In some ways, addiction is all about comfort. Using a substance you’re addicted to relieves pain temporarily and staves off withdrawal. It’s a safe little refuge from uncomfortable feelings. Having your habits and rituals built around addiction is predictable. Unfortunately, comfort is not the same as happiness. In fact, comfort can make you miserable. What’s comfortable is merely familiar. It might be unpleasant, but it’s unpleasantness you know how to deal with. Stepping outside that comfort zone means you may have to deal with new kinds of pain, which you fear may be worse. However, life can’t get better unless you’re willing to tolerate some discomfort.
Deciding to get treatment
Perhaps the biggest challenge to your comfort is deciding to get help in the first place. Addiction is easy and predictable. You know what to expect from day to day, even if what you expect is mostly bad. You have focus and you might have friends. Changing the way you’ve been living, perhaps for years, is a big decision and there are many unknowns on the other side. However, if your life has steadily gotten worse during addiction, you know what you can expect from the future if you don’t try something new.
Opening up in therapy
Therapy, both one-on-one and group, is a major part of addiction treatment. Many people who struggle with addiction have undiagnosed or untreated mental health issues. Many suffer from trauma and abuse, which are difficult to acknowledge. Getting past these challenges requires a willingness to experience old wounds so you can process them in a constructive way. It may be hard to admit even to yourself how much you’ve been hurt. Discussing it with someone else can be even more challenging, but also quite liberating.
Practicing new ways to live
Another big part of treatment is learning new ways to think and live. Younger people who have struggled with addiction will have to learn some basic life skills like finding a job and paying bills. These can be daunting at first, but they’re necessary. Everyone, regardless of age will likely participate in cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. CBT involves identifying faulty assumptions and ways of thinking and intentionally challenging those ways of thinking. This is extremely challenging at first. You may have been sabotaging yourself with maladaptive thinking patterns for decades. Although they mess up your life, they are certainly comfortable. Learning to think differently requires persistent effort and it may feel unnatural for a while, but it will pay off in the long run.
Progressing in recovery
The comfort zone is not only dangerous during addiction and treatment, but in all phases of recovery. After a certain point, it’s easy to stagnate and backslide. Moving forward in recovery means constantly finding new challenges, setting new goals, and tackling new problems.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or mental illness, we can help. Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have the resources to effectively treat a dual diagnosis. Our mission is to provide the most cost-effective, accessible substance abuse treatment to as many people as possible. Request information online or call us today at 1-888-986-7848.