The words Addiction and Recovery are often assigned to people who are at end stages alcoholism or drug addiction. We could all benefit from taking a broader perspective on these words to not only reduce stigma, but to help us evolve culturally and to improve our health as a population.
In many cases people who find themselves struggling at mid-stage of addiction - people who are working and appear to be functioning rather well in their lives, will not seek help despite their concerns about their potential addictions. What if they knew there were so many simple lifestyle changes that could be put in place early, to help build resilience and to help prevent them from ever going deeper into the grips of addiction?
If we could learn to identify with addiction and see ourselves in others who are struggling, we as a community could become motivated to make changes. Addiction manifests differently for each person and in relation to the substance or behaviour a person takes on – be it pills, eating, negative thinking, work, sex, video games, netflix, alcohol, marijuana or an assortment of other options. One thing every addicted person has in common is the struggle with a problem that lies beneath the problem. At whatever stage we are at, we are all trying to avoid pain of some kind.
The addiction may start out innocently as an attempt to join in a party or calm down after a long day at work. But over time, the brain chemistry changes, synapses alter and you become physically addicted. It is difficult to recognize this decent, as we are encouraged by big marketing companies to keep taking part in avoiding our life’s challenges – they tell us to eat the fast food, drink the booze, gamble, watch the show, play the game… but eventually there is a price to pay.
With a new understanding that addiction affects us all (if not directly, indirectly as a family member or loved one of someone who is addicted) we can contribute to our collective recovery instead of add to our decline.
Recovery is a broad term. We are all recovering from something. We recover from grief, disease, divorce, addiction, anxiety, and depression. We all recovery differently, taking different paths, but one thing for certain – we cannot do it alone.
In the coming weeks I am excited to share with you some key information about how addiction manifests, prevention, treatment and how families can recover from addiction. We will also talk about how to move out of addiction and into a more vital lifestyle through a variety of practices that boost our neurotransmitters and build our resilience. Understanding addiction and recovery and contributing to the solutions, will help us all to thrive in a healthier community.
Coaching with Karyn