Addiction: How Having Something to Live for Can Change Everything
The struggle with substance abuse becomes all-encompassing. It engulfs you and becomes your primary focus. The longer a person struggles with addiction, the harder the journey back to normalcy can be.
Part of the reason is as time passes you by, it is hard to face the damage you have done to the things you care about. During the years I have spent working with addicts, one of the things many people run into is they don’t live for anything but themselves.
They either don’t have goals, don’t know what goal they want, or, more commonly, have convinced themselves their goals are unachievable. It could be they have wasted too much time, they feel they will never be good enough, or their goal was never possible in the first place.
Having something you care more about than yourself can be extremely beneficial to someone recovering from addiction. Also having a purpose in life (doesn’t really matter what it is as long it is a constructive purpose), like building a family or finding a charity you care about or creating something that matters to you or even becoming good at something or learning a new skill.
One of the side effects of this is as you move along, it will not only make you happy with how your life is going, it creates something in your life that will make you think twice if you are tempted to relapse.
Most people do not consider that life will continue to get worse as you continue to use and continue to not care about your own life. But the reverse is also true: as you work on your life and put energy into it to make it better, your life gets better.
The longer you live in addiction, the harder it gets, but the longer you live sober and creating your life, the easier it gets.
I experienced the same thing when I went through my struggle with addiction. When I was in the midst of it, I never thought I would be able to get out of the endless cycle of addiction. I spent each day waking up and going through the motions which made me numb. But as I started to sober up, the downward spiral of my own life became clearer. I would then drop everything, and I mean everything, to get numb again.
I lost jobs over this dwindling spiral; failed in relationships, blew off friends, skipped finals. I would then blow off things I cared about, and when I would start to sober up, these shitty choices became even more of a reason for me to numb myself.
If you have experienced this before, you know what I am talking about, and if you are stuck in the middle of this right now, you need to get out of where you are and get help.
I tried time and time again to quit on my own and walk away from it. At this point, I have met hundreds who have experienced the same thing, and it wasn’t until they left where they were that they were even able to start walking a different path.
For you and the people and things you care about, don’t wait till it is harder; till you have legal problems, till your family has walked away from you, till you thoroughly hate who you have become. It doesn’t have to be this way.