The Relief of Not Being in Complete Control

When you struggle with substance abuse, you spend a lot of time either hiding it from members of your family, your friends, your boss and possibly the police or local authorities. You spend a lot of time using and thinking about using. You might not realize it, but this takes a toll on your mental health. Addiction is a chronic disease that affects your brain. Just like any other disease, your vulnerability to addiction will vary from person to person. When you take a drug or pick up a drink of alcohol, these chemicals that affect the brain by tapping into its communication system and interfering with the way neurons normally send, receive and process information.[1]

Drug abuse primarily gives you a feeling of pleasure or reward by increasing the amount of dopamine in the brain. Our brain is wired to repeat activities that are connected to pleasure or even rewards. The boost of dopamine essentially rewires or recalibrates how your brain works. While you may temporarily feel good for a short time period, the long-term ramifications are very negative. For example, some of these results include your health declining, relationships beginning to suffer and your responsibilities beginning to get neglected. Despite these negative outcomes, you may continue you to pursue the drug. As the problem escalates, you start to see more negative results from the substance abuse. When you make the choice to live a life of sobriety, your life changes completely. The following are some ways you will find relief in not being in total control.

You Admit You Need a New Foundation

The first step of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous is to admit you are powerless over alcohol and your life is not unmanageable. According to an article at Psychology Central, the Twelve Steps are not merely an antidote for addiction but are guidelines for nothing less than a total personality transformation. When you realize you are not in complete control, you have get help. Finding help often consists of getting treatment and going to rehab. This typically means talking with a therapist and digging deeper within your self. The problems you have are not unique—even though it may feel like it at the time. Once you go through the process of getting sober, you will see that your life needs the support of others. This is why having a healthy support network with others who you can lean on and hold you accountable is so important. Group therapy is often another important part of your support network. You cannot just have one person supporting you in your recovery. Rather, you must have a team around you. The support and encouragement you receive are invaluable to living a sober life.

You Can Admit You Have Issues

We all have problems, but often we like to hide them from others. Once you admit you are not in control, this means you cannot stop hiding your addiction and coping with your problems through drugs. While it might seem like pounding a six-pack after a hard day at work is good way to handle stress at the time, you know it really isn’t. There are many other healthy ways to handle stress, such as exercise or talking to a friend. Go for a walk, and pursue new activities instead of isolating yourself. If you are lonely or depressed, you will be much more likely to make poor decisions. You may say that you are in introvert and you like to be alone. That’s fine, but the truth is you need to be around other people. You cannot live your life in isolation if you want to stay sober.

You Can Help Others

Once you realize you are not in complete control of your life, you can start to heal. One great way to heal is to help others. If you need help, others need it as well. This can be as simple as volunteering a few hours a week at a local soup kitchen or volunteering in a group that you care about. This will not only help those that you serve, but also it will fill a need within you. Many times you will find that you fit into a bigger picture and that it even gives you a greater sense of purpose.

When you are in recovery, the process never stops. Sure, there will be some times that are harder and easier than others, but keep in mind that this is a lifelong process. You won’t just suddenly one day have a perfect life. There will always be problems and struggles that you face. Don’t worry—no matter where you are in life right now—you are never alone. You can call our 24 hour, toll-free helpline right now to speak with someone who cares and will gladly talk with you. If you have questions about your recovery— how you can live a sober life or anything else—please call today.


[1] Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction

[2] Lancer, Darlene.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email