The correlation between addiction and a romantic relationship is very realistic. Addiction becomes an addict’s closest most intimate relationship/friend. Addiction becomes the focus above all, the go-to place and the biggest comfort zone. Going into a treatment centre like Twin Rivers is for many clients like a break-up or a divorce even; they are ending a relationship that was so strong and impossible to control.
The Addiction Break-Up
One could query what is there to grieve? after all, isn’t there so much more to be gained from sobriety? Essentially a client could be grieving the loss of their central focus, the thing they have spent most of their time preoccupied with. They could be grieving the loss of their ‘familiar’ comfort zone, as this is what addiction quickly becomes. There may be a sense of feeling incomplete or lost – “who am I without my drugs?”. Clients may grieve their old addict based identity as many addicts are not sure of who they are without drugs. There may be a fearful loss of freedom and having to take responsibility in recovery!
Addiction has been all-consuming leaving no room for effective relationships with either yourself or family and friends. Addiction isolates us and in a cancerous like fashion gradually destroys all positive aspects of our lives. Addicts dislike change which of course is challenging from a recovery prospectus but change they MUST otherwise they will fall back into ‘old’ ways very quickly.
What is Denial?
Most addicts seriously believe that their addiction is NOT a problem and that it is not affecting anyone including themselves! This is a common denial belief which is one of the key areas that is addressed at Twin Rivers Rehab. It is very important for the recovering addict to understand and eventually accept that their lifestyle is toxic and highly self-destructive, riddled with poor attitudes and behaviours that promote often ‘unrecognised’ serious consequences.
David is the Clinical and Development Director of Twin Rivers Rehab in South Africa and a UK Accredited Addictions Therapist with the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals UK. Articles/Blogs are written with the assistance of researchers and other specialists in the field of addiction and the recovery process