Thought: ‘Finding who you are is more important than finding where to go.’

Addictions UK uses Twitter to share inspirational Thoughts every day. This article is based on one of them. Follow us at @addictionsuk.

A tourist once asked an old man for directions. “Ah,” came the reply, “if I wanted to get there I wouldn’t start from here.”

The greatest danger on a mountain walk is not heading in the wrong direction but heading in the right direction from the wrong place.

Many of the Twelve Steps underline the importance of recognising the realities of who we are and where we are at. We need to face the fact that we have problems and try to understand them fully. Only then can we prioritise and make good choices about change. And, we need to know who we are before we can change who we are.

All that seems very obvious but it’s easy to ignore it, and to do so at our peril. How often in all sorts of areas of life do we rush off to activity before fully understanding what needs doing?

Escaping addiction to alcohol, drugs or anything else can easily make us over-hasty in our desperation.

Your life may seem like a ticking time bomb but it’s unwise to rush into cutting the wires before you know which is which!

Please contact us now if you need help with recovery from any addiction and especially if you are seeking home-based treatment.

This week’s Video

In the UK alone an estimated 1,000,000 people are addicted to prescription drugs. But there IS a way out!

How can pain help the those with the disease of addiction ?

If we never felt pain then, it can be argued, we would never learn. Think of the child first learning to walk and explore their environment, falling over, touching hot things experiencing the anguish of moving away from Mum for the first time; these are all vital learning experiences. And so it goes on in life. Remember the pain from your first adolescent love and how hard it seemed at the time but I think most of us will agree we would not have thanked others if they had denied us of that great piece off learning.

In the world of addiction those of us who have suffered or are suffering from this cruel disease know just how much we see our drug of choice as a medicine and not, as Earthlings may see it, as a party-time enhancer. For us it helps push down the so-hard-to-bear emotions that would otherwise assuredly overwhelm our extra-sensitive selves. Maybe this works for us for a long time. We do not see the destructive nature of our addiction; for us it is simply the very thing that helps through life. However there always comes the time when our wonder-medicine ceases to work. For me this became a time of dark desperate despair where my ultimate wish was simply to cease to exist, not commit suicide you understand but rather just not be in the world any more.

In the life cycle of a person with a Pathological Dependency to my drug of choice, a state of being where I could not face a day without my fix, this was my Normative Crisis. I say “normative” because this is a stage all those seeking recovery must past through; it’s no different to all the other really important learning experience throughout my life. Since this time I heard many phrases that help describe this happening:
Sick of being sick,
The drugs have stopped working
You can’t live with the drugs and you can’t live without them
For me the resolution came when I heard it was possible to get better, there was a way out of this morass. I slowly began to understand that it was the drugs that were controlling my decision making and it was the drugs that were creating the living hell that were the consequences of using them. That helped me, through the help of others, put down the drugs that I had used as a medicine for so long and adopt another method of coping with my underlying super-sensitiveness to emotion. It was this form of recovery that was to become the base of the treatment offered by Addictions UK to many others of us with this illness.

If there has to pain in order to learn and, in our case, recover, where does this leave all those well-meaning parents and drugs workers that seek to rescue us from ever feeling the pain? By this I mean the parents who continually bail us out of financial scrapes and the drug workers who offer alternative “safe” drugs and sort out housing when we find we have spent all our money on our medicine. Any addict will tell you that those “safe” drugs are simply for breakfast; we still need the real thing. Mum and Dad are very well meaning but let’s be honest: those of us with this terrible affliction see them only as our personal finance house. It has to be the case that all that well-meaning intervention acts as nothing more than enablement that puts off the day of reckoning when we must pass through the pain of learning that our medicine does not work and we have to find another way.

So there we have it: the life cycle of our illness goes through the initial joy of finding a drug of choice that nulls the aching pain of over-sensitivity through the endless groundhog days of active addiction into a world of pain involving either physical torment and/or mental anguish and finally into the daylight of recovery.

They asked me on the BBC radio recently, “what creates the desire in an addict to change?” and my answer was, “the Normative Crisis of pain”. I suppose it would have seemed quite strange for the listeners to hear that but, as they say, “you cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs”.

If you think that maybe Addictions UK could help you too, contact us now on line or telephone 0300 330 30 40.

This week’s Video

Diabetics need insulin Epileptics need seizure medicine Addicts need rehab and relapse prevention. Addiction is a chronic illness

Thought: ‘Jumping over the fence seems less scary when you notice the bull is charging.’

Addictions UK uses Twitter to share inspirational Thoughts every day. This article is based on one of them. Follow us at @addictionsuk.

One of the biggest challenges for addicts (and for many other people too) is escaping from denial. We keep telling ourselves that everything is OK, there’s really no problem at all or, if there is, then it’s manageable.

“Risk Assessment” has become a cliché, often laughed off and shrugged aside along with the rest of the “health and safety” jargon.

Trouble is, there really are all sorts of dangers in life and there’s a lot to be said for anticipating them and developing strategies to avoid or cope. The trouble is it’s all too easy to minimise the dangers and maximise the difficulty of dealing with them. Only when the house is on fire does insurance look affordable after all.

That charging bull makes leaping that fence look a lot less impossible!

The first step to solving any problem is to face the fact that it exists. Maybe the crisis of “rock bottom” is the charging bull that makes it obvious just how much danger you are in. Maybe you are one of the lucky ones, able to admit there is a problem before it has started to overwhelm you. Either way Addictions UK has the experienced staff to help you confront the issues and start to tackle them. And with home-based addicition treatment, the obstacles you have to climb over may be a lot less daunting than you fear.

Please contact us now if you need help with recovery from any addiction.

This week’s Video

In some cases a period of residential treatment can speed the recovery process. AddictionsUK can help you locate a residential placement.

Thought: ‘Be ambitious. Be Realistic. Reach for what you might be able to grasp.’

Addictions UK uses Twitter to share inspirational Thoughts every day. This article is based on one of them. Follow us at @addictionsuk.

It’s a bad thing to have no ambition, no sense of the possible.

It’s just a bad to believe that you have no limits and can achieve anything. That way starts with arrogance but soon leads to disappointment and despair.

The trick to making progress in anything is to keep on setting yourself goals that are a little beyond your current reach. They must always stretch you but must always be possible, at least after a reasonable number of attempts.

Those in recovery from addiction should always have the benefit of a mentor’s objective and detached advice about what is a fair and reasonable target. A wise guide will prevent you either being too soft on yourself or kidding yourself about the realities of what you can achieve in the short term. It’s vital that you make as much progress as you can while not risking too much disappointment and discouragement.

The team at Addictions UK have all been there and know and understand all sorts of challenges that addicts face, whether the challenge is alcohol addiciton, drug addiction or addiction to anything else. One of them will be very happy to help you map out your goals, will encourage you to achieve them and will help you through disappointments and set-backs.

Please contact us now if you need help with recovery from any addiction and especially if you are seeking home-based treatment.

This week’s Video

Is addiction a disease? Professional opinions vary, but most agree addiction is a physical and mental illness and NOT merely a lack of will power.