Obviously, many people fail at staying sober. It’s difficult. That doesn’t make it a chore, though. Chores are tasks which award no pleasure. Think about it: A lot of things in life are difficult—including some of the things we enjoy the most! You simply must embrace the difficulties as positives, not punishments.
Those who relapse after a period of sobriety may blame their treatment instead of examining where, why, and how they lost control of themselves. Relapse statistics convey a dismal, discouraging message about their predicament. People tend to trust statistics. Problem is, they only reflect the numbers, not what causes them. It’s hard to do treatment right; it requires huge self-discipline and planning.
Significant life changes—where to live, who to talk to, how to perceive yourself–are scary. Not everyone nails it the first, second, or third time, but once you do, your chances of success are much, much better. The morbid relapse statistics out there don’t demonstrate the difficulty of staying sober—only the need to approach things correctly. Yes, young recovering addicts have to stay on guard for the rest of their lives; and yes, incidents are bound to happen now and again. It’s not a daily battle, however; or at least it shouldn’t be, unless the adolescent exits rehabilitation early–something the staff rarely allow.
The Coinciding Problems
Young recovering addicts suffering from depression or other mental illness are naturally ambivalent toward their recovery. Since mental illness and addiction typically work together, you can expect these individuals to improve their outlook on recovery as they slowly move through it. Gradually, they need less and less outside help from the counselors to be motivated. Humans are influenced by those with whom they spend time.
Rehab is often viewed negatively for its aim to change the thoughts and personalities of those who enter; truth is, the adolescent who entered rehab wasn’t necessarily the real him or her, but rather a person molded by the negative influences—usually a drug-abusing peer group. The point of rehab isn’t to change anyone into a new person; it’s about getting the old one—the happy one—back.
Drugs and alcohol are not necessary for being creative or for having your own unique personality–not for anyone, period.
The Cognitive Dissonance
Often, as a way of justifying their drinking or drug use, an adolescent may develop a highly critical view of life in general and view the whole foundation of sobriety as a bunch of crap. This is extremely common in youth clinics; the patients are mentally drained and exhausted. This where behavioral therapies come into play. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, for example, teaches addicts to stay sober not “just because,” but by highlighting all the real, logical reasons why they will be happier this way. Programs like these have been a staple of virtually all addiction treatment programs ever since they were invented.
The only real chore is suffering from addiction; treatment is the real relief.
To get you or your adolescent help ASAP, call Sustain: 949-637-5499