I have worked in addiction now for 15 years. I am certainly no expert and not a physician so I will explain from my experiences and knowledge garnered from my clients over the years. This Dis-Ease is insidious! It eats at your physical body as well as your emotional, mental, spiritual, financial, familial, professional, and personal states. We know that addiction can be genetic, and that it can start out as social use and progress to dependence. What drives this? It is driven by fears!
Who is a person if they are not associated with this dis-ease? What if they don’t like themselves when they are clean and sober? Taking that personal inventory is the hardest step. Being brutally honest about oneself and their behaviour is painful. And pain is one of the reasons that people use/drink/gamble/work/act out sexually in the first place. It takes great strength and courage to overcome the pain and stick with the process.
Addiction is a ripple effect and it is selfish. The person who is addicted makes a decision to deal with their “stuff” in unhealthy ways, but the effect of that behaviour snakes through families, friends, employment, recreation, and spiritual worlds. Others may start to live in fear! Fear that you may die, that you may leave, that you may destroy their foundation, that you may bankrupt them emotionally, financially, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
The people that are associated with someone who has addictions are not typically your friends. They are someone you use with, party with, have sex with, gamble with, act out with. It is a pretty empty contact base someone has when they decide to get clean/sober/balanced because those “friends” will not be there. You are no longer any use to them so they need to move on to others of like mind. This leaves you scrambling to try and repair your world; to find balance in it again.
There are many avenues available to support you as you clean up your life. There are several types of step groups: Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), 16 Steps for women. There are SMART Recovery (non-step based), your spiritual networks, friends, family, professionals who are readily open to assist you on your journey to wellness.
TAKE CARE, STAY SAFE, BE KIND!