“Checking your ego, abandoning it, letting it go, is a huge part of recovery from addiction.” – Susannah Grant
“I was an embarrassing drunk, man. I’d get pulled over by the cops. I’d be so drunk I’d be out dancing to their lights, thinking I’d made it to another club.” – Bill Hicks
Is that Hick quote funny to you? It sure is. The guy was very funny. The incident he talked about is probably something we may not have done in our particular past. However, every addict whether it’s drugs or alcohol could tell you a number of stories where they totally embarrassed themselves. That’s if they remember it happening, of course. But substance/alcohol addiction is so much more than that. For some, it’s fatal and that’s not funny. Unfortunately, many people are completely lost in the downward spiral of their addiction and recognizing how serious the problem has become is beyond them. The aim of this article is to provide you with 5 clear signals that your addiction is out of control. It’s serious now.
- Daily Life
The first clear signal that your addiction has become uncontrollable is your inability to maintain your normal daily routine. For some time, even though you have either been drinking or using excessively, your daily life, was overall manageable. However, the nature of addiction is progressive, getting worse and worse as time moves on. Read the list below. If you can recognize anything on this list as a daily part of your life right now, you really need to consider where you go from here:
- Work Issues: Recently warned, suspended or terminated? Unemployed?
- Relationship Breakdowns: Separated? Estranged? Divorced?
- Unclean Home: Filthy and unkempt? Full of garbage? If you still have one, that is.
- Acting Abnormally: Are you putting your personal morals to one side in order to continue your addiction? Lying? Thieving? Prostituting yourself? Just for that next drink or drug?
- Time: Are you losing track of days, even the time of day? Are you experiencing blackouts, where parts of your memory are just blank?
- Your Life Now: Does everything revolve around that next drink? Or that next drug?
- Family and Friends
As an addict, everything revolves around you – specifically around that next sustaining hit or pull on the liquor bottle. But you were never alone in this. Your family and friends have had the heartbreak of watching your decline. As an addict, you are not the same as you were before. They know that more than anyone else. At first, contact became less frequent, and then visits stopped. Remember, their separation from you was the only way they felt of saving their sanity. Unless, like some addicts, you deliberately pushed them away yourself, because of the shame, misdirected anger or the stigma of the whole situation.
Alcohol or drug addiction is a chronic illness. Both your physical and mental health are guaranteed to deteriorate because of it. Related conditions and diseases will follow and most likely death will too if treatment is not sought. Take, as an example, the alcoholic. An alcoholic’s life is shortened, on average, by seven and a half years. Without treatment, it’s a slow suicide. The following is just a short list of some of the many possible effects, most quite painful, that can result in continuing your addicted life:
- Sexually-Transmitted Diseases
- Brain Damage
- Heart Disease
- Death by Overdose – the #1 cause of accidental death in the United States.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Suicidal Ideation
And that’s not everything that may befall you. Chances are, you are experiencing one or more of these right now. However, abstention from your drug of choice can result in the repair of the damage you have done to your body. A healthier lifestyle, free from addiction, will mean a healthier version of yourself.
Here is an interesting statistic, four of five inmates incarcerated in the U.S., are addicts – that is where their substance abuse has got them, according to the National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence. You may have already been one of those – maybe you will again. Addicts are likely to become caught up in the legal consequences of:
- Domestic Violence
- Driving under the Influence
- Public Intoxication
- Jail or Prison Time
- Drug Court
- Bad Checks
If you have committed or encountered any of these, that is a sure signal to you and others that your addiction is out of control and requires treatment.
You might consider yourself to be the nicest person around when you’re sober. You might even consider you’re that same person when you’re drunk or high. Believe me, you’re not. The following stats may make you think again. Alcohol and/or drug use is prominent in:
- 80% of domestic violence incidents
- Half of all sexual assaults
- 81% of interventions by Child Protective Services
Here’s another to consider:
- 45% of people with untreated substance abuse disorders commit suicide
As evident from all the statistics mentioned, addiction is heavily linked to tragic and violent incidents. The only protection for you and others is recovery treatment.
A Sober Moment.
5 signs that couldn’t be any clearer. If you are an addict contemplating treatment, hopefully, you found this article in one of your sober moments. As an addict with your life out of control, these signals will stay with you – an unmanageable life, distanced family and friends, health problems, trouble with the law, and, last but not least, the harm to you and others. What would you consider a clear signal that your addiction is uncontrollable and unmanageable?
There is a saying, you will know it, about how an addict has to “hit rock bottom.” Sadly, for some, that rock bottom, that moment, is a lonely and premature death. Before it’s too late, please, seek help, I assure you, sobriety will be fulfilling and rewarding.