You CAN Take Control of Your Life
If you are struggling with drug dependency – addiction – you feel out of control. Your life isn’t your own and you don’t seem to be able to do much about it. Addiction is a seemingly irresistible urge to engage in an activity that started out as something pleasant but now owns your life.
What can you do?
First, it’s important to understand how you got into addiction.
Every living thing, including every human being, has something in common with computers – some “hard wiring. Part of that wiring creates an opportunity for drug dependency.
The drive to survive is a hard-wired instinct built into all creatures, including human beings. Survival instinct makes you avoid danger. A strong part of the survival instinct responses is what’s called “libido.” Libido causes the body to produce hormones that call for an immediate response: avoid pain and look for the opposite feeling, pleasure, including sex.
Daily experiences can trigger a form of that instinct. When your life doesn’t seem fulfilling, seeking pleasure can become a major focus. This is especially true when you’re frustrated.
The effort it takes to achieve some of the things you want doesn’t seem worth it. Your efforts to find success and happiness seem to require working way too hard and the results are disappointing.
That’s when experimenting to find some fun and pleasure becomes a slippery slope that leads to addiction. Experimenting produces some pleasure. Drugs, particularly opioids, are easy to get and seem to work. It’s an easy, convenient way to escape the turmoil and boredom of everyday living.
BUT, as time goes by, you have to use more and more to get to the pleasure. Your life starts to become more about the drug than the result.
Using has become a habit, and it’s the most important thing in the world. Skip working out. Do as little of that unsatisfying hard work as possible. Your friends don’t understand? Drop them. Surf the web or check your email. Settle for the easy way out.
The servant has become the master.
You might start thinking about cutting back, using your willpower to turn the drug back into your servant. Unfortunately, science tells us the truth – you only have a limited amount of willpower and it gets used up quickly.
Uh oh, what now? How do you take back control of your life?
The Buckeye Clinic and Treatment Center can tell you what you need to do.
1. Seek help
Medical and psychological treatment can help put you back in control. Don’t get disappointed if there aren’t immediate results. The drive for immediate results is part of the reason you ended up addicted.
Stick with the program and keep in mind that have your life in your control is worth the effort. Just keep reminding yourself of the old space race saying goes, “Failure is not an option.”
2. Take yourself out of harm’s way
Avoid people, places and things that can trigger temptation to use again. If you wanted to lose weight, you wouldn’t spend all your time eating ice cream and pizza and you definitely would avoid places that served those things.
3. Whatever you feel compelled to do, don’t do it
The more your instincts tell you to take react right away, the more you shouldn’t. Your misplaced survival instincts from primitive times were developed when life-or-death situations were common and immediate reactions kept you alive. In most life circumstances now, it’s better to take a step back, breathe, and reflect before you react.
Life with all its stresses tends to come at you relentlessly. Don’t assume that you have to juggle multiple tasks at the same time. Regular drug use tends to extend that 90-minute cycle to hours or even days. Drugs push you and your body wants to stop. That’s part of the reason that when you’re using you can feel like you’re getting turned inside out
Human beings aren’t computers. You can’t continuously operate at high speeds. Part of your recovery is based on changing back to a more realistic level of activity.
Your most important task is to stay with your program. Don’t try to experiment, that’s what got you started on the slippery slope.
Your most important task is to focus on your recovery.