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Learn how to finally quit and escape from the slavery of the addiction pit.

Addiction, Escape From The Pit

Part of what makes recovery so hard is the fact that it has to be pursued on purpose, with discipline and determination.  When we lived in our addiction, we just mindlessly followed the high, wherever it led.  Now that we've begun to see the destructive path we left behind us, it's time for us to begin to find a way not to do that any more.  In this article, the first of two, we'll discuss denial, getting help and finally quitting addiction.  The second, Moving Away From The Addiction Pit, will be devoted to building a life that keeps us clear of the addiction temptations. 

Un-denial Of Addiction:

If you've read this far, it may be you're already past this point.  Usually, the first part of denial is denying you have a problem in the first place.  The only way we addicts can do this is if we have an ample supply of people around to blame.  Parents are usually first on the list, closely followed by boss, spouse, children, the economy, the weather.  Some addicts are so good at blaming others that many of the others begin to blame themselves.  If you're the spouse of an addict, please look into the issue of codependency, for the sake of your addict and yourself.    Once you finally accept that you have a problem, it's time to admit you can't solve it by yourself.  If you're at the edge of this point, but still deny that you need help, here's how to prove it to yourself.  Look yourself in the eye (it's good to use a mirror for this), and commit to quit for one year.  If you find yourself using again in months, weeks, days or know you need help.

Finding And Accepting Addiction Help:

Once we're past both stages of denial, we're in a good place to plan to quit...yes, plan.  You first have to find the help and accept that help before you can quit.  Help comes in all shapes and sizes.  The type of help you need is often determined by the addiction you have.  All addictions require a system of training to understand what made you an addict and support to help you make the changes necessary to live in recovery.  Some addictions, like prescription drugs or street narcotics often require residential detoxification and other treatments to be safe while quitting.  There is one other thing we all need to finally quit and live in from a "higher power," as they call it in AA.  It really isn't negotiable!  Call this power what you wish, but every addict needs something more powerful than humans, to recover.  This is because humans can't fill the gap in us that caused the addiction.  If we try to make a human our higher power, be it spouse, boss, even doctor,  when they fail us, as humans always do, we will be back on our substance of choice.  The only One that can help us is a power that won't fail.  Once we're past the denial, have the help in place and accept the need for a higher power, we're ready to quit.    

Finally Quitting Addiction:

If you've tried quitting without the help above, how'd that work for you?  Now that we have the help, we're ready to really excuses.  Those helping you have probably already informed you of the probability of some kinds if withdrawal symptoms and how long they're likely to last.  Contrary to popular opinion, withdrawal is usually not the hardest part, just the most painful.  The hardest part of quitting is staying quit once withdrawal is over.  Many think the "illness" is over so it's OK to go back into using.  This kind of thinking is a recipe for death.  Some people slip up occasionally and have to start over, but the addiction/withdrawal cycle is not something you can take very often without destroying your health.  If you're actually quitting, quit with the understanding you will do whatever it takes so you never go back.  This will probably require burning some bridges.

Burning Bridges To Addiction:

We addicts have spent years building a support system for our addiction.  Probably most of your friends are users, just like you.  Most of your social life revolves around getting high.  You have phone numbers and email addresses related to suppliers and fellow addicts.  If you have trouble finding them, these are the ones on shortcuts and speed dial.  Why would you want to find them now?  To delete them!  Yes, even the friends!  You may want to just suspend the friendships, but you're kidding yourself if you think the friendship won't change now that you're clean.  As a recovered alcoholic once told me, "If you don't want to slip, stay away from slippery people."  To stay in recovery, you'll have to eliminate all the activities you built around your addiction.  If you have a significant other who is also an addict, either the addiction is over or the relationship is.  Frankly, unless you're married to someone who is clean and sober, relationships are just way too emotional to work well with the start of the recovery process.  For now, until you know who you are without the addiction, it's better to have no romantic relationships.

That's why we called it burning bridges!  Once you've passed denial, gotten the help you need, quit using, and burned the bridges back to your addiction, there is a very high likelihood you can remain clean and sober the rest of your life.  It's time to learn about Moving Away From The Addiction Pit, the final article in this series we'll be publishing next week.

I want you to know there is a higher power who can help, who loves you and wants only the best for you.  That higher power is God.  If you want help from God, just click on Help Me God.

Where are you in your addiction recovery?

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