Challenge Your Addictive Thinking in the New Year

From everyone at Addiction Helper, we want to wish you a happy, safe and healthy New Year.

If you’re battling an addiction right now, why not make a fresh start in January? To find out about addiction treatment, please contact our friendly advisors at Addiction Helper.

Or perhaps you still have doubts about addiction recovery. Is your addictive thinking getting in the way? Most people who are addicted have concerns about stopping or accepting help. In this blog, we’ll take a look at how to break through the beliefs that are holding you back.

Dry January positive thinking image with a mug and plant leaves

15 New Perspectives on Old Addictive Thinking

1.“I’ll give up my addiction when things get really bad.”

You might think that things aren’t bad enough to stop or seek help with addiction. You have friends, family, opportunities and money. You’re doing well at work or travelling to interesting places. You enjoy life – some of the time.

But there are difficult days too, where it’s hard to get out of bed. Or you feel sluggish at work. Or you get irritated with the kids. You may have put on or lost a lot of weight. Anxiety is catching up with you, knocking your confidence. And you’re beginning to suspect that addiction is causing these problems.

You weigh up the good against the bad. You tell yourself you’re okay because you still have good things. This kind of addictive thinking centres around justification – you look for evidence to cancel out the harms of your addiction.

But why wait until addiction has permanently damaged your health? Or you’ve lost your relationship, job or friends? Today, increasing numbers of people seek help for addiction before their life has fallen apart. Recovery from addiction can help you function to your best ability and be the person you really want to be.

2.“I’m an addict through and through – there’s no hope for me.”

At the other end of the scale, some people believe they are completely beyond help in their addiction. It’s addictive thinking, and it’s untrue. If you can decide you’re hopeless, then that shows your awareness of the difficult nature of your circumstances. With the right addiction treatment, you can actually use this information to motivate and enhance your recovery.

At Addiction Helper, we’ve helped over 10,000 people find the right addiction treatment for them – addiction interventions, addiction counselling, day programmes, detox, rehab and extended care. We speak to people at every stage of their addiction, many of whom feel broken or lost. This includes people who have tried addiction treatment in the past but later relapsed. With every client, we carry out a thorough addictions assessment, to recommend the best addiction treatment programmes.

3.“I’m only a teenager – I’m not ready for adult responsibility.”

Recovery from addiction won’t weigh you down in life. It won’t add to your responsibilities. There may be some tough emotions and experiences to deal with in recovery – but if you’re addicted, the chances are you’re already dealing with difficult feelings by yourself.

Addiction recovery gives you the best chance to live the life you want to live. You can still be young, adventurous and take risks in recovery. The difference is you’ll have choices about the risks you take.

4.“I’m too old to change my ways.”

At Addiction Helper, we often speak to older people or their relatives. Their addiction has gone on for decades. Their addictive thinking and habits are very entrenched, and they don’t express much hope for the future. A lot of damage has been done by addiction – particularly to their health and relationships.

For a complete recovery from a long-term addiction, residential addiction treatment gives the most intensive support. Medically supervised detoxification and rehab programmes support people 24 hours a day. There are often aftercare programmes that clients can continue to attend following their stay. Older people are often valued in addiction rehab groups for the unique perspective and experience they bring to therapy sessions.

5.“I don’t know who I’ll be without my addiction.”

Do you fear what your life will be like without your addiction? Or does your identity feel completely wrapped up in your addictive thinking and behaviours? You may perceive a void without your addiction, which is what keeps you stuck.

Most addicts feel this before they ask for help with addiction. They want to change, but they are also scared of the unknown. To feel some fear as you make any big change is normal. You will be surprised at the discoveries you make about yourself in addiction treatment, including the strength of character and resources you have.

6.“How will I enjoy myself without my addiction?”

So, you’ve had some good times in your addiction. That’s the case for most addicts. People get addicted to processes or substances because they are enjoyable or exciting at first. The early days are often about experimentation, thrills, relieving pressure or doing new things.

But as addiction progresses, the fun and spontaneity wear off. There are more pain and regret. At this point, there’s an addictive thinking pattern that holds you back. You pull examples from your past of the great times you’ve had. You tell yourself your addiction was always fun back then – and it can be again today.

It may surprise you to learn that addiction treatment and recovery can be fun. People often describe laughing a lot, sometimes for the first time in ages, early in their recovery. Facing up to difficult feelings or life events can lift a very heavy weight off your shoulders.

7.“All my friends are the same or worse than me.”

Peer groups are extremely influential, and they can sometimes keep you stuck in addiction. Say you hang out with people who drink heavily, gamble regularly or game day and night. Or your best mates all smoke weed or take drugs at clubs.

It’s very common in addiction to start spending more time with people who are also addicted or use heavily. It’s also very common to spend less or no time with people who question your addiction or don’t take part.

Maybe you fear you may lose your friends if you seek help for addiction. Perhaps some friends won’t understand what you’re doing – but good friends will support you in your addiction recovery process. And there will be new friends waiting for you in recovery.

8.“My addiction helps me think, work or come up with ideas.”

Some people associate their addiction with greater creativity or a clearer mind – for example, they take drugs or smoke to focus on their work. However, usually, it’s just temporary relief from addiction withdrawal symptoms that they’re experiencing, rather than enhanced creative capacity.

Anxiety, for example, is a common symptom in alcohol and drug withdrawal. It can be extremely debilitating, and at the extreme end, it can block all creative thoughts. So if you’re suffering from anxiety in withdrawal, then it will be very hard to think clearly.

Workaholism often sits beneath this kind of addictive thinking too. If you feel extreme pressure to perform in your job, then addiction may be your way to deal with the stress.

9.“I’ve done too many bad things in my addiction to deserve help.”

Many addicts have low self-esteem. You might feel ashamed or guilty about past actions.

In addiction treatment, you’ll be able to discuss difficult experiences in your past. Other people may see you differently to how you see yourself. Skilled therapists will help you process the emotions you feel and find appropriate ways to put things right.

10.“Something awful happened to me – that’s why I’m an addict.”

There is specialist addiction help available for people who have suffered past traumas. For example, you may have suffered abuse in childhood, domestic violence or had a serious accident. Addiction has been your coping mechanism but you know that’s harming you even further.

If this is the case for you, please ask Addiction Helper about addiction treatment programmes with trauma therapy.

11.“I never stick to anything – so I won’t be able to stick to recovery.”

Probably, it’s more likely you haven’t had the right help yet to quit your addiction. Trying to overcome addiction alone can be very painful and hard to achieve. Even if you’ve tried counselling or rehab before, you may not have found the right programme at the right time for you.

Please don’t give up on yourself or addiction treatment – for some people; it takes several attempts to get well.

12.“I won’t be able to date or have sex without my addiction.”

Is it hard to imagine getting close to anyone without your addiction? Do you fear to fall in love or to have sober sex?

This kind of addictive thinking is very common to people with drug and alcohol addictions, who rely on mood-altering chemicals to feel confident or calm. Sex and love addicts often fear genuine intimacy in relationships – seeking intense encounters instead. Food addicts with body image disorders often find it painful to get close to people they like.

You might never have had a sober relationship before and feel terrified at the prospect of doing so. Addiction treatment can help you explore these fears and start building new relationships without addictive hits.

13.“I recently tried to quit my addiction, and it didn’t work.”

If you’ve just relapsed after an attempt to overcome your addiction, it doesn’t mean you can’t try again. With support, you can learn from the relapse and channel that back into your recovery.

Don’t be too proud to get help with addiction whenever you need it. Sometimes by making a mistake, you’ll discover something very important for sustaining your recovery.

14.“I still like using too much – there’s no point trying to change.”

You can get into addiction recovery when you still associate good things with your addiction. You may love the sensation of being high on drugs. Or you feel the greatest excitement when you game or gamble. You might only feel sexual arousal when you watch porn. Or you only feel in control when you restrict food.

It’s important to understand this type of addictive thinking as just a phase of addiction. It’s when denial can be strong because you still feel good when you’re actively engaged in your addiction. Other things in life may feel hard or dull – but your addiction takes those feelings away.

Addiction Helper speaks to many people who are conflicted about their addiction. We never push anyone to accept help with addiction. You can find out the options for addiction treatment for yourself or a relative, then make a decision in your own time about whether to accept help.

15.“My family are all addicts – there’s no chance for me.”

To have several addicts in one family is very common. Addiction is often referred to as a ‘family illness’ for this reason.

Growing up in a household with an alcoholic parent, for example, makes you more susceptible to addiction yourself. You could also suffer from addiction to alcohol because of what you’ve witnessed as a child. Equally, you could steer clear of alcohol but develop love addiction instead, finding yourself attracted to unavailable or addicted partners.

If your family don’t understand why you want to quit your addiction, then don’t try to persuade them. If a partner or relative who lives with you is addicted, then residential treatment can help you to break the cycle of addiction.

In addiction treatment, you’ll have many opportunities to discuss your family situation. If you choose residential addiction treatment, you will meet people in detox or rehab centres who are in recovery. You’ll build recovery strategies, to keep you safe beyond your treatment. Family members are often invited to take part in family groups or meetings too. In outpatient treatment, you can also address family matters.

Contact Addiction Helper if you want to talk about treatment for addiction.

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We look forward to helping you take your first step

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