Recovering from addiction requires someone to confront the various ways in which their use of drugs or alcohol has affected their lives. This means that they have to address not just the physical and emotional damage that someone may have done to themselves through their usage, but also the damage that may have been done to their professional path and personal relationships. However, in order to effectively address all of the ways in which alcohol or drugs can impact someone’s life, it is important to first open with discussions about their own worldview to get an idea of where each person is starting from.
Addiction and addiction recovery can both be very isolating experiences. During someone’s time engaging with an addictive substance, it can feel like they are alone in their own world, having to face trials by themselves that nobody could begin to see or understand. As a result, it is common that someone begins to become very defensive toward the outside world and begin to view the world through a very isolating lens. While it may first manifest as a defense mechanism, it is possible that people can begin to tune out the damage that their use of drugs or alcohol has had on other people. As a result, this defense can morph into a worldview that is very centralized around oneself. In order to address the ways that someone’s addiction has affected all of the other aspects of their lives, they first have to acknowledge and break down the walls that they may have built around themselves.
Addressing Relationships and Communication
Those suffering from addiction can be experiencing a large degree of anxiety, depression, or many other mental health disorders. It is not uncommon for those suffering from addiction to perceive seemingly innocuous comments or conversations as potential attacks on them or their lifestyle. Their anxiety can make them feel like they are always the center of attention in the worst possible way, and they may assume that they are constantly being watched or judged on everything they do or say. As a result, it is possible to derail a conversation before it has even begun. These assumptions can be dangerous, and debilitating overall, in regards to the recovery process. In order to address someone’s relationships, it is important to first address what conversations have taken place and how they formed.
It is common for someone to assume many things when feeling anxious or depressed. However, these assumptions cannot take the place of actual evidence when addressing communication. Making assumptions about someone’s intent can further someone’s own anxiety, as it all works together to create a very stressful world view. The brain has an impressive ability to spin much of the information it receives into something that is already conducive to the worldview that the person holds. Not only is this the main reason why talking to someone about their substance use can be so difficult, but it is also at the root of many communication problems in the recovery process. Having patients recite the words that someone said verbatim, followed by talking about how it made them feel, can help begin to separate the words themselves from one’s perception of the event. While it is entirely possible that someone interpreted everything correctly, it is also possible that they are making assumptions about themselves (or others) that need to be addressed. Doing this can help someone better separate their own perceptions from reality and help them to continue to break down the walls that they may have put up around themselves.
While it can be difficult to get a patient to willingly participate, role-playing can help someone continue to realize the lens through which they are seeing the world. Role-playing can be key in addressing misconceptions and can help someone realize and acknowledge their own support systems and the ways in which they have been trying to help them. Not only does it force them to look at the words that a loved one is saying to them, but it can also help them realize how their addictions have affected those around them. Recovery from addiction is a very personal journey, but that doesn’t mean that it happens in isolation. Role-playing can help someone realize the extent of their substance use, as well as the various effects that it may have had on their loved ones.
There are many different trials in recovery from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, and each person will have to address them in their path to recovery. However, it can be very difficult to even begin the recovery process without first reestablishing a sense of shared reality between the person suffering from addiction and those around them. Without a shared reality, the same conversation can hold drastically different meanings and lead to unnecessary hurdles in recovery. However, the idea of breaking through perspectives clouded by addiction and beginning to experience the clarity of the world around them can be an incredibly powerful experience. A person can’t learn the ways to address their relationships and the effects of their addiction without first seeing and accepting the reality of their addiction.
There are many different paths to recovery and a medication-assisted treatment plan is just one way in which someone can begin their journey to sobriety. If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, Alta Centers can help you take the first step towards a healthier lifestyle today. Creating a luxurious and comfortable place for those going through detox and personalizing treatment to help you address your own needs and goals in recovery, the professionally trained and caring staff at Alta Centers will work with you each step of the way. Alta Centers prides itself on a comfortable, personal, and fun approach to a life of sobriety. For more information on the various ways in which each of the programs at Alta Centers can be individualized for you, or simply to speak to a caring staff member about your unique situation, call Alta Centers today at (888) 202-2583.