Addiction is a pervasive and destructive illness that can totally take over our lives. It wreaks havoc on our emotional, mental and physical health. It leaves us with deep inner turmoil, along with serious problems in our lives and relationships. When many of us are finally ready to do the work to get better, we’ve hit rock bottom and our lives have become totally unmanageable and our pain unbearable. What are some of the ways in which addiction can be all-consuming?
Addiction literally consumes our thoughts and emotions. Our main priority in life becomes how to be able to continue with our addiction without being interrupted, caught, stopped, arrested, or worse, overdosing. Our drug or behavior of choice becomes our main focus. It is our first thought of every day. Our primary goal is to get high, and all our other goals become totally irrelevant.
Our addictions can skew our priorities entirely. We start defaulting on our responsibilities and obligations. Perhaps we start skipping out on work or not paying bills. Maybe we start standing people up and bailing on plans. We slip up in various areas of our lives. We get fired from our jobs, lose our career paths, or get kicked out of school. We stop participating in the activities we once enjoyed. Friends and family members who showed concern might start distancing themselves altogether in order to protect themselves from our irrational behavior, mood swings and hostility. We might become more isolated, sad, anxious and depressed. Our relationships fade in importance, we prioritize getting high over resolving conflict, and we lose our connections to our loved ones.
When we are totally consumed with thoughts of our addiction, we lose our connection to the present moment. We struggle to experience mindfulness, to find pleasure in the everyday beautiful things in life. We lose our appreciation of the world around us, the people, the natural world, all of our blessings. We have a hard time feeling or expressing happiness and gratitude. The stress pertaining to our addiction can be so overwhelming that we have little mental or emotional energy to think of anything else. We become obsessed. In addition, we’re always dealing with the enormous pressure of our compulsive urges, facing temptation on a regular basis, and struggling to keep our willpower strong against what feels like an insurmountable force. We experience our addictions consuming our lives in multiple ways, and learning about them is part of the process of undoing the damage.
The Vista Taos community is committed to helping you plan your treatment. Our integrated treatment approach and personalized care offer you a strong foundation for recovery. Call (575) 613-4810 for more information.