As you might expect, the first step towards recovering from an addiction to alcohol often involves gathering information about the possibility of change and reading about potential treatment options. To this end, take a moment to consider what an important part of your life it is to even be reading about such options! And yet even while we contemplate a better future for ourselves and for the people we love, we often wrestle with feelings of guilt or shame around our experiences with an alcohol use disorder. This can be especially true when we’re considering using the services of an alcohol rehabilitation center to help us cope with issues we may be facing.
A Personal Decision
For example, we might feel ashamed at the notion of attending such a center and what doing so will mean about our identity. Life is strange in his regard: Often when we make our most brave decisions, we question ourselves more deeply. In fact, many people feel ambivalent about seeking help from rehabilitation centers for reasons such as:
- Worry about how others will perceive them
- Worry about whether attending rehab amounts to “weakness”
- Worry about whether alcohol dependency issues relate to personal character
And yet there is little reason to feel ashamed about going to an alcohol rehab. Seeking help requires a number of virtuous personal qualities: It involves self-reflection; it involves personal sacrifice; it involves courage. Individuals Who Have Struggled With Alcohol Dependency In terms of viewing alcohol dependency as a personal weakness, moreover, that would be news to some extraordinarily strong individuals. For example, the bestselling author Stephen King struggled with an addiction to alcohol for many years. The actor Bradley Cooper credits his success as an actor to dealing with his addiction to alcohol. The film critic Roger Ebert hit his career stride after confronting his own dependence on drinking to reduce stress. These individuals were not weak by any stretch of the imagination. They were not addicted to alcohol because they were “bad” or because their behavior was “shameful.” Like many people, in fact, these individuals probably once saw alcohol as a short-term solution to their problems.
Alcohol Addiction Is Only Part of the Problem
In another sense, an alcohol rehabilitation program can make us realize that alcohol is actually only a part of the problem. In many ways, alcohol addiction is often a symptom of larger issues rather than a cause. These issues may be related to anxiety or depressive disorders; they may stem from childhood trauma or codependent behaviors developed at a young age. For example, suppose that you grew up in a household where alcohol substance abuse was was the norm. Even as a child, you may have felt a great deal of responsibility for the well-being of your family. You may even have acted as a caretaker to a parent who was incapacitated by alcohol or by substances. A person growing up in such an environment never really gets the chance to develop a healthy sense of boundaries. Even as an adult, they may take on the role of caretaker to others. They are often taken advantage of; at times, conversely, their boundaries are so rigid that they do not let anyone into their life at all. As you might guess, until these issues are combatted, a person is likely to experience life as a series of monumental hurdles to overcome. Even when these hurdles are conquered in the short-term, however, their root causes remain. For this reason, learning to cope with problems in a healthy way can be a major step towards overcoming alcohol abuse patterns.
Rehabilitation Doesn’t Just Help Us
The process of rehabilitation also helps the people around us as much as it allows us to help ourselves. You might be used to the feelings of shame that arise when family members and friends express concern over your behavior. Even if these individuals don’t articulate their fears verbally, you might feel guilty about the changing dynamics of your relationships. For the family and friends of people struggling with alcohol dependency disorders, life can be confusing. Oftentimes, this is the defining reason that we will have for seeking help. After all, if we can set a good example to our loved ones by our behavior, we’ll be better parents, better spouses, and better friends. If you feel ready to tackle alcohol dependency issues head-on, please get in touch today. We are always here to talk and to help you develop a plan for moving forward! We can help, call us now at 424-499-2603.