Sharing six signs indicating you have lost control of addiction is the topic of today’s guest post by Carl Towns. Carl writes:
I’m a 28-year-old wanna-be writer; I am also a recovering addict in the path of self-discovery. My goal is to learn as many things as possible and to seize every single moment I live, pretty much trying to make up for all that I missed on the years I was lost in drugs and alcohol (among other things). I’m in love with tech, cars and pretty much anything that can be found online. My recovery angel? AspenRidge North Recovery
6 Signs Indicating You’ve Lost Control of Your Addiction by Carl Towns
Living with an addiction can be one of the toughest things anyone could ever experience. Having dealt with it for years, I lost and regained control of my life, my mind and my body after what felt like an eternity of struggle, anxiety, and depression. The world might as well have collapsed onto itself and it would’ve mattered just the same to me. When I started using I felt like all of my worries were left on standby. All of my fears and problems suddenly mixed and vanished throughout that overwhelming feeling of fake joy and happiness that ultimately lead to my darkest hour. One of the hardest stages of my addiction were the first couple months before actually going into rehab. Not being able to acknowledge I had a problem was what took control of my every day and made me dig like a madman in my own mind looking for excuses and reasons to justify my attitude, until I finally realized it had taken away everything I cared about, everyone I ever loved and every dream I ever had. Here are 6 signs that opened my eyes to let me see how I lost control of my life.
Life seems to be only doom and gloom
When I was a heavy user, it didn’t matter what or how much of it I took, life would just not get the colors that it once had. Depression took over me like a heavy blanket that stopped me from moving in any direction. Everything seemed to be a lost cause and the sense of regret I started feeling could only be compared with the disappointment I knew I was causing to my loved ones. It was like life’s only mission was to remind me of how many mistakes I had made and how much I was hurting everyone around me. It was a never ending cycle where depression and anxiety passed the ball onto each other’s court and my only way out was to increase the amount I was using. Obviously, by using more and more often, the spiral of self-destruction I was involved in took its darkest and heaviest turn and made me feel I was reaching a point of no return. At this stage, the anxiety and the gloom in life became such a burden that even though I was using to escape, it was only pushing me harder into my addiction.
Everything you care about fades away until you lose it
Some of the people I had around me during my time as an addict stood by to help me until the very end, and for that, I’m very grateful. Some others couldn’t take it anymore and left for good because they could just not understand how my addiction worked. Nevertheless, due to how deep into my problems and issues I was, I started to push away even the ones that wanted to stick around to get me out of it. I became so blind with just getting the next hit, that I let it overshadow everything else. I started to report sick at work because I didn’t feel like going. I missed out on dates and gatherings with friends and family because I couldn’t deal with being sober for so long. Life shrunk itself to just one thing, and that very one thing was what turned the lights off in my life to the point where I lost everything I once cared about.
You lose control of your everyday
Willpower was never my strongest suit. When I was using, I can’t even remember how many times I told myself it was the last time. Every one of those times lead to me thinking how it would be ok to just use a little bit more as a “goodbye” to the substances. Depression and anxiety took over and I could no longer face anyone or look people in the eye without feeling regret. I hid in my apartment day and night, neglecting any other responsibilities. When bills came they started to pile up on the table. At times the phone wouldn’t stop ringing because everybody knew there was something wrong going on in my life; I just didn’t want to tell them they were right. I felt like didn’t have control over anything anymore. Not even when, where or even how much I used.
You lie to everyone including yourself
This was perhaps the thing that made things worse than what they could’ve been. My fear of being judged or cast out made me lie so often that in the end, it was almost impossible to keep up with all the things I had made up just to be able to satisfy my addiction. I was borrowing money from friends and family, never being able to give it back. Addiction was ruining my life in many ways, financially, emotionally and biologically. I was abusing my body. I stopped eating, stopped taking care of myself, started losing weight at an alarming rate; everyone knew I was having problems and they all wanted to help, but lying to them and myself just built up a wall between them and me. It builds a yet even bigger and thicker wall between me and myself. I told myself so many stories, arguments and reasons to keep using that I believe I could’ve written a book on poor excuses to abuse drugs.
You chase after getting high to avoid withdrawal
Withdrawal is one of the worst things an addict can experience. The anxiety and all those mixed emotions that make everything feel like hell is something that I wanted to get as far away as possible. I was using to never lose that high feeling because I knew what came after and I couldn’t deal with it. It’s such a powerful and overwhelming situation that you feel like the only way out of it is by using more and more often. And due to the fact that the more I used the more tolerance I built, it became worse within time.
Nothing else matters
After all the excuses were said. All the ties with loved ones were cut by me. All my fears became true and I no longer cared about anything else other than being high. I pushed everyone out of my life and only a few chose to wait outside for the opportunity to arise where they could come back in and help me. I was so blind by my addiction that literally nothing else mattered. My boss fired me, my colleagues stopped calling, most of my family slowly gave up and tried to turn the page. At this stage, words from the ones I loved the most started to bounce inside my head. When I thought everything was lost, when I believed that I had hit rock bottom, I realized I needed help and there were enough around to help me climb out of that dark and deep well I had fallen into.
Living with an addiction is perhaps the hardest thing I have ever been through, and certainly could also be the hardest thing my family and friends have ever experienced. I believe things could’ve been a bit easier on everyone if we all knew a bit more about what addiction means not only to the addict but also to the family. While things were spiraling out of control, those that always stood by me were noticing all these signs that I failed to see at first. Love and patience were two things that saved me and my loved ones. I thought everything was lost but in the end, I went through a recovery process that opened my eyes to a new happy healthy life, where I haven’t forgotten my past but I forgave myself for what I did and asked for forgiveness without shame. It was tough, I won’t lie, but I’m really happy that I wasn’t alone and that I still have people who believed in me until I was back on track. Recognizing these signs can make a huge difference in the life of an addict, letting them know that you still care no matter how bad things will get can be what in the end lights up the path to sobriety.
If you would like to ask questions, or simply share an experience or signs we might have missed, feel free to leave a comment below.