Drugs, alcohol, gambling, eating disorders–these are just a few of the numerous addictions that plague far too many people in the U.S. Addictions are devastating, life-altering, and sometimes life-ending diseases. The fact that you’re here, reading this page, is proof that you’ve acknowledged that you have a problem and are willing to move forward.
The following seven signs might prove that you are finally ready to overcome your addiction:
1. You want recovery for yourself
For people who struggle with addiction, their whole life is centered around it. They put their addiction above everything else, including the people in their life. Often times, friends or family members will confront the loved one who is struggling and try to convince them to get help, unfortunately, however, they rarely succeed.
By valuing an addiction more than the concerns of your loved ones, you aren’t ready to admit you have a problem. This is why so many kids and teens who enter treatment against their will don’t have a very high recovery success rate. If you are entering recovery on your own accord, not because someone wants you to, you are far more likely to succeed. Wanting recovery for yourself is the first step in proving you are ready to overcome your addiction.
2. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel
Have you started to envision a brighter future? Maybe you’ve imagined a morning waking up without a hangover or a night at dinner without sweating over the calories. Even if you haven’t taken any steps to change your addiction, the mere thought of changing it can be a sign you are ready to move on. But if you’re so wrapped up in your addiction that you can’t imagine life without it, you aren’t quite there yet.
3. You admit that you cannot recover on your own
Admitting that you NEED help is another big sign that you’re ready to overcome your addiction. Maybe you’ve finally accepted that everything your family and friends are saying is true; maybe you’ve tried to sober up on your own but were unable to succeed. Admitting that you need help and accepting that you can’t do it on your own is crucial for recovery.
4. Your health has taken a hit
Has your health started to deteriorate because of your addiction? Organ failure, cardiovascular disease, seizures, strokes, brain damage and teeth decay are all common repercussions of drug and alcohol abuse. In addition to impairment of physical health, all addictions interfere with emotional and mental functioning as well. This can include suicidal thoughts or periods of extreme depression. If your doctors have informed you that your addiction is life threatening and you believe them and want to begin reversing the damage, you’re ready to overcome your addiction.
5. You’ve done damage to others
Addictions are not only harmful to the person who’s struggling, but to their loved ones as well. Alcohol, for example, can cause many people to become aggressive; have you ever physically harmed another person while you were intoxicated? And just as your disease impacts you physically, mentally and emotionally, your addiction affects others in these ways as well. When you’re sick and tired of the impacts your addiction has on others, you’re one step closer to overcoming it.
6. Your life has turned into something you don’t even recognize anymore
Maybe you’ve been kicked out of school, are at risk of losing your job, or have lost it already. Perhaps you’ve been to jail for drug use or for drinking and driving. Maybe you’re in substantial financial debt because of your addiction. Signs that you’re scared of the turn your life has taken are also signs that you might be ready to overcome your addiction.
7. You feel shame for your addiction
Hiding your behaviors is a clear sign that you’re embarrassed or ashamed of them. Feelings of shame can often lead to feelings of hatred for yourself. If you hate the person you’ve become because of your addiction and don’t recognize yourself anymore, you’re probably ready to overcome your addiction in order to rediscover yourself.
Deciding it’s time to stop is the first step toward overcoming your addiction. If you don’t know where to start, working with a therapist is a great second step. Together you and your therapist will develop a treatment plan that will help you overcome your addiction and lead the life you want for you and your loved ones.