- Do arguments happen over your use of alcohol, drugs, porn, or other addiction?
- Is hiding your laptop or phone from your spouse or partner common?
- Have others told you how your “addiction” is a concern to them?
- Are attempts to stop or change your “addiction” habits putting you right back to where you started?
- Do you ever try to cover up any emotional, traumatic, nightmarish thoughts or dreams with your addiction?
- Is your relief after you use getting shorter and shorter?
Perhaps you battle with yourself over quitting but the addiction gives relief. Maybe you are in arguments with your partner because of what the addiction does to your relationship. If you’ve answered “yes” to a few or more of these questions, you are not alone. Thousands of people have started their journey to recovery right at this very spot. They realize they have an addiction, a difficulty in their lives that is getting the better of them. Many feel a sense of “powerlessness”.
Many Forms of Addiction
For many people, addiction may take on many forms and serve many purposes. From drinking alcohol, to smoking pot, snorting cocaine, to gambling, porn, gaming, social media, shopping, work… the list goes on. What makes an addiction an addiction? We generally observe the negative impact it has on us or those who we are close with. Many with addictions may miss work due to a “hang-over”, have arguments with their partner, friend or family member. Others find themselves over-spending, not able to pay their bills consistently, or may have legal entanglements. Also, there are others not being able to meet work or family role related obligations.
Signs to look for
Many clients we have counseled start with noticeable and stressful signs. These include: changes in their moods, irritability, less sleep and being very tired. Others sometimes feel depressed, have appetite changes or get really anxious or stressed. Then, some may feel like they want to die, others get physically sick, as well as other signs and symptoms. Other unintended consequences people have is becoming more and more invested in the addiction activity than they originally intended, avoid others who are trying to reach out to them, lying, stealing, cheating as well as other desperate acts that show up as signs and symptoms of a harmful pattern and use impacting many aspects of their lives.
When bottom hits and the addiction has lost its “kick”, pleasure or purpose, then many realize the need for some serious help. In our experience, we have seen how it damages or nearly destroys relationships, diminishes potential, causes much loss and self-doubt. However, we have seen hope and restoration in helping people through these struggles, the pain and difficulties in order to break the addiction cycle.
You may have objections such as…
How do I know I really have a problem?
This is a common question many people ask. After all, there are “millions” of people who use any assortment of drugs (illicit or prescription), drink alcohol, visit a porn site, gamble, etc. right? Yes, there are many ways people can use to alleviate various types of pain, “escape”, be a part of, or be entertained. Addictions are not usually started by people with the intention of actually becoming “addicted”. It may be more of a temporary solution or a way of “fitting in” or being accepted by others. However, over time is when what was intended to be short term turns into longer and longer time with a greater need for more and more of what you are using.
So, is this the problem?
When the thing you are using begins to control you and pull on you to keep going back to it is when you get that red “warning” light, it becomes an issue or dilemma. Also, when the thing you are using consumes you to the point that it affects your work, your relationships, or your ability to function it a problem. When it lessens your desires for other important activities or events with friends or family and including the care of yourself, it has become a frayed mess, a can of worms; it has become an addiction.
Will counseling cure me of my addictive urges?
Counseling is part of a working relationship designed to help you overcome the cravings, to gain tools to use to get through, manage, and prevail over the addiction. Further, we may explore areas that could have caused or triggered the addiction to begin with and work through the underlying pain. Counseling will help you to discover or uncover your internal strengths and external resources empowering you through the difficulties of the addiction. As an old saying confirms, “One day at a time”.
Can I be okay and still use every once in a while?
The operative word being “okay”. I remember a TV commercial years ago where a kid asked a grown man at a baseball game that he’d give him a potato chip. If he ate more than one, they’d have to trade seats. Then he asked another. Eventually the kid was by the home team’s dugout. I guess the point is… can you find a new “normal” that does not involve addiction? The very thing you tried to quit before will always be there in one form or another. Remember: you have choices and a will.
Remember: you are not alone in this. We have educated, trained, and experienced counselors available to help you through this struggle.
Also, here’s some reading you may find interesting–
Here are our counselors who are here to help you. Feel free to click on their link and check out their page or contact us through our contact form.