The definition of the word myth is a widely held, but false, idea or belief in something. Addiction and recovery are filled with these myths and we would like to talk about three of them today. The problems with any myth is that they take on a form of chaos. Chaos is synonymous with active addiction. Chaos is something that has to be out of our lives if we are to live happy and purposeful lives in recovery. When trying to get sober, we need to begin see reality as it is, rather than our made up, false sense of how things are. Below are some of the most common beliefs we come across.
Addiction Isn’t Permanent | We believe that addiction as a disease is a permanent condition. What does not have to be permanent is the use of chemicals in order for us to arrange our reality. What does not have to be permanent is the continued relapse into drinking and using. Simply stopping the drinking and drugging isn’t enough…we must change our actions, beliefs, and behaviors as well, or we will use again. To arrest active addiction, because there is no known cure, we have to change everything. It is a process. It is a marathon not a sprint.
Life Will Never Be Fun Again | The addict/alcoholic usually only knows one way of living life. They spend most of their time, up to the point of getting help, with other people who behave and use the same way they do. Many people in active alcoholism/addiction are in an intoxicated state at all times. Sometimes they laugh and have fun. They think that drinking in bars and clubs is the ‘end all be all’ of a fun life. What about the person who can’t leave their home because they’re too paranoid? What about the person who drives drunk and puts everyone on the road at risk? What about the person who’s family can’t be part of their lives because of their behavior? The questions can go on and on. Addiction wants, and eventually gets, us alone. The fun days and nights come to an end. What happens to most of us is we find ourselves with feelings of terror, bewilderment, frustration, and despair. The addict’s ideas of fun cease to exist. When we get into recovery, we are spending our time with people who are trying to achieve the same goal. We here all the time that when someone gets sober they do things with their new friends that are fun. Many times these activities are the same things that we always wanted to do while we were using that our addictions made impossible.
All I Need To Do Is Stop Using | The first thing that we need to do in order to recover from the disease of addiction is to stop using the chemicals that we are putting into our bodies. That is where an alcohol detox or drug rehab can help. When you are in this “first phase” of recovery it is imperative to be properly cared for by medical professionals. When all the chemicals are out of your body, we believe that it is time to start looking at the causes and conditions of why you began to use drugs and alcohol in the first place. We have witnessed time after time the addict who comes back and says that they stopped using…but that is all they did. Granted, when we stop putting this poison in our bodies our lives almost instantaneously get better. However, without looking at ourselves and the reasons why this happened, we quickly revert back to the life of addiction. There is a line we hear in recovery all the time; “clean house, make amends, and help others.” It is proven time after time that when people take this approach to recovery there is no return to addiction.