Common Threads among Addicts: Beyond the Struggle, Shared Desires
In modern American society, there are two places where you can fully appreciate its rich diversity. The military is one, and Alcoholics Anonymous is another. The former is an institution, while the latter is a community, but they’re both comprised of people from all walks of life who share something important in common: a life-affirming desire. Those who join the military do so to serve their countries, while those who enter AA do so to recover. These are fundamental desires that truly bring people together. Many people whose recovery included attending AA meetings can tell you how surprised they were to share something in common with people from such a wide ethnic, cultural, religious, and socioeconomic spectrum. This is just one thing all addicts have in common. Here are a few more.
A Substance Use Disorder Diagnosis
It’s difficult to estimate how many alcoholics and addicts self-diagnose through curiosity or a moment of clarity, but a 1982 research study on hundreds of Vietnam War veterans who got hooked on heroin found that nearly 80 percent went through recovery without a formal diagnosis. They just knew they needed help. All addicts are diagnosed with substance use disorder at some point. Some of them need further assessment to measure the degree of severity so adequate treatment can be arranged.
Painful Guilt or Unconscious Regret
This one is challenging to handle because not all addicts are going to bare their souls in dramatic fashion. All addicts regret falling into the situations that landed them in rehab, AA, the hospital, or jail. The emotional intensity of this guilt can define how smooth or rough the journey to recovery can be. All addicts made mistakes at some point in their lives, some of them multiple times. Some people are better than others at healing from this guilt. Learning to let go positively and constructively is a crucial part of the process. Holding on to deep-seated guilt, on the other hand, can derail the journey.
All addicts are driven by emotions that start as impulses before they turn obsessive and devolve into compulsions. This common trait can go in different ways. Some addicts are pathologically habituated, while others are neurochemically hijacked by psychoactive substances. Compulsive behavior is what makes you lose control, engage in risky conduct, and do things you’ll surely regret. In cases featuring recalcitrant compulsion that interferes with a structured life, a stay in a sober living facility can help patients rebuild the structures they need.
A Potential for Relapse
All addicts share this potential, and more than 45 percent will either lapse or go through a full relapse episode. To a certain extent, addiction recovery and sobriety are complex exercises in lowering this potential. Many studies claim a significant majority of addicts who lapse or relapse get back on the recovery wagon. Some addicts find a residential program such as an Encinitas sober living home is particularly effective in preventing relapse. What’s more important is for addicts to realize relapsing isn’t the end of the world.
If you’re newly sober and you need help with avoiding relapse, call on the compassionate team at Casa Pacifica. Along with providing Encinitas men’s sober living, we work with our individual residents to develop customized plans that integrate treatment, aftercare, and recovery support. Our services include sober companionship, coaching, and mentorship for those who are recovering from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. For more information about our sober living facilities, call us today at (760) 230-2996.