Your Addiction Is Not the Problem

Some people drink or experiment with drugs and never get addicted. Some people get addicted almost immediately. What separates the two?

The first group gets high for fun, socially. The second group gets high for fun at first, but they quickly discover that getting high has a side benefit – it kills their pain. They start getting high more and more often, to escape pain. It works, too.

Get high or drunk and forget your problems, lose your inhibitions, kill your pain. How awesome is that? What could possibly go wrong?

We know what goes wrong, right? More and more time spent chemically altered and more and more of your chemical of choice in bigger and bigger doses. Hello, addiction, my old friend. Now you’re an addict and the cure becomes the problem. Next stop, rehab.

You go through rehab and you kick. Yay, you! No, seriously, yay, you. You’re clean and sober and your family and friends are proud of you and it’s all good. Right? Well, no, not exactly. The original issue, the pain, comes roaring out of hibernation and takes a big chunk out of your ass. Now what?

Your family and friends have all relaxed because you’re not using anymore. You’re expected to just be fine and dandy, thanks. The Problem has been solved. You have beaten The Problem. You should be happy, sane, calm and productive. Yet, you aren’t.

Believe it or not, this is when the hardest and most critical work is just beginning. If you don’t do the work to deal with the original pain, sooner or later you’ll go back to the only way you know how to deal with it. Can you say “relapse”? I knew you could.

To stay sober, you need to fix your issues and heal your pain. Don’t try this at home, kids; put your issues in the hands of a professional. If you could fix it yourself, you would have already. If friends or family or fellow addicts could fix it for you, they would have already. An objective, dispassionate person trained in the workings of the psyche is required.

Think this doesn’t apply to you? Think you can, or should, handle it yourself? Insist that friends, family, and/or former addicts can help you fix it on your own? Have an aversion to therapy? Enjoy your stay in Relapseville.

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