After spending years in denial that you have a problem, finally deciding to get help for an addiction can be overwhelming. At the beginning of your recovery you might not fully understand your disease because you have spent so long justifying your behavior and convincing yourself that your substance abuse was normal.
It is important to have a strong understanding of your dependency, what caused the problem and how it affects you as an individual. Addiction is a complicated issue that can take a long time to manage but ultimately with proper treatment you will be able to lead a healthier and more productive life.
These are some of the things you should know about addiction and will be helpful to keep in mind throughout your recovery.
You May Never Eliminate Your Addictive Mind
Addiction is a disease of the brain that causes you to compulsively seek out a drug. Over time it can affect your ability to control your judgment and you crave the drug above all else. As an addict, once you take that particular substance out of the equation your mind will seek out other things to obsess over.
The key is to find more positive or less harmful things that can take the place of your former addiction. It is important for addicts to engage in plenty of hobbies and activities that can calm their addictive mind. Addiction can become a part of your physiology and that is one reason you need to remain permanently sober.
Addiction is Treatable
Although you may never be able to be free of your addictive mindset, the disease itself is treatable. In recovery you can learn to manage your addiction by developing certain skills and using tools that can fight cravings and help you put your energy into a more positive life. As long as you get professional help from a rehab center or a twelve step program it is possible to treat your addiction so that you can be sober for the rest of your life.
People Might Not Understand Your Disease
While in recovery you will experience many other people who are going through the same things and will be compassionate about your situation. Outside of your support group however, some of your friends and acquaintances might not have much of an understanding of what recovery means.
They might offer you drinks or think it is fine for you to start back up again one day. In these situations you need to be strong and continue to prove you are committed to recovery.
Addiction Can Affect Anyone
There is no stereotypical addict; substance abuse can affect people from all walks of life. You might feel that since you are in a certain position or have a particular social standing that you shouldn't be dealing with this problem.
You will find in recovery that addiction affects people from any race, any age or any part of society. Understanding that addiction is a disease that does not discriminate will help you let go of the idea that you should maintain a certain reputation or image.
Recovery Takes Time
Probably the hardest thing to realize about addiction recovery is that it can take a long time to feel you have overcome your issues. Relapse can be a reality for many people even after they have made a lot of progress in their recovery.
You need to continue fighting the disease of addiction for the rest of your life and always do things that support your recovery. If you remain aware and are cautious, however, it is possible to live your life free from addiction.