Asking for help is a skill that is learned with practice. If you have been taught not to ask for help when having mental health problems, then you may not feel comfortable doing so. Self-sabotaging is a common side effect when trying to heal mental health and addiction. This can be due to the harm that has occurred throughout a person’s life. With addiction recovery, a person can learn to work through their self-sabotaging behaviors to have a sustainable recovery.
Addiction Recovery and Treatment
Being in recovery means you are healing from a substance use disorder (SUD). Having a SUD, or an addiction, is like other diseases, such as diabetes or cancer. Effective treatment exists, but there is a possibility of relapse or return to substance use. When you have stopped your substance use and are back to living your life, that is called being in recovery.
Treatment facilities that use research-based methods, such as Lighthouse Recovery Texas, are able to provide effective treatment to help you reach recovery. With treatment, you are able to:
- Identify reasons to stop the use of substances
- Gain emotional regulation skills
- Learn ways to reduce stress in your life
- Manage cravings with new knowledge and skills
- Work through trauma that may cause you to use
However, “treatment of chronic diseases involves changing deeply rooted behaviors.” That takes time and a lot of energy. Some people may need more than one treatment experience, or they have yet to find the right one for them. Whatever your journey, there is no shame when you are taking steps to heal.
Adverse Childhood Experiences
Managing your emotions in difficult situations is the ability to cope. When a person experiences challenging and traumatic experiences as a child that they cannot cope with, those are adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). These experiences can be a single experience or chronic experiences.
ACEs are anything that is traumatic to a child, but examples of ACEs are:
- Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse of a child
- Emotional and physical neglect
- Mentally ill, depressed, or suicidal person in the home
- Witnessing violence in the home or community
- Experiencing racism at a young age
Traumatic events will usually stay in your memory, they may obsessively come to mind, or they may shape who you become. You may manage constant stress due to these thoughts and feelings. Experiencing ACEs can greatly affect a person into adulthood due to the lingering effects stress causes to the brain and body. Stress due to traumatic events can cause the body to release cortisol. Cortisol at high levels can cause a variety of side effects, one being toxic stress. This impacts the brain’s ability to function, which will affect the functioning of the body. Learning to process and manage thoughts and feelings associated with ACEs can become necessary when the stress becomes too much.
Self-Sabotaging in Addiction Recovery
Due to ACEs or other traumatic experiences in life, a person may not learn certain life skills. Asking for help is an example of a learned skill. However, due to traumatic experiences, such as witnessing violence, a person may not feel safe with others. They may have irrational thoughts that all people will hurt them. This can make them weary or unaccepting of help.
Self-sabotaging is usually an unconscious act, but it can also be conscious. When someone takes actions to undermine or prevent themselves from progressing with their life or goals, that is self-sabotaging. This can look like a person breaking obvious rules, or it can be subtle, like someone putting distance in their relationships.
In addiction recovery, someone who feels unstable may start to do things to change their circumstances. They may start picking fights with people or obtaining contraband or substances. A person may befriend an unhealthy influence and begin acting differently. All of these are examples of starting to self-sabotage. When that happens, the important thing is to recognize what you are doing and why. Then you may be able to make amends for your actions and restart your recovery.
Returning to Addiction Recovery
When someone relapses or self-sabotages their treatment, it may mean something in their treatment is not working. However, relapse can occur with all chronic conditions, like heart disease or asthma. When someone stops taking their medication for a disorder and a relapse of their symptoms occurs, that is also a relapse. 50-70% of people relapse from hypertension, whereas approximately 40-50% of people with a SUD relapse. It is a common problem, and not something someone should carry guilt over. The important thing is what you do after the relapse.
Addiction is a cycle. Getting help or stopping the relapse before your brain loses control over your substance use is how you break or interrupt your addiction cycle. Through treatment and therapy, you can get at what is driving your relapse. When you identify it, you can work through the feelings to learn how to manage.
Asking for help is important to break the addiction cycle. With individualized care at Lighthouse Recovery, you can always find a program that works for you. If the treatment you are receiving is not working, then it may be time to talk with your therapist or treatment team.
Getting help for an addiction can take on many forms. However, traditional 30-day rehab centers are a thing of the past. At Lighthouse Recovery Texas, we help you through the steps of treatment, no matter how long that takes. We offer different programs, including partial hospitalization program, intensive outpatient, extended care, sober living, and recovery coaches. Through the different levels of care, you will learn how to master your emotions and resist cravings. With the help of our top-of-the-class staff, you work together to create a treatment plan that fits your individual needs. Recovery is a journey with many twists and turns. Call us today at (214) 396-0259 to get help on that journey.