I’m Addicted and I Don’t Know What to do About It

I’m Addicted and I Don’t Know What to do About ItComing to grips with the fact you have an addiction is a sobering moment, and can leave you feeling helpless. Some part of this is an emotional response to bad information. Many people incorrectly believe that an addiction is the result of a weak will, but this is simply not true. An addiction is a disease, albeit one that you have contributed to with your choices. You must move past this sense of weakness, which is not accurate, and move forward with some proactive decisions. While there are a number of positive choices to make in this moment of recognizing an addiction, two specific behaviors should also be avoided at all costs.

Don’t Isolate Yourself

This is often the first instinctual response that an individual has when she comes to grips with the fact she is addicted. It is also the worst decision a person can make when faced with an addiction. You will need support in a variety of ways, and trying to hide your new understanding of your addiction will prevent you from getting the help you will need. Plus, it is not uncommon for your friends and family to already be aware of your addiction, or at least aware that you do not seem to acting like yourself lately. Instead of pulling back from community, it is a much better choice to step into it. Select a few close and trustworthy friends or family, and describe where you find yourself, and ask them for help.

Another option worth considering instead of isolation is an Employee Assistance Program.[1] An employee assistance program is a work-based intervention program designed to identify and assist employees in resolving personal problems (e.g., martial, financial, emotional, family issues, substance abuse, alcohol abuse, etc.). Employee assistance programs are usually offered in a variety of formats, including telephone consults, Internet resources, and referral programs. Many include a nurse line for medical advice, basic legal guidance, and assistance with adoption or elder care. One of the surprising aspects of an employee assistance program is that it often extends to spouses, children, and partners.

Don’t Give Up

This almost goes without saying, but you cannot choose to give up on yourself. Your mind will feed you any number of lies:

  • You are getting exactly what you deserve.
  • You will never break this addiction, because you are just too weak.
  • Nobody will help you.
  • Don’t even try to break this addiction.
  • You will fail, because you are a failure.

Ignore these thoughts. Push forward with positive choices, and build toward a sober and healthy future.

Positive Steps You Can Take

In the same way there are negative choices you can make that can make any recovery that much more difficult, making any of these decisions will allow you to step into recovery with a clear head and a strong sense of purpose.

  1. Do take stock of what your addiction has cost you. This decision is generally very painful, because it forces you to confront your failures and your mistakes. But, having a distinct understanding of what your addiction has cost you will also lend you strength and direction. It will motivate you to not lose any more than you already have, and inspire you to regain some of what you have lost.Another way to take stock is to look at how you are different than you were before your addiction. What habits have you taken on that you didn’t have in the past? What hobbies have you stepped away from because of your addiction? What used to make you laugh, and does it still? Taking a personal inventory will also show you the parts of yourself you have lost because of your addiction.
  2. Do set reasonable goals. When individuals realize they are struggling with addiction, they may set unreasonable goals, such as quitting the addiction that same day, or turning their life around in a week. More often than not, these are not a realistic goal. Instead, it can be helpful to employ SMART Goals.[2] .
    • Specific: A goal should address who, what, when, where, and why. If it does not, it is a hope, not a goal.
    • Measurable: This type of goal allows a person to establish concrete criteria for measuring progress against it.
    • Attainable: An attainable goal is as much about self-image as anything else. An individual must believe they can reach the goal.
    • Realistic: A goal must be grounded in reality. As a simple example, the morbidly obese man who never exercises should not set a six-week goal to run in a marathon.
    • Time-bound: A goal without a deadline is a dream.
  3. Do consider the role of mindfulness. At some point, continuing to be goal-driven can become wearisome to the soul, and can actually sap momentum. One consideration at this point is to apply the holistic methods of mindfulness. Though this is still largely unexamined, some believe a nonjudgmental mindset toward life is a good indicator that mindfulness will be a method that is helpful for an individual. Mindfulness can be vital to sustaining recovery.

Lastly, make sure you reach out and ask for the help you need. Call a friend, family member, or counseling helpline and get the support you need to enter rehab and overcome addiction.

Take the First and Most Important Step and Get Help Today

The risks and the cost of addiction are too high. If you are reading this and recognize Lorcet addiction as a struggle in your life, the most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. We can help you. We can answer your questions. The admission counselors at our toll-free, 24 hour helpline can help you learn more about addiction. They can help you find your way.

[1]http://www.shrm.org/pages/login.aspx?returnUrl=http%3a%2f%2fwww.shrm.org%2ftemplatestools%2fhrqa%2fpages%2fwhatisaneap.aspx, “What is an EAP?,” accessed November 22, 2015.

[2] http://hrweb.mit.edu/performance-development/goal-setting-developmental-planning/smart-goals, “SMART GOALS,” accessed November 22, 2015.