My father was a boozehound. I swore I'd never be like him when I was a teenager. I substituted drugs for alcohol, oblivious to the fact that I was doing the same thing. I couldn't stop by the time I recognised I had a problem. My ideas, feelings, and behaviours had all changed radically.
I felt different than other people while I was clean and sober. I was undervalued. I was not an equal, but rather a second-class citizen. You wouldn't know it by looking at me. My illness was hidden beneath the surface. I was worried, needy, and afraid. That sensation of unease vanished as soon as I drank my first glass.
Here's a suggestion. When people who battle with substance abuse consume, they feel in command. Non-addicts feel powerless in the face of addiction.
My drug addiction progressed over time. It deteriorated with time. Diabetes, heart disease, and cancer are all examples of this. My reasoning degraded as my addiction grew stronger. I couldn't make rational, logical conclusions. Instead, I adopted a faulty thought pattern that included denial, deception, reduction, deflection, and blame. I continued to abuse and endangered my own (and my family's) lives.
Why would I chose addiction if it was truly my choice?
I began to wonder whether I was insane. I surely pretended to be. Putting one's life in danger by consuming large amounts of drugs and/or alcohol is not a sign of mental health. Despite this, I was unable to stop.
I gave it my all. Countless times.
Addiction is awful for both the addict and the family members who love them.
Nobody gets out of bed and declares, "I'm going to be an addict." If given the option, no one would choose to live in this manner. However, there is one decision that addicts make. That's how long they'll be unwell for. Recovery is a choice, even if addiction isn't. The problem is that the addict isn't in their right mind, therefore their relatives may have to make the decision for them.
There are a lot of misconceptions regarding addiction. One is that the addict must reach rock bottom. The other addicts must be eager to recover. Both of these beliefs are untrue. I spent 17 years working in a treatment centre and only encountered a few folks who wanted to be there. The majority were there because they had run out of other options or because their families had intervened.