Four Scenarios

There is a sort of satisfying self-destruction you can find in your life, especially when you think you deserve what you’re getting. When you have stolen from family members, ruined important occasions, yelled or cursed in anger at loved ones, or anything else—when you have done these things, there can be a sort of self-hate and self-destruction that follows. Maybe you have done shameful or unforgivable things, and it seems that the continuing self-destruction of your current drug usage is deserved. Maybe the pain and eventual death that will come is exactly what you deserve.

Alternatively, perhaps you’re still enjoying the high. Maybe the thrill of the drugs is still in full effect, and the pleasure is overshadowing everything else. You’re going out with your friends and getting lost in the moment. Everything else that happens is unimportant, and anything that gets in the way of these experiences is just an obstacle to overcome.

Maybe you feel like your mind is almost always lost. You don’t think clearly; you don’t feel the way you used to feel. Everything is pain and chaos. The only thing that relieves this, even if only for a moment, is the drug. It is the only ray of hope in the darkness swallowing you up right now. Somewhere, deep down, you care about your family and friends, you remember the love you had for them, but it’s buried beneath the pain and agony you’re experiencing.

Or possibly you’re high functioning with your drug. Everything seems to be going well, for the most part. It’s all in your control. Maybe sometimes you slip up and go too hard with the drugs or do something you’re sure you wouldn’t normally do, but these are exceptions. You’re convinced everything will work out, and you can handle everything in your life, even though pieces of your life are slowly slipping out of control—out of your hands.

Maybe none of those describes your situation exactly; it likely won’t. But maybe something there resonates with you. You see parts of yourself in these scenarios. You’ve been using it for a while, and you have a thought that maybe you need rehab, or perhaps someone you love has tried to bring it up to you. There’s an opportunity here, a chance to take a step back and try to evaluate the situation. This can be hard, maybe one of the most difficult things you’ll ever do, but it is important.

Reflection and Reality

The choice that you have is to reflect on this situation; think about it. In the midst of what is going on in your life, in the midst of the self-destruction or pleasure or pain or control that you might feel, you have an opportunity to ask yourself what you want. Who are you? What is your life worth? Do you have the ability to choose? Are your loved ones worth the effort to try to change? Is the drug killing you? Is that what you want?

These and questions like these are what you need to think about. I can tell you the answers to these questions—or at least I can tell you what I believe to be the case. But I can’t tell you what you believe. It’s something you will have to decide for yourself. Your loved ones and family members will have answers, but they cannot tell you what the answers are. You have to make that decision. Recovery can’t be forced. Redemption can’t be coerced.

The truth is that you are more than the drugs you’re using. Your life is of supreme value and worth. You have the ability to choose, the strength to choose recovery—or, at the very least, you have the ability to choose to ask others for help. Your loved ones are worth the effort to try to change, even if you will sometimes falter and fail. The drug is killing you; you were designed for more than this.

These are the answers to the earlier questions, but I cannot answer the last one for you. That one is purely in your hands. You must reflect on these questions, search for yourself, and listen to the wisdom of those around you. The drugs are killing you; is that what you want?

A Way Out—A Choice

Rehab is not a “cure-all” solution to addiction. Treatment centers cannot magically fix problems. However, a good rehab or treatment center is the best opportunity you have for recovery. If you conclude that there’s a problem and it’s worth doing something about, it is also important to realize that you are not strong enough to do it yourself. It would help if you had others to help you on the path.

The surest way for rehab to fail is for you not to go at all. The next best way to fail is for you to go reluctantly because you have been pressured into it. Either way, it will always come back to your making a decision.

There are two paths before you. One leads down deeper into darkness. You know this is the case. Think about what you’re doing right now and how you’re living life, and take a moment to visualize what things will be like in a few months or years if everything goes in the worst direction. Where will your actions and behaviors lead? Don’t be afraid to reckon honestly with this. Where will the drug use take you?

And then there’s a second path. This is a path that is aiming toward something higher. You might not be able to see it well, and you may not know exactly what the destination looks like, but you know that it involves trying to get rid of the drugs and addiction and how they’ve impacted your life. This path contains renewed relationships with those around you, a healthier mind and body for you, new opportunities to explore the things you’re interested in, and so much more. It is a difficult path, certainly, but so is the first. The question is, what do you want? What do you believe about yourself? And, finally, what are you going to do about it?

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