Addict, now that’s a loaded word, isn’t it? Addict, addiction, substance abuse, those are words addicts have heard for all of their lives, even before they knew they were one. The word has a negative connotation, why do we still use it in recovery facilities? Because for lack of a better word, it’s short and to the point. If you have had difficulties quitting something like cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, or even something such as video games, you are an addict and should seek addiction counseling if you can’t stop.
The Life of an Addict is No Different Than Ordinary Folk
Truly, why do we call a person addicted to drugs an addict, but a person who is addicted to work a go-getter? Do we call Steve Jobs an addict for working tireless hours building up one of the top technology companies in the world? Jobs gave his all to Apple, and it paid off. The iPhone will go down in the annals of history as inciting a huge technological revolution. He was also reportedly a terrible father, and an insufferable boss at times.
We praise Jobs for being addicted to work, but we don’t praise addicts for being addicted to substances. I don’t want to belabor the point, both are instances of addictive behavior/tendencies, and both involve an addictive compulsion towards an activity that comes at the cost of every other aspect of the person’s life
While there are many genetic and biological reasons that make addicts much more susceptible to the effects of substances than others, at the end of the day it’s the use of such things as a coping mechanism that creates the vast majority of addictions.
The premise is simple, everyone has addictive tendencies, and no one is free from the human condition that drives us to seek out refuge in habits. In other words, the mental desire to be addicted to something is prevalent in everyone, it’s just most unfortunate when that is attached to a highly unhealthy habit as opposed to a good one. A good addiction is physical exercise, but even that becomes a problem when your body needs rest but you’ve become compulsive about working out—which is often tied to poor self-image and a desire to constantly punish oneself to remedy that.
Your Cravings Are Here to Stay
It’s not something people want to hear, but as addiction counselors and addiction recovery specialists, it would be irresponsible to not say so. Many former addicts who have been clean for years still attend meetings and programs because they foster a sense of community and family, as well as solidarity in addiction-related troubles.
Just like how someone who has struggled with losing weight their entire life will always have that temptation to binge-eat in response to emotional stressors, so too will a former alcoholic momentarily have the temptation to kill a whole bottle of liquor even 10 years into sobriety. With time, experience, perspective–and the right training, someone who has been in recovery for a lengthy period can learn to simply observe those tremendous urges and understand their irrationality. In other words, they can detach from them and view them as apart from themselves.
Addiction Counselors in Virginia
Don’t let this article dishearten you, friends. Despite the fact that cravings never go away, that does not mean they do not lessen in severity or frequency. Most people who have been in recovery for many years report that it’s often the opposite which is true. Cravings will seemingly disappear and then startle you in unexpected moments. They remind you that the addict in you is always dormant, but that’s nothing to fear. We’re all addicts, really. There’s no shame in it, and those are the beliefs that Recovery Care Partner was built upon. We believe that love and compassion are what free us from the bonds of mental and physiological slavery in the form of addiction. That’s why we still use the word addict because we don’t judge it, it simply is.
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