Welcome to Day 1 of your free 7 day Mini Course on addiction Recovery
Do you know…
What addiction is?
What denial is and how it can stop your recovery in it’s tracks?
If You are Addicted?
Here’s the answers:
Hi I’m Matthew Baker and I welcome you to Day 1 of the 7 Day Mini-Course. Over the next 7 days we will be looking at a number of topics that aim to help you if you are either thinking about recovery or are already in early recovery. That said I hope that there will be plenty of information that will be of interest to people who are already maintaining recovery and also for anyone who knows someone who is suffering with addiction and doesn’t know where to turn. I hope you find the course useful.
Throughout the course we will be asking questions and suggesting things to think about so it might help you to grab a notebook and work your way through some of the exercises. Or just to keep as a journal of your recovery. So without further delay, lets get started with day 1
What is Addiction?
There’s some disagreement about what exactly addiction is and a definition that everyone agrees with is tough to find. Lets avoid too much theory and jargon here and go with this for now:
Addiction is a feeling of dependence upon using a substance or engaging in an activity even though it is causing problems in your life.
You may have started doing something because it gave you pleasure or because it relieved some form of stress. You may have started in order to fit in with others in your social scene. With addiction whatever the reason you started, there comes a point when a change happens. If you reach the point when you are feeling a need to do something more often to get the same result or find that you are uncomfortable simply stopping and getting on with other activities, it is possible that you are addicted. You are addicted when you feel a need to do something, which causes you some form of harm, and you suffer discomfort if you stop. The thing you do may be to use a substance or engage in a particular activity. Whether the addiction involves using a substance or focuses on an activity, the process addiction is pretty much the same.
Some examples of substance addiction include:
- Heroine addiction
- Cocaine addiction
- Steroid addiction
- Alcohol addiction
- Nicotine addiction
- Amphetamine addiction
Some examples of behavioural addictions include:
- Gambling addiction
- Food addiction
- Sex addiction
- Internet Addiction
- Computer Games addiction
- Work addiction
We will be looking at denial in detail later on. However as it stands in the way of people making a recovery from addiction it’s worth looking at right here.
If you are suffering with addiction, you may be unaware until the damage it is doing becomes serious enough to cause you to face the fact that you are addicted. In the early stages this may simply be through a lack of knowledge about addiction. Later, as the addiction begins to take hold of you, you may begin to realise that a problem is developing yet keep pushing the facts away. You may deny it to yourself in order to avoid having to take action.
Often even when you do begin to overcome the denial, when left unchecked it returns and you find yourself slipping back. Keeping focussed on recovery and learning about the facts of addiction helps to keep you in the driving seat. Looking at what is going badly in your life as a result of your addiction is a big help here too. Denial takes work to overcome, but with the right approach you will overcome and learn how to stay on top of it!
Could I be I Addicted? Some Questions to Consider:
So maybe you’ve doing this course because you are already convinced that you have a problem. Or maybe you’re just beginning to feel concerned about something you or someone else is doing which may be causing harm. What ever brought you here, it is worth taking some time to answer the following questions and see if you or they may be suffering addiction.
To make this more personal to you, why not fill in the blanks to complete the sentences with whatever behaviour you are concerned about. Some examples for the first question might be:
Try to stop but fail and go back to overeating even when aware that it is not good for you?
Try to stop but fail and go back to using cocaine even when aware that it is not good for you?
Try to stop but fail and go back to playing online games even when aware that it is not good for you?
- Try to stop but fail and go back to ………….., even when aware that it is not good for you?
- Often find yourself spending more time than you intended ……………?
- Spend much time and effort preparing to……………?
- Find that you spend so much time…………… that you miss out on important commitments to family, friends, work etc?
- Continue to…………… even though it is affecting your health?
- Continue to……………even though you know that you are spending more money on it than you want to?
- Have legal problems or find yourself breaking the law to……………?
- Need to increase the amount of …………… that you do in order to maintain the same effect?
- Get bored, irritable or other negative feelings if you do not……………?
- Get into arguments with friends, family or others due to your……………?
- Suffer withdrawal symptoms, either physical or psychological when you do not …………..?
This questionnaire is not designed to provide a diagnosis though hopefully it will get you thinking more deeply about the possibility of addiction being present for you. If you can answer yes any of the questions it may be worth approaching your Health Care Professional and enquiring about a full assessment. I do not suggest that you attempt recovery on your own relying solely on the content provided here. If you are suffering addiction I strongly advise you to seek professional help and build relationships with other people who are successfully recovering and have a positive outlook.
Before moving on, a word of warning here: Sudden abstinence from alcohol can be fatal. It is important to seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professionals before attempting to detox from alcohol. Your chance of a successful detox from any substance will always be greatly improved through gaining the support of professionals within your community.
So we’ve looked at a definition of addiction and a little at denial and considered some questions that will hopefully help you to decide if you need to take action. I hope it has been useful. Tomorrow we will be looking at recovery in terms of change. Change can be scary for some, exhilarating for others or a mixture of the two. Understanding a bit about the process of change should help a lot in terms of making a commitment to recovery.
I look forwards to continuing working with you tomorrow on day 2 of your Free addiction treatment 7 day course