25 Jun Stop Sitting on the Fence with Your Sobriety
Somewhere in your heart of hearts, you know something is fundamentally wrong and you know what you should give up, but you don’t. You have spent the last however many years enjoying the intoxicating pleasures of alcohol and/or drugs, and despite the havoc, it has wreaked on your life, you are still holding onto to the familiar. How many times have you told yourself, “This will be my last drink,” and then a week later, you’re back at the bar or you’re at the check-out stand buying a pack of beer again? Your gut tells you that something’s not right, and although you want to do something about your family falling apart or those embarrassing interventions at work where your boss is telling you to go to rehab, you haven’t taken any steps closer to getting help.
Why can’t I just quit?
That teeter-totter feeling you get whenever you think about giving up drinking or drugs is called “ambivalence,” an all-too-common phenomenon that many people experience before they get help. The dictionary defines ambivalence as “uncertainty or fluctuation, especially when caused by an inability to make a choice or by a simultaneous desire to say or do two opposite or conflicting things.” In the context of substance abuse, ambivalence surrounds clients’ reluctance to give up chemicals and their resistance to treatment. Addiction professionals, when working with clients, are working with a lot more than just helping them give up the chemical dependency. Successful treatment largely depends on the clients’ motivations to seek help.
What do you want out of life?
The more ambivalent you are about substance abuse treatment, the more you hurt your chances of getting what you really want out of life, whether that be a move up in your career, better relationships with your family and friends, a love life, or better parent role-modeling for your kids. The alcohol or drugs are not getting you any closer to your results, yet you can’t imagine life without these substances, either. How you see your addiction determines the strength of your motivation to overcome it.
Is my drinking problem really that bad?
Most of the time, those who abuse substances don’t really see their consumption patterns as problematic until someone else points them out. When chemical dependency starts spiraling out of control, you can usually spot it in these following scenarios:
• Testing positive for cocaine, heroin or other drugs when applying for employment
• Testing positive for drugs during a prenatal visit at a public health clinic
• Discovery of excessive alcohol in one’s system in the emergency room
• Diagnosis of alcohol use disorder symptoms in a physician’s office
• Children taken into custody by Child Protective Services due to negligence
• Deteriorating job performance
• Marital problems due to one spouse’s drinking habits
How to talk to your loved one
Approaching a loved one about their substance abuse is like entering a landmine of explosive emotions. Don’t be surprised if they react with denial, hostility, or disbelief. To help your loved one set foot on the pathway toward lifelong recovery, you may need some assistance from an experienced outreach coordinator at a premier dual diagnosis treatment center like New Method Wellness. The way you approach the subject is just as important as how your loved one sees their addiction problem, and if you do it right, you may have a chance at altering their perception and steering them in the right direction.
If you just need someone to hear you out and you’re not sure what to do, call New Method Wellness today 866.951.1824 to speak to a friendly representative!