Addiction can be a very lonely place, shadowed by shame, guilt, fear anger, sadness and not a whole lot of joy! The stigma that exists around addiction does nothing to support individuals, families, organisations and communities faced with the mental, emotional, social, physical and spiritual challenges that this presents. And all too often those with substance abuse, addictive behaviour and mental health disorders are seen as somehow less than everyone else. I can personally vouch for the fact that none of these issues are moral ones. Addiction can stem from four primary causes, which are:
- Chemical imbalance in the brain
- Unresolved issues of guilt, shame and trauma
- Inability to change current situation
- False belief system
So initial use often results from an individual’s inability to cope in a healthy, productive manner. And what starts as a way to deal with life’s pressure may become a habitual pattern, beginning with use and progressing to misuse, abuse and dependency. And then the theories, ideas and models abound around whether or not addiction is a disease. What starts out being fun, free and fanciful – something to take the edge off life – often ends in isolation and loneliness, where obsession and the single-minded value of using or doing is what governs one’s life.
But from where I work as a Recovery Coach, it’s not about what caused the addiction as much as how one wants to move forward. It’s a quagmire, and while acknowledging the victim it is my primary focus to support my clients as they create #RecoveryCapital to develop their survivor. Recovery Coaching is not a “fix all”, but rather an adjunct service that can be used to help a client plan their recovery and wellness journey, and then develop actions to move themselves towards their envisaged future.
It takes a strong, courageous person to acknowledge their addiction and take the first step in their personal journey. Addiction treatment and recovery is something to be celebrated and honoured, something for the individual and their loved ones to be proud off. Millions of people across the world’s regions and cultures, ethnic, language and socio-economic groups are afflicted by what really is an equal-opportunities disorder. The challenge facing all these people is to unite in supporting, loving and reconnecting with themselves, their families and communities. That we treat one another as whole, complete and capable, rather than broken and weak. Because isolating people is not going to help them get well!!
The addict’s larger circle is as always affected by the substance abuse and addictive behaviours. And it is equally important that their close family and friends don’t forget about themselves to save their addict. Rebuilding trust, learning to practice patience, tolerance, forgiveness and integrity are all effective ways to heal relationships. Learning to communicate effectively with others and laying down strong, healthy personal boundaries are all solutions-driven approaches to starting to live a constructive, fulfilling life. Learning to express the mature emotions of anger, sadness, fear and joy in a way that serves and empowers, are highly useful tools that can be learned in treatment and recovery programs.
Education, personal development and spiritual growth are all facets that can be expanded and developed as one progresses through recovery. It’s about developing new though patterns, developing new behaviours and being mindfully aware of our thoughts. There are various options around treatment and recovery, from inpatient treatment to outpatient programs. One of the most important elements lies in the personal relationships that develop between the patient, the addiction professionals and the family unit. So explore all the options that are out their from counselling, to therapy and recovery coaching, along with exploring what you can do to #feedyoursoul in recovery.
For more information about treatment and recovery solutions, please visit www.thefoundationclinic.com or call us on (011)728-9200 for information about our various programs.