Abusing Drugs or Alcohol
Generally speaking, very few people are fond of change.
Our lives tend to acquire a certain shape, and we settle into that shape. We have our routines, our social circle, our ways of thinking about the world. Without a serious nudge, we are unlikely to make significant changes. After all, change is hard, and consistency is comfortable—and so we resist change.
Sometimes, that is just fine. But if you are a person struggling with drugs or alcohol, making a change is more than an inconvenience. It’s a necessity.
You Can Quote Us – Ways of Thinking About Necessary Change
The legendary Russian author Leo Tolstoy observed, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
If you are using drugs or alcohol, you might fall into this trap. You might think that if only you could change something about the world you live in—your job, your relationships, your financial situation—you would be able to regain and maintain your sobriety. But the change you really need is internal rather than external. Making a change by deciding to get help for your substance use disorder is the best way to leave drugs or alcohol behind.
The famed artist Andy Warhol noted that change has to be active rather than passive. “They always say time changes things,” Warhol said, “but you actually have to change them yourself.”
It isn’t enough to want to give up drugs or alcohol. If you sit back and hope things will change if you let enough time pass, you are almost certainly going to find things getting worse rather than better. Time isn’t going to address your substance use disorder. Only treatment will do that—and only you can decide to get that treatment.
Actor Harrison Ford—he of Han Solo and Indiana Jones fame—was a carpenter before his career in motion pictures truly took off, so he knows a thing or two about making a major change in life. He offers a good perspective on those changes: “We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance.”
Going through treatment to get sober is a perfect example of a change that is also a second chance. Drugs or alcohol can upend in your life in any number of ways. But going through detox and rehab provides you with the opportunity to set things right—to make a change that not only benefits you, but also benefits everyone around you, from your coworkers to your friends to your family members.
Author and journalist Gail Sheehy reminds us that change—even difficult, uncomfortable change—is of utmost importance. “If we don’t change, we don’t grow,” she writes, “If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.”
To Sheehy’s point, we might argue that if your life is defined by drug or alcohol use, you aren’t really living. So committing to change—and to growth—via treatment is essential to reclaiming your life. A key part of treatment is learning strategies for protecting your sobriety over time. That kind of personal growth allows you to truly benefit from the difficult but necessary change you have made by getting sober.
The writer and lay theologian C.S. Lewis—perhaps best known for creating the magical land of Narnia—was a man with hope in his heart. He reminds us that change can be transformative when he says, “There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
That is certainly true if what you are leaving behind you is a substance use disorder. Making the change from addiction to sobriety gives you the opportunity to experience “far better things” in your life.
Making Room for Change in Your Mental Health
Substance use disorders and mental health disorders are often tangled up in one another. Maybe you have turned to using drugs or drinking as a way to self-medicate—to temporarily set aside the negative feelings caused by a mental health disorder. Or maybe your drug or alcohol use has led to new mental health problems—or worsened an existing problem.
The Nigerian-American writer and mental health advocate Bassey Ikpi—whose work on behalf of those with mental health disorders includes founding The Siwe Project and creating #NoShameDay—knows that change is always possible. That is true even when a mental health disorder whispers in your ear to suggest that things will never change. Ikpi encourages people to think about each new day as an opportunity for change.
“I give them the suggestion Allow yourself morning. I tell them it means that today may have been a rolling ball of anxiety and trembling, a face wet and slick with tears, but if you can get to morning, if you can allow yourself a new day to encourage a change, then you can get through it. Allow yourself morning.”
Here Is Something that Doesn’t Change: Our Commitment to You
We know that change is hard. But we also know that getting sober is well worth the effort. If you are struggling with drugs or alcohol and ready to make a change, we are ready to help. At Peak View Behavioral Health, our compassionate, evidence-based care is personalized to your specific needs.
We will also address any co-occurring mental health disorders—including depression, anxiety, trauma-induced disorders, and more—that may be impeding your ability to confidently make changes in your life. As your mental health is bolstered, you will be better able to maintain your sobriety. And as you maintain your sobriety, you will be better able to improve your mental health.
Our commitment to a continuum of care means you’ll begin your recovery journey with the resources and support needed to make the most of the most important change you have ever made.