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How Do Our Addictions Wreak Havoc on Our Lives?

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As recovering addicts, we’ve seen firsthand just how much chaos, turmoil and destruction addiction can bring to our lives. We often don’t want to look at all of it head on because we feel ashamed, embarrassed and disappointed in ourselves. Rather than confront the truth of our addictions and how they’ve impacted our lives, many of us turn to our drugs of choice to avoid having to address things for ourselves. We become stuck in our addictive patterns, having a very hard time freeing ourselves, and struggling to clean up the mess our lives have become. The more we use, the less likely we are to get help, creating even more dysfunction in our lives that can impact not only us but everyone around us. Our substance use has far-reaching impacts that can touch every aspect of our lives, from our emotions and mental health to our finances and everything in between. How do our addictions wreak havoc on our lives?

Mental, Emotional and Physical Health

Our addictions can worsen existing mental and emotional health issues or contribute to the development of new ones. We can become increasingly depressed because of our problems with drugs and alcohol. We can experience exacerbated anxiety, panic and suicidal thoughts because of them. We might be more nervous, restless, uneasy and uncomfortable. We might have worsened health problems, from insomnia and eating disorders, to high blood pressure, liver failure and other serious declines in our physical and overall health. Oftentimes we aren’t aware of our declining health because we’re not coherent or clear enough to pay attention to our new symptoms, to go to the doctor for check-ups, or to be on the look-out for deteriorating conditions. We might know that we struggle with certain health problems but totally avoid thinking about them because they’re one more thing we’re desperately trying to distract ourselves from with our drugs of choice. We don’t feel capable of handling the additional stress, or the pressure of keeping up with our self-care and well-being.

Worsened Circumstances

Because of the negative impacts to our health and well-being, and because of the sheer amount of stress we’re under, we can struggle to keep up with our many obligations and responsibilities. Our problems with addiction can create difficult circumstances in every area of our lives. Our addictive patterns can be so all-consuming we struggle to concentrate, to keep up with our busy schedules, and to there for our loved ones as much as we’d like. We might feel as though life’s demands have become too difficult to handle. We might stop going to work or school, or have performance or tardiness issues causing us to be penalized, fired from our jobs, or kicked out of school. We can have a hard time finding work because of our histories of addiction. Many of us struggle with financial hardship and can be at risk for severe poverty and homelessness. We might have car accidents or accidents at work, or sustain injuries because we’re under the influence. We might unknowingly and unintentionally cause harm to other people, or even, sadly, take someone’s life, especially when driving while inebriated. We might engage in criminal behavior to support our addictions and to be able to afford our drugs of choice.

Changes in Our Behaviors and Personality

Another serious way in which we create destruction in our lives is all of the changes to our personality we can experience when we’re under the influence or going through withdrawal. Our dependence on an addictive substance can cause us to think, behave and treat other people differently, whether we’re high or coming down from the high, if we’re out of our drug and looking to get more. Our judgment, problem-solving skills and thinking processes can all be impaired. We can become unkind, reactive and spiteful. We can be volatile, hostile, belligerent, controlling and manipulative. We can abuse the people around us. We can lash out at them, or conversely totally retreat from them, causing them hurt with our distance and estrangement. Our loved ones can be negatively affected whether we’re in their presence or not, whether we’re treating them with cruelty and abusiveness, or aloofness and nonchalance. The people in our lives care for us, and oftentimes they want to support us even when we’ve caused them considerable pain. The ensuing shame and regret we feel for having hurt the people we care about can make us feel that much worse about ourselves, that much more inadequate and unworthy, and oftentimes we try to drown out this pain with our drugs of choice, creating never-ending recurring cycles we can’t seem to extricate ourselves from.

Our addictions can totally disrupt and threaten to ruin our lives, in ways both big and small, in ways that are both obvious and imperceptible. Some of the changes we experience are internal, and they can happen in small shifts over long periods of time. Other changes are drastic, causing severe disturbances in our lives that we can’t ignore but try our best to avoid dealing with. Sometimes the greatest motivation for our recovery, for finally getting sober, is seeing just how much we’ve created suffering and destruction in our lives, and we finally make the conscious choice that we deserve so much better.

The caring, compassionate staff of The Guest House is here to support you as you start your journey to recovery and healing. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information., 3230 Northeast 55th Avenue Silver Springs, FL 34488