Addiction is a systemic problem: therefore as I will explain, it requires a psychotherapist who understands this and who is dedicated to treating codependents. Denial is the cornerstone of the manipulative forces of an addiction guaranteeing the victim is locked into chronic use while denial conveniently helps its victim to effortlessly minimize and rationalize their use. Just as the addiction controls and deceives the user it also takes hostage those in a relationship with its victim to the same or even greater an extent. Take a couple for instance where one member is addicted. Often codependents must contribute to the addiction to ease tensions in the relationship by allowing use while at once trying to stop the addicts reckless behaviour by preventing use and thus risk damaging the relationship in an effort to control or stop the addiction. Treating just the addict and not those in their lives whom are also affected prevents the codependent person from healing thus reducing the chance for the initial and long term sobriety of the addict throughout treatment. Consider both group and individual psychotherapy, Toronto has many psychotherapy resources.
Healthy versus unhealthy substitution in addiction: healthy substitution involves finding other ways to occupy time by developing a good relationship with yourself by doing hobbies or by placing obstacles in the way of your addiction. These methods may be the greatest initial strategy to overcoming the addiction. Research nutrition and liver support. You will find there are many foods that can be turned into a diet that can reverse the effects of alcohol on the liver tissue. By putting this diet in place during recovery one is choosing a behavioural pattern that can be projected into the future that will compete with the more subconscious addictive patterns that aim to further deconstruct your liver. When I recommend this regimen to those in denial it may take multiple sessions before someone starts the plan because the addiction often resists these changes since they force the denial to be exposed once the regimen begins thus making use less likely. Unhealthy substitution involves replacement of one substance with another substance or unhealthy lifestyle choice. This delays addressing underlying causes and its often a matter of time before the addict returns to their substance of choice while they risk forming new dependencies. Check out Double Trouble, Rational Recovery groups in Toronto and Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous in Toronto. Slightly more advanced groups and Psychotherapists in addiction and mental health can be found at Toronto centre for addiction and mental health or private practice psychotherapists in Toronto.
- If you have avoided relying on people as most addictions isolate the user practice calling up your friends, family or try finding support if you feel you don’t have enough. Do not wait until you need the support to use the support. Call your network once a week as a rule to touch base and leave communication open. Having the wherewithal during withdrawal and while grieving the loss of the substance to call someone during a craving to thwart use will more often result in no call and just using/relapsing if these preemptive precautions are not taken. If your too nervous to do this book a session with a Toronto Psychotherapist specializing in role plays and interventions and practice while you talk through your worries at the same time.
- Developed a thorough structured relapse prevention plan with a qualified Addiction Psychotherapist or Addictions Counsellor: list triggers divided into two categories internal triggers and external triggers. Internal triggers such as states of being’ hungry, angry, lonely and tired are just as potent for starting relapses as their counterparts external triggers such as day of week, time since last use, conflict etc. Journal to keep track of triggers even before your use stops. The third component is to identify all High Risk Situations. People who use, places you can use, things that are related to using and perfect storms. Identify situations where multiple risky situations converge. For each trigger and high risk situation identify the most logical steps or actionable plans to avert the trigger or situation. For each point identify three solutions. Memorize the plan. If you have pre-identified what you will do in any given situation with options it would be hard to argue that your addiction manipulated you if you happen to slip or relapse. Again for assistance search Toronto psychotherapists with expertise in addictions to assist with the plan.
- Forgive yourself: Remember you have a disease that’s terminal without treatment and you have taken steps to save your life. None could be successful avoiding the substances they are addicted to if they beat themselves up to get there-no one. So knowing you will probably die if you can’t stop putting yourself down do it at first for those you’re addiction has hurt and later for yourself. You’ve behaved in ways that contradict your pre-addicted values and part of recovery is admitting and accepting where you’ve come from without the ability to use and hide from the addictions effects on both you and others. As you return to your peruse values make amends when your strong enough unless doing so would hurt others. Look forward to this and plan it carefully and don’t avoid it. You can’t change what you have done but by reassuring yourself that by not further using each time you successfully don’t use your essentially saying sorry. Be proud of the fact that the harm has stopped. Loved ones will start to show their resentment and anger in your early recovery just when you need their support most. Keep in mind that your addiction and not you directly hurt the person/relationship and they are trying to come to terms with their own denial too as well as trying to establish boundaries against your addiction while they consider the threats involved in your readiness to offer them a closer relationship. Remember that those who are not angry are really not as interested in getting close to you as much as those with more at stake-the resistance is indicative of a stronger attachment that brings greater risks for hurt and thus more anger/fear/guardedness.