Addictions

Do you ever hear yourself say things like, “Oh, yeah, everything’s cool…I can control my drinking” or “I can quite any time”? Have you ever told yourself, “This is it…I’m done”? Have you been determined “I’m never gonna smoke that stuff again” or “I’m sick of having to go through alone-frustrationthis” only to get stuck back in the addiction? Have you found yourself hiding your laptop or phone from your spouse or partner?  Have you ever heard others in your life tell you how your alcohol, drug, gambling, gaming, or porn use is a concern to them? Have you tried numerous times to stop or change your habits only to find yourself right back to where you started? Do you get into “fights” with your spouse or partner because of your addiction? Have you battled yourself with knowing what your doing is harmful yet seeing that it is also a relief? Do you ever try to cover up any emotional or traumatic, nightmarish thoughts or dreams with your addiction? Is your excitement or relief after you use getting shorter and shorter? Do you want to believe there is a better way to cope and overcome the internal battles or stress you are facing?

You’re not alone. Hundreds of thousands of people have started their journey to recovery right at this very spot…realizing they have an addiction, a difficulty in their lives that is getting the better of them. Many feel a sense of “powerlessness”.  For many people, addiction may take on many forms and serve many purposes.  From drinking alcohol, to smoking pot, snorting cocaine, to gambling, to porn, gaming, to shopping, to 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 people with addictions may be missing work due to a “hang-over”, have arguments with a spouse/partner, close friend or family member, find themselves over-spending, not able to pay their bills consistently, may have legal entanglements, or are not being able to meet work or family role related obligations.  Also, many people we have worked with in counseling have noticeable changes in their moods, more irritable, getting less sleep and being very tired, sometimes feeling depressed, changes in their appetite, 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. 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. When the thing you are using consumes you to the point that it affects your work, your relationships, your ability to function orwhen it lessens your desires for other important activities or events with friends or family and including the care of yourself, it has become a problem, 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 but 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 that you tried to quit before will always be there in one form or another yet 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.

If you’re ready to move from where you’re at to a place of balance and/or sobriety then it’s time to give us a call at 520-292-9750 or send us an email at joel@pathwaystucson.com.

Also, here’s some reading you may find interesting–

Are You Tired of Dancing with the Addiction Elephant?

 

Here are our counselors who are here to help you. Feel free to click on their link and check out their page.

Barbara GrinnellKerry KellyJerimya FoxJessica MiceliAllison Hanzel, or Joel Ackley, may help you through your recovery journey.