facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestby feather

I want to quit my addiction but I don’t want you to tell me why

I want to quit my addiction but don't tell me why

People struggling with addiction are of two minds. One mind is in favor of change and the other mind argues against change. You may hear this, “I need to quit drinking alcohol (in favor of change). I mean, I know I need to quit drinking alcohol for my health and family (in favor of change) but I just love to drink (against change)” People struggling with addiction can remain stuck in this place for a long time wavering between two choices and two paths. Take a step in one direction and the other starts looking better. The closer you get to one alternative, the more its disadvantages become apparent while the other summons. A common pattern with addicted people is to think a reason for changing then think of a reason not to change, then stop thinking about it. The path out of this conflict of the mind is to choose a direction and follow it, to keep moving in the chosen direction.
Of course, the helper (spouse, parent, friend, family, employer) then comes to the rescue to explain why change is important and advising how to do it. Talking to a person with an alcohol addiction, a helper might say, “you have a serious drinking problem and you need to quit”. Then by miracle (which never happens) the helper is expecting this response from the person struggling with addiction. “Oh, I see. I just didn’t realize how serious it is. Ok, I am going to quit drinking alcohol!”. More likely, the response will be “No, I don’t”.  Chances are, however that the person has already heard the reason to quit drinking alcohol, not only form the others but also from a voice within.
What happens next? The person with the addiction responds very predictably who feels two ways, (in favor of change and against change) and hearing only one side of the picture being emphasized: “Yes, but…” or just “but” without the Yes. The helper (spouse, parent, friend, family, employer) argues against drinking alcohol, while the person with the addiction takes up the other side and defend the opposite. Sometimes the person with the addiction gets labelled “denial” or “resistant” or “being oppositional” but there is nothing out of the norm about such a response.
I want to quit my addiction but I don’t want you to tell me why
Tagged on:

Leave a Reply