.
Another one of the worst things for an addict is not having purpose. One of the reasons addicts use is because they believe they have no purpose, and because addicts believe they have no purpose they end up believing the only purpose is to try to not feel bad and their solution is drugs and alcohol. My goal as a Guide is to help our Guest find purpose in life again by helping them give purpose to their moments.
The other worst thing for an addict is not being self-aware. Addicts have been running from themselves for a long time. A lot of times addicts do not know who they are and are uncomfortable with themselves and since addicts are addicted to comfort, they end up running from themselves. However, you can’t do any repairs on the car until you lift the hood. Because addicts never take the time to get to know themselves, they often struggle with figuring out who they are, and it is hard to find a purpose without an identity. My goal as a guide is to help our guest take an honest look at themselves, the good, the bad and the ugly, and process it so they can know who they truly are, not the things people said about them that they chose to believe.
The final worst thing for an addict is not loving themselves. A lot of this ties into identity and purpose but ultimately addicts feel as if they have no value. If an addict lacks an identity or isn’t confident in their identity, they will struggle to find a purpose which leaves them struggling to find any value in life. My goal as a Guide is to love our guests and teach them how to properly love themselves. Addicts have not learned how to love themselves properly, they often confuse spoiling with love and end up spoiling themselves rotten and never get to experience true loving themselves. Therefore I believe an addict needs to learn to truly value themselves and aim to help our guests find their value.
So, as you can see, the four are all needed to be successful, it is a balance where they work cohesively with one another and if one is missing the entire system suffers. I hope this was informative and that it helps you better understand the mindset of an addict from the perspective of someone who used to be one.