Everyone experiences loss; nothing in this world is permanent. Some things can be long-term, but eventually, they too will fall away. As someone who struggles with substance use, you might experience more loss than others. Addiction can take away family and friends and steal dignity, honesty, and self-esteem. However, many of these things can be reclaimed, not necessarily in the same way, but they can be part of your life again. There is hope after active addiction. If you have any questions, please reach out to our substance abuse treatment program today at 844.332.1807.
What Is Active Addiction?
Active addiction is when someone is actively using substances, regardless of the negative consequences. They may be unable to stop on their own and continue to use despite losing their job, home, and family. They may also continue to use despite health problems caused by their addiction. Symptoms of an active addiction include:
- Neglecting responsibilities at home, work, or school
- Using substances in risky situations
- Losing interest in hobbies and activities
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Isolating from others
- Lying and being secretive
- Experiencing financial problems
These symptoms are not exhaustive, but they are some of the most common signs that someone is struggling with active addiction. If you or someone you know is displaying these symptoms, it’s vital to seek treatment.
Why Might People Grieve an Active Addiction
Unfortunately, many people are reluctant to seek treatment for active addiction. One reason is that people battling an active addiction must face the loss of certain coping strategies. Sometimes, people describe getting sober as oddly feeling like they lost their best friend. You might hate what your addiction pushed you into doing, but it was always there. If you lost your job, your addiction comforted you. If your children left, your addiction stayed.
The relationship you have with your addiction is intimate and pervasive, and it is also incredibly dysfunctional and harmful. Still, it walking away from it is a massive loss. You are going to miss your drug of choice, the people with whom you used, and the ability to hide from problems, as well as the ability to blame failure on something or someone else.
A large part of addiction is the ritual; you get up in the morning and light that first cigarette or have that first drink. You get off work, and you go to the same bar and sit with the same people. As your addiction progressed, you delivered little, secret ways of coping. These things were part of your life that were also destroying it. Still, it will be painful to change.
Recovering from Active Addiction
In recovery, you will develop healthier rituals. You might replace that visit to the bar with a 12-step meeting or a support group, or you might work out before going to work. Replacing the harmful things in your life with healthier activities will strengthen your recovery. It will give you the courage and the confidence to face the other losses in your life and deal with them in a proactive and adaptive way. Rather than hiding, you will have the skill to look at a problem and solve it effectively.
Dealing with loss is never pleasant, but it is much easier to do sober. You have the skills already. People living with addiction are often masters of scheduling and time management, and they are often superb salespeople. You are strong. You have survived this far. Take the next step to build a life worth living.
Seek Support from Fort Behavioral Health Today
At Fort Behavioral Health, we understand how active addiction can take over your life. We also understand that grieving the loss of your addiction is a vital part of recovery. Our evidence-based treatment programs are designed to help you heal the underlying issues that led to your addiction and develop the skills you need to build a sober, healthy life. Fort Behavioral Health uses both group and individual therapy to help identify your strengths and ways to use them more effectively. We provide a range of treatment options, including:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Trauma-informed therapy
- Family therapy
- Somatic experiencing