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• ADDICTION COUNSELING (Addiction is a scary word - February 2021)
“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president… You control your own destiny.”
Dr. Albert Ellis
Addiction has been described with many definitions. Some people believe it is the addicted persons fault that they are in that predicament and others believe it is a disease. Whatever your definition, addiction can be devastating to the addicted person and to their loved ones.
Addiction can be described as an urge to do something that is hard to control or stop. It may be alcohol, weed, prescription drugs or …. Addiction is more than a habit. Addiction is something we do over and over despite it causing harm to our lives and others.
I believe an addiction is a chronic disorder with biological and psychological aspects that is influenced by social and environmental factors. These factors impact the development and maintenance of the addiction. For example, hanging out with people that have a similar interest in the addiction.
There are many indications of an addiction that include: desperate seeking of the addicted item, neglecting daily obligations, lying to cover usage, hiding the addicted item, and risk taking in all areas of the addicted person’s life.
Addiction conquering is a structured path. Foremost is deciding that you want to change and are willing to put forth the effort required. Addiction is a false and damning friend. However, you can use your brain/mind and decide to make difficult and beneficial changes that will leave that “old friend” in your past. Didn’t say it was easy. I said it is possible if you believe you are worth the effort.
Our Brain is the smartest computer in the world. It stores summaries of our thoughts and actions and allows us to use those memories when necessary. You trained your brain to be accepting of this addictive behavior – you repeated the process of use over and over. I believe it is possible to retrain your brain to use habits that are beneficial.
How do you help yourself or others that have addictive behaviors? What skills will you use to counter the negative activities? You can learn cognitive behavioral skills and use them on a minute-to-minute basis until you feel more in control of your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Stop – think clearly and learn to manage those destructive urges. Didn’t say it is easy – said it is possible. How do you want your life to be tomorrow, next week and months to come? You get to decide if you are worth the effort.
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