Struggling with substance abuse is one of the most misunderstood aspects of humanity today. The world is filled with a slew of unhelpful or even absurd pieces of “common sense” advice that don’t take into consideration the complexity of the human experience or the way patterns develop within human lives. The following will explore just one aspect of substance issues in detail: deciding whether or not it’s time to seek professional help.
Of course, every person is different, so it follows that every substance struggle is different. It’s important to come back to the core of you and your life when making decisions of this magnitude. Use your own emotional system to guide you; if you’re not feeling good about your situation or your ability to alter your situation, seeking help is probably the right choice for you.
For many people with substance issues, there’s a wide schema of difficulties surrounding substance abuse. One common struggle is the lack of a strong support system; quite simply, many people facing addictions don’t have people in their lives who will hold space for them as they recover and do the internal work required to end a substance relationship.
If you feel like you don’t have any support, professional help might be an excellent way of getting that support. If all your friends use the substance you’d like to remove from your life, if your family relationships are strained or toxic, and if your job seems impossible to complete without the aid of substances, then you might be in need of some support.
For some people with substance abuse struggles, it’s not easy to pinpoint why an addiction took hold in the first place. Those who have had an addiction since a young age or who have spent years or even decades suppressing traumas and pains might want some help with the internal deep dives that are sometimes required for full healing. Gabor Mate said famously: “Don’t ask why the addiction, ask why the pain,” and many professional substance abuse treatment plans involve exploring this aspect of addiction. Oftentimes, a strong relationship is formed with a substance when that substance provides something for someone that they needed and simultaneously were, for whatever reason, unable to get from regular life. Identifying these needs and finding healthy, safe ways to meet them outside of substance abuse can be emotionally daunting but incredibly fulfilling.
For some, substance abuse is so deeply embedded in their lives that they need distance from their regular existence. In some cases, staying in a treatment facility away from the chaos and difficulties of daily life is ideal. Stepping back from your day-to-day life in order to focus solely on your struggles can be a wonderful way to give yourself the care you need.
If you find yourself acting, thinking, or feeling things that confuse you, or you can’t comprehend how you got into the situation you’re in or how you keep ending up in the same scenario even with different efforts, it might be time to bring a professional into the situation. Sometimes it’s easier for someone on the outside to have a clearer view of what’s going on as they don’t have the same emotional attachments as the person within the situation.
Many people struggling with addictions are also struggling with pain, be it emotional, physical, or mental. Oftentimes, the pain has been going on so long that it has become an accepted part of life. If you have pain in your life that you don’t feel like you can safely manage, it might be time to seek out professional support. Doctors and other healthcare professionals might be able to diagnose and treat the sources of your pain so that you can focus on your own health and wellbeing.
If you have continually tried to eradicate a particular substance from your life and have found that sooner or later, you end up back with it, a professional might be able to help. Sometimes you can’t recognize your triggers and cycles without someone asking you the right questions. Professionals know what questions to ask and what courses of action tend to produce positive results.
The above information should help you determine whether or not it’s time to see a professional regarding your substance issues. There is a good chance that if you felt the need to research this topic, you already feel like you might need some help.