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At some juncture while in active addiction you might close your eyes and allow yourself to recall an earlier time in life when you felt authentically happy. In that mental image of the former you joy and peace radiate from your being. Sadly, you may feel you have fallen so far away from that earlier version of you that he or she is no longer representative of your reality.
These wistful feelings are not at all surprising when taking stock of the changes in our lives, especially the negative changes. We may even grieve for who we once were before addiction grabbed hold, wishing we could rewind the tape and start over. The good news is that it is absolutely possible to reclaim that happier version of yourself and live an addiction free life once again. There is always hope for a fresh new start, and that hope can indeed become a pleasant reality.
How Addiction Happens
The process by which the brain becomes dependent on a substance is complex. Each person has unique brain chemistry, genetics, and life history that can all influence the speed and severity of the addiction process. Generally, however, there is a predictable pattern that occurs involving the brain’s reward system and dopamine production. Addictive substances have the power to remap the brains neuropathways over time, changing the brain’s structure and chemistry.
When someone begins to use drugs or alcohol there is a purpose behind it. Whether it is to induce relaxation, experience a buzz or euphoria, or relieve physical or emotional pain, these are what originally prompt initial use of a substance. As the brain adapts to the chemicals that are produced by the substance, trying to retain chemical balance in response to a flood of dopamine for instance, the individual will notice that they need more of the drug or alcohol to continue to get the same effects. This sets up a vicious cycle where the body demands increasingly higher doses at more frequent intervals, which lead to further disruption in the brain. Eventually chemical dependence can take root, making the individual basically a slave to the substance.
When Do You Need Treatment?
Some may mistakenly assume that treatment should be reserved for the point at which the addict “hits bottom” and is then ready to accept treatment. While true that most addicts are not anxious to give up their substance of choice until consequences become markedly disruptive in their life, waiting for the individual to hit bottom may actually be too late. The bottom could be death.
The earlier one disrupts the addiction process with treatment interventions the better. Of course, there is always hope for recovery no matter how long a history one has with a drug or alcohol addiction. But the more entrenched the disease, the more difficult it is to extricate oneself from its clutches. For this reason, it is best to get treatment as soon as it becomes obvious that addictive behaviors are developing, including:
- Increased tolerance
- Obsessing about the next drink or dose and planning to obtain the substance
- Secretive behavior, lying about the drug or alcohol use, denying you have a problem
- Continue to use the substance in spite of mounting negative consequences
- Trying to quit but unable to
How to Reclaim Who You Really Are
While in treatment, compassionate therapists will help you identify any unresolved emotional issues or traumas that may be fueling the addiction. Doing this work in therapy, examining one’s life and motivations, is essential in reclaiming yourself in recovery on the journey to becoming addiction free. During therapy sessions you will likely explore aspects of your life that you want to change for the better, and then set some short and long-term goals for reaching those aspirations.
Many upscale treatment programs incorporate certain experiential therapies into the treatment plan that can enhance the psychotherapy by sparking new insights. Activities such as mindfulness meditation, art therapy, journaling, and massage therapy allow the individual to connect deeply with their spiritual self and delve into their hopes, dreams, and passions, seeing themselves as addiction free and happy again. These activities all work in tandem to help the individual in treatment to gradually rediscover the essence of who they really are—or who they want to become—once the fog of addiction lifts.
Capo By the Sea Is a Premier Addiction Treatment Program in Orange County
Capo By the Sea will partner with you or your loved one in helping them reclaim the person inside who has been hidden and suppressed while in active addiction. Offering a beautiful and tranquil healing space, the expert therapists at Capo By the Sea will guide you out of destructive addictive behaviors and teach you new ways to think, react, relate, and behave in an addiction free new life of recovery. For more information about the various treatment elements and wonderful amenities provided at Capo By the Sea, please contact us today at (888) 529-2114.