One Common Trait in Addiction
There is an age-old debate in the world of addiction and it has many variations in the answer. You may be wondering what that debate is, well it is: What is an addiction? Some people say it is a disease, while others disagree and say it is a choice or something that happened because of a traumatic experience. While these different opinions all have weight behind what they are explaining, they do have one trait in common when talking about addiction. These addicts whether it is a disease, traumatic experience, or just a choice have one common factor; they are all looking to escape reality.
Think about it, if you have a headache or a pain in your back, the most common response is to take pain medication. You are trying to get rid of the pain as quickly as possible. This is no different for someone with an addiction. While they may be escaping different things, the main goal is to avoid uncomfortable feelings and situations. They become masters at escaping reality and diving deep into the abyss known as addiction. For example, someone may have lost a loved one and cannot cope with their feelings of loss and grief, so they drink nonstop instead of facing their feelings. Over time, they realize they cannot stop drinking and now need to drink even more to escape reality.
For some, it could be trying cocaine for the first time and getting instantly hooked on the feeling of the cocaine rush. That rush is all they think about and compare every other feeling they have to it and nothing can compare, or so they think. What are they escaping in this scenario? They are once again escaping reality. Once the rush hits, they are not thinking about grades at school, their job, or their financial troubles. Those things do not exist when they are feeling the rush. They are now addicted to feeling this way and do not want to go back to their old life. Addiction has set in and feels too comfortable to escape it.
How Do They Master The Escape Route To Addiction?
This route is mastered by trial and error. They feel their loved ones out and see what they can get away with and what does not work. They master their script of excuses or speech on how they do not have a problem at all. They are creating a comfortable environment for themselves, but they are actually drowning in their addiction and pushing their loved ones further away. You may think, addiction, a comfortable place? While it is not comfortable, they may even hate that they are in this position, to them, it is more comfortable even facing reality.
How Do You Get Your Loved One Back?
While it can be difficult to get your loved one back from the abyss of addiction, it is possible. The main factor to a successful recovery is that they must want to be sober. You cannot force it upon them. You can be persistent and supportive, but not demanding and forceful. Setting clear boundaries will also help. Do not give them money every time they ask for it. Hold them responsible for their financial situations. Do not let them manipulate your emotions. Hold them accountable for responsibilities. Do not make excuses for them. These are just a few ways to set some healthy boundaries. Once the boundaries are set, they will realize it will be harder for them to escape reality. They will realize they can no longer manipulate you and either accept help or move onto someone else. Do not worry about them moving onto someone else, if you all have the same boundaries, the message will be clear. At the end of the day, you can be at peace knowing you have done all you can. While being at peace is never a feeling that comes natural when dealing with an addict, you need to practice it, because you can just as easily lose yourself trying to help them.