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Coming to Terms with Your Addiction
Before any addict can get the treatment that they need in order to reclaim their life, they need to understand exactly what it is that they are fighting. They need to recognize, in other words, that they are an addict.
This is an incredibly difficult step for most people. Experts call denial the “primary roadblock” to addiction recovery, and it’s not hard to see why. Addicts find all sorts of inventive ways to justify their consumption of their substance or the lengths to which they’d go to get it.
One way to break through the nonsense that is going on inside of your own head is to take a neutral questionnaire, such as this one for alcoholism. If you are able to stay honest as you answer the questions, a portrait of an addiction could begin to emerge. Acknowledging this reality is the first step toward recovery—and one of the most important steps, too.
Next Steps and Seeking Treatment
Admitting that you have a problem is the first step, but this journey will have quite a few more steps in it. If you feel that you have an issue with addiction, your next step should be seeking support and treatment from trained professionals.
That means turning to mental health experts, explain the professionals at The Stillwater Treatment Centre, an addiction treatment center in Southern Ontario. You should look for a psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor who specializes in addiction.
Sound like too much work? You have support. There are crisis hotlines and non-emergency helplines funded by nonprofit groups and by the government that you can call for advice and guidance. You could show up at a social worker’s office or ask for the help of a religious leader, teacher, or other authority figure in your life. The important thing is to start taking steps and communicating your need to the right people.
Once you have an established relationship with a mental health professional, you and your mental healthcare provider can work together to determine what sort of treatment plan might be best for you. It’s possible that an inpatient or outpatient rehab program is your best bet. Alternatively, talk therapy and regular appointments could be the way to go. There are even prescription medications that can help ease an addict’s journey.
At the same time that you are getting help from professionals, you should consider joining a support group with other addicts. Twelve-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous are proven ways to combat addiction, and there are variant programs for addicts of all different sorts.
A Lifelong Journey
Seeking help as an addict is not easy, but taking this step will make an extraordinary difference in your life. Sobriety can help you reclaim the life that you once had and make amends to those that you have harmed. It can bring you back to the hobbies and vocations that you were once so involved in, and it can bring joy back to your life.
You should remember, however, that your sobriety will be a lifelong battle. Experts generally agree that addiction cannot be “cured” in the traditional sense that we’d usually use in medicine terminology. An addict is always an addict, and relapse is always possible.
But relapse is not inevitable, and addiction is not necessarily terminal. While you’ll always live with your addiction and will always have to be cognizant of your commitment to sobriety, your addiction does not have to define you. By choosing to get treatment and achieve sobriety, you can bring color back into your world and experience the joyful and fulfilling life that you deserve. This won’t be an easy journey, but it is a worthwhile one—and it begins with a single step.