To recover from an addiction, you can not only recover from the “symptom” which could be drinking, sex, drugs, nicotine, gambling, shopping, etc… You have to recover from the problem itself. For many, the symptom is drinking, and they get treated for that, but if they don’t get treated for the problem, which could be abuse as a child, loneliness, loss… They’ll either end up drinking again, or just substitute the drinking symptom with another symptom. This is my effort to solve the problem before the symptom is too prevalent.
I figured out that I have different “symptoms”… For example, I only have sex when I am happy about something, “celebrating” something, or stressed out. I only drink when I’m mad and don’t want to deal with anger. I only smoke when my nerves are shot. I only go shopping when I’m sad or lonely. I only eat when I’m bored or depressed. I have many symptoms, so I know that there is a much bigger issue that I need to deal with. I just haven’t figured out what that issue really is, so that’s what I’m hoping I’ll find out as I start treatment.
Please understand that there is never a choice between the people close to us and our addictions. It is a dependency, for us it is like hunger. Just like we get really hungry in business meetings and all we can think about is getting that lunch break… an addict is constantly feeling hungry for something. Usually, it’s our soul that’s hungry, and for some reason, we have been brainwashed into thinking that only that “symptom” is going to fill us up.
I have been in the best relationship, and loved my boyfriend as a best friend and family member and Christian brother, and still had sex with other men… And it wasn’t the men I was choosing, it was the sex. They might as well not have names or faces, they could have easily been rolled out and smoked in a joint for someone else. it was like eating a sandwich to me. And that is WRONG… But it is the thinking of an addict.
Please understand. No matter how bad the addiction, even if your father DID leave the house and is now homeless, trying to get that fix, he never CHOSE that addiction over you. He’s still out there just chasing his dinner in his mind. That doesn’t make it RIGHT… I just hate so many families get hurt and can never have closure because they can’t be on the thought level of an addict. It doesn’t make it right, but maybe it will help you gain closure. It is never anyone’s fault.
As addicts and families or friends of addicts, I urge you to find the problem, not just the symptom.