I'll be honest. I wrote this one and let it sit for awhile. Normally I publish instantly in fear I will change my mind if I wait. I'm not sure if it is a topic people will appreciate me writing about or be offended by my opinions. But in true spirit of all my other posts...... We have one life to live so I am going to share all my thoughts on this topic.
So I am sitting in the car waiting for a light in Miami yesterday. I don't have XM radio in my rental car or if I do I can't figure out how to use it. I am actually listening to a local commercial on FM radio. I hear this voice come on talking about addiction. Asking, "Do you want your family member to go back to normal like they were before?" It was an ad for a local doctor selling his services. To me, it was such a strange commercial and statement. A complete misunderstanding and understatement at the heart of an enormous issue.
In my opinion and please know I would love to hear yours as well....
It isn't the drug it is what comes before the drug. The thoughts that lead up to the original use. The original reason why that person went down that path. So NO they can not just go back to "normal" how they were before. Because before they weren't feeling so "normal" even if an outsider in their life thinks they "looked" normal. A topic I discuss greatly in my blog "This is me".
I am going to address this from my perspective on why this commercial was just flat out stupid. As for the physical addictions I can not speak on that. I am not a doctor. I have read a great deal on the human body and drugs. However I am not going to pretend I understand the fine details of how addiction effects every cell in the body.
On that note, to say an addict needs to return to how they were before makes no sense. If they return to exactly how they are before then they will just become an addict again. As they were when they were "normal" in other's eyes was a feeling they wanted to escape or a feeling they did not feel comfortable living in. Not all drug users but a good percentage don't like how they feel in their mind and that is where the drugs comes into play in their life. Whether it be alcohol or whatever. This commercial talked about drug addiction but the concept is true of so many addictions in my mind.
I get that from an outsiders perspective that if they went back to how they were before then yes they then might be sober but it won't last or at least highly unlikely. Something needs to change in their mind or the same road will be taken again. So to go back to normal is a foolish statement. They need to move forward and not go backwards. They must find peace with who they are, as they are, off of drugs. Peace with the fact that they were an addict. Peace with fact they may or will want to go down that road some days but know they have the power to choose not to. Peace with whatever led up to that point in their life. I felt it was insulting statement to an addict and an addict's family to say something so vague to describe fixing addiction.
Let's try to talk mental health before someone becomes physically addicted to something. I feel so much starts from a mental health issue of not feeling ok in one's own brain, not accepting the mental pain they may have had or currently are in.
I know a great deal of people addicted to other things besides drugs. An addiction can range from obsession with exercise, your weight, eating disorders, caffeine, cigarettes. Obviously there is a range in how life threatening these addictions can be. But we all have something or know someone that falls into this bucket. For me I am was addicted to my thought pattern of panic and creating anxiety and an obsessive thoughts of fear. If I have nothing else to do it seems my brain just slides right into worrying about something. It appears like that would be an easy addiction to fix. But is it.... Try living with severe paralyzing anxiety then tell me how easy it feels. 10 years of therapy would sound like an overkill if it was easy. You know what happens to people that feel that overwhelmed in life, a lot of those people turn to others things to distract themselves from the discomfort that comes from within. Whether drinking and other drugs to make their mind stop racing. To calm down. To "self medicate". An obsession with something else. Maybe calories, maybe fitness, maybe obsessive cleaning habits. Something to think about. Not saying this person will turn to drugs as a solution but they certainly are demonstrating something inside them is stirring. I have definitely found myself getting obsessed with things. When my kids got sick when they were little I would spend hours researching into the night whatever they had like I was an FBI agent. My kids have eczema and I was on every single website and message board looking for solutions. Not one or two but like 35 sites at least. Seems kind of crazy to me now but back then it seemed very very normal. I was driving myself nuts doing it! Feeling so helpless trying to control something I had so little control of. I thought that was "normal". So if I was turning to a drug , called this phone number from the commercial, got help, and went back to "normal" I would be in a very bad spot still. Does that make sense....because to me it makes perfect sense. (I did not turn to drugs or alcohol thankfully and I believe the reason is was because I was going to therapy during all these years I was going through such bad anxiety).
Going full circle with the beginning of this post. Something has to change.
Mental health plays a role in so many of our lives. Not just addicts but all walks of humans on this earth. If you know someone that is suffering with a mental health issue call your doctor, call your therapist, help get them professional help. Know it is more than the physical addiction. Try to help and support people in your life before the drug addiction has a chance to enter their body. Their mental health is just as important in helping them move on. It can not and should not ever be ignored.
Remember things are not always as they seem. A perfect life on the outside might be a raging storm on the inside.
My best advice:
1. Be kind.
2. That Golden Rule popping up again (from my blog "Take a Look in the Mirror") Treat others how you would want to be treated.