The Choice is Yours: Are You Powerless or Powerful?

Have you ever heard someone say, “The choice is yours to make”?

At one point in your life, you have been forced to make a decision. Maybe it was where to eat dinner, what to eat for dinner, whether or not to break up with your significant other, or to stay at your job or leave.

We are faced with hundreds, thousands, of decisions in life every single day. Decisions are just part of life. Unfortunately, there are times when we cannot be in control and we have to let someone else decide for us.

But…

There are also several times in life when we just choose not to make a decision. We choose to just leave the cards on the table and deal with it later.

Compare this thought to your addiction – is someone forcing you to stay an addict or are you deciding that for yourself? Even if you just aren’t making an effort to fix it, ultimately, you are deciding to stay sedentary with your addiction.

Each day that you wake up and decide to continue letting the addiction control your life, you are ultimately deciding to be powerless.

Wow…that hits you right where it hurts, doesn’t it?

Why would you ever decide to be powerless?

Well, the thing is you probably don’t think about it like that right off the bat. You are not literally choosing to be powerless, but you are choosing not to be powerful and overcome the addiction.

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So, it is time to wake up and choose to be powerful.

Did you know you can do that? You have the ability to choose to change your own story.

Choose recovery. Choose powerful. Choose yourself.

Start by admitting to yourself that you have problem, then decide you are ready to make a change, then start working on it.

Part of being powerful is deciding to better yourself. Part of being powerful is deciding to make a change.

You have to decide what is more important to you and decide to follow through.

Part of power is following through.

Look for treatment options that you think will work best for you – conventional or nonconventional. Then, reach out to those people and make that first step.

You will be surprised how much power you feel when you just simply take that first step to making a difference.

Don’t wait any longer. Your future is at stake. Start today. Choose to be powerful and not powerless.

Mental Health: How Addiction Effects It

While addiction can stem from mental health issues, it can also be a leading factor in causing mental health issues…

Sometimes, those who have suffered from:

  • Sexual abuse
  • Mental abuse
  • Depression and anxiety

…and many other issues related to mental health will find themselves in the midst of addiction. However, this also works the other way around.

Chronic use of some drugs can cause both long-term and short-term effects on the brain.

Drugs and alcohol actually take a toll on the brain – effecting the brain’s pathways, its response to specific hormones, and how the brain normally functions. This change in function can lead to several issues such as depression, anxiety, paranoia, and even later on – suicide.

Some drugs that can cause mental health issues later include:

  • LSD
  • Cocaine
  • Inhalants
  • PCP
  • Steroids

…and several other drugs.

It is estimated that in 2015, around 43.4 million people suffered from mental illness. And, of these 43.4 million, 8.1 million had both a substance abuse disorder and mental illness. This is probably because those who abuse drugs are twice more likely – than the general population – to suffer from anxiety and other various mood disorders.

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In addition to changing the brain’s pathways, the effect that drugs have on the normal functioning of the brain lead to a much greater risk of mental illness. As a result of extensive drug usage, addicts might experience a lack of sleep and might also become incredibly unhealthy.

A lack of sleep leads to depression and anxiety. However, it can also lead to weight gain and other physical changes that could also cause the onset of mental illness.

Overview

Because our brain plays a vital role in our overall well-being and life in general, several factors can contribute to messing it up.

Addiction affects you overall – it messes with your mental and physical health which are so closely connected that most people often experience issues with both.

Who knows? Getting healthy might just be the answer you need to help overcome your addiction.

Don’t let the bottle or pills cost you everything – focus on getting clean and getting healthy to live a better life and be a better you.

 

Let’s Talk Money: How Much Does Addiction Cost?

Oftentimes, there is quite a bit of social stigma toward those who don’t have a job and those who are now homeless…

Society’s first assumption is that they are lazy and are an addict of some sort – drugs, alcohol, etc.

So, it is always in the back of our minds that drugs and alcohol cost money and that addiction can be costly, but what exactly does addiction cost?

The Big Picture

Overall, in the United States, addiction carries a social cost of roughly $185 billion each year. Now consider how much each person is spending. If the alcohol or drugs cost $10 or $20 each time…

Let’s give people the benefit of the doubt…

So, $15 – we will meet in the middle – and let’s say they buy their substance of choice once each day, seven days per week. That comes out to $105 each week, and that is being conservative. Oftentimes, drugs cost much more than that and addicts are purchasing much more than once each day.

To put that into perspective, $105 is what most people pay for an entire month of cable, what some people spend on an entire week of groceries, or about two weeks of food and diapers for a newborn.

There is so much more you could do with $105+…

But, that isn’t all.

Sadly, drugs and alcohol don’t just cost you monetarily though…

Addiction can cost you your family – spouse, kids, parents, aunts and uncles.

As addiction creeps in, you might find yourself acting in ways you never thought you would. Hurting people in ways you never even imagined.

The Ultimate Price.

And ultimately, the most expensive part of addiction is your life. Whether it be from an overdose or from the physical and mental ailments you develop as a result of the addiction, ultimately the addiction can end your life.

So many addicts think that will never be them, but somehow, they find themselves on the edge of overdose several times before it finally just happens.

Or, the addiction might just become so overwhelming that an addict feels the need to take their own life.

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Regardless of which of these matters the most to you – money, family, or your life – the point is that addiction is not free. The costs go well beyond just the initial money needed to purchase the substance of choice.

Addiction is a disease that will infect all aspects of your life.

Can You Overcome Codependence?

Do you ever find yourself so focused on something and someone else that you almost don’t even remember what you did all day?

It is as if you have been in a daze all day…almost like you have been hypnotized.

You might find yourself fixated on one person always thinking:

  • What are they doing?
  • Are they using me?
  • Should I be helping them instead?

Oftentimes, those who love and/or live with an addict find themselves in this situation – especially parents and spouses.

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By definition, codependence is an unhealthy relationship in where one person helps or enables another person’s addiction – whether it be drugs, alcohol, sex, or something else.

Typically, this is seen in parents as they feel obligated to give their child money, but then the child is just going and using that for drugs and alcohol so therefore, the parent is enabling them.

However, this can also be seen when the parent or spouse just feels guilty for not monitoring the person. For example, they might go on vacation and feel guilty the entire time because the addict is at home alone which leaves them susceptible to abusing their substance of choice.

So, can you really overcome the sadness and anxiety that stems from codependence?

Yes. But, it is not easy.

You are not the addict.

While you might almost feel as though you are, you are not the one who is addicted. The addict is making their own decisions. You have to remember that they are an adult and have free will.

Just don’t do it.

If you are the person who is giving them money or something that you know is enabling them – don’t. Instead, buy them food or clothes, whatever it is they claim they need the money for. This can be compared to how some people will only give homeless people food or gift cards rather than cash. Unfortunately, this is how it has to be with addicts too.

You are not responsible.

If you are the other type of codependent and just feel guilty for not monitoring them constantly, remind yourself that you are not responsible for them. Don’t dwell on that you could be home instead of on vacation or that you could have sent them to rehab instead of buying a new car.

The reality of it is that you still have to live your life and for their recovery to be successful, it has to start with their own decision to make a difference.

Guilt felt by the outsiders in the life of an addict can be great. It can leave you feeling as though you are the addict. Just remember, do the best you can but continue living your life and avoid things that enable their addiction.

A.A. Failed: What’s next?

Oftentimes, an alcoholic will seek Alcoholics Anonymous – also known as A.A. – meetings as their first form of treatment. It is a way to be open and let others know what is going on while also getting some support and advice from other people like them who are also suffering.

However, A.A. meetings do not always work – especially not when they are the only form of treatment being used.

So, this often leaves addicts feeling as though they won’t be able to recover or like they are a failure, but in reality, they just need more help than what a simple A.A. class can offer them.

While A.A. meetings are great, they still need to be combined with another form of treatment such as an addiction recovery program.

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Addiction is more than just putting the bottle down – it also entails getting over the emotional symptoms felt after giving up the alcohol, it is overcoming the withdraws and separating yourself from those who tempt you and who might lead you the wrong way (back into addiction).

The benefits of seeking out an addiction recovery program include:

  1. Stable environment. A treatment facility is regulated and will offer a stable environment where patients are monitored and are all actively receiving equivalent care.
  2. Counsellors. The moral support of the A.A. group leader and members is great, but sometimes it takes just a little bit more. The counsellors at a recovery facility do it for a living – they can offer some of the best mental treatment for their patients.
  3. Learning. Not only do they discuss addiction at a recovery facility, but they also teach you about it. In order to overcome it, it is important that you have a thorough understanding of the disease.
  4. Peer support. Of course, peer support is also found in A.A. meetings, but an addiction recovery program will just give you an additional group of people supporting you.
  5. Daily Routine. Part of recovery is getting back into a routine that no longer includes drugs and alcohol. By participating in a recovery program, you will be given a set daily routine that will teach you how to overcome the cravings and withdraws.
  6. Zero Tolerance. Recovery programs have a zero-tolerance rule meaning no one can bring drugs or alcohol onto the premises. This is incredibly beneficial as it gives patients a drug- and alcohol-free place they know they are welcome.
  7. Privacy. There are recovery facilities that you could go to in private. By law, they cannot share you are a part of the program and if you choose one in a private location no one will ever see you.
  8. Aftercare. Sometimes, getting over the addiction might actually be easier than staying clean. After being clean so long, you might find yourself thinking that one drink won’t hurt. Recovery programs offer plenty of options for continued care.