Drug addiction and alcoholism will rob an individual of every opportunity to live a complete and well-rounded life. Procuring drugs and alcohol gradually becomes the sole concentration and purpose of the addict’s existence to the exclusion of family, friends, and career. Addiction rehab and recovery will help the addict to break his physical and chemical dependency on drugs and alcohol, but long-term recovery success will be more likely if an addict can also recover a sense of wholeness in his life.
A person who falls prey to drugs and alcohol is often looking for something that is missing from his or her life. Drugs or alcohol, for example, will take the place of failed relationships, an inadequate sense of self-esteem, or regrets over missed opportunities. Rather than addressing these problems head-on, drugs and alcohol only mask them and drive them deeper into a person’s subconsciousness. Successfully recovering from drug addiction or alcoholism will require a person to bring these matters back to the surface of his consciousness where they can be analyzed and remedied.
An individual who is in the throes of addiction will often deny that he has drug or alcohol problems, and that denial will extend to any suggestion that he does not have a sense of wholeness in his life. Many self-styled “functioning” alcoholics will argue that they have a normal family life, that they are successfully holding down a job, and that they have active friendships and social lives. These surface characteristics may be present in an addict’s or alcoholic’s life, but they always crumble when put under closer inspection. An addict’s perception that he has a normal family life will be an illusion created by the fog of drugs. He may be able to get through a day at his job only if with the help of a few drinks. His friendships inevitably rotate around getting drunk or high. In all cases, any balance in an addict’s or alcoholic’s life is lost.
Recovering a sense of wholeness will require the addict or alcoholic to go through what may be a painful process of self-examination. All aspects of his emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual self will be subject to an analysis to determine where any pieces are missing or where changes should be made. If those gaps are not filled and changes are glossed over, the addict or alcoholic will be at a greater risk for relapse when those parts of his life rear up after he has gone through detox and withdrawal. Alcoholic and addicts who fail to take this step are often deemed to have gone through a “dry recovery”. They may no longer have physical cravings for drugs or alcohol, but their lives remain characterized by negativity and self-destructive behavior. Achieving true and long-lasting sobriety will require an addict or alcoholic to seek and find answers to the problems that originally fostered his addiction. When those answers are found, the addict will have taken an important step toward making himself whole.
Achieving or recovering your sense of wholeness is more than just an ephemeral, new-age concept. It is a critical component of everyone’s life, and not just the lives of recovering alcoholics and drug addict.
Please call the counselors and therapists at the Last Resort Recovery Center (near Austin, Texas) at 512-360-3600 for more information on how making yourself whole can help you in any aspect of your life, including breaking a cycle of drug or alcohol addiction.