Addiction Recovery and The Importance Willingness
Only the suffering addict can decide to be willing. Why can’t the addict stop using drugs/alcohol without willingness? The answer is simple. Just like virtually any other disease, it will get worse unless the addict is willing to seek help.
It is no different with drug/alcohol addiction. Once the person is willing to seek treatment and then follow the treatment regimen, they almost invariably get well. And like the person afflicted with cancer, if the treatment is stopped, the disease comes back, ever growing and worse.
The default thinking of the suffering addict is that they do not have the condition, using is not the problem and everything wrong is someone else’s fault. Thus, the obsession to use continuously grows. Suffering addicts in the depths of their disease cannot differentiate the truth from the false. The area of the brain where judgment takes place is not accessed in the thought development process. The resulting behavior is that of someone who appears quite often insane.
It is easy for family and friends to attack and blame because of this. When one has cancer, rarely are the loved ones hurt in this manner. But addiction is a chronic disease of the brain and the side effects are often extremely negative and dangerous behaviors. I can assure you, attacking the suffering addict will only make things worse.
What would you do if this person lost his or her arms or legs in an accident? Would you leave them out in the cold or treat them poorly? Would you turn your back on them? Would you blame them or call them names? What if you had a child with a severe mental handicap? What if your mother or father developed Alzheimer’s? How would you react to the loved one suffering in these cases?
And there is much help available if they are willing to seek it. I have seen many people who refuse seek help for their own problems continuing to blame the addict for everything. The result of this unwillingness normally results in the person becoming more maladaptive to life, and the suffering addict gets worse. In short, taking such an approach makes absolutely no sense though many pursue it anyway.
In summary, willingness is critical for the suffering addict. And the addict’s support system can negatively or positively impact this.
The best outcomes occur when the addict’s support system is willing to change, be open-minded, and realize that this is an actual disease. They understand that the addict needs help and support to overcome it. Yes, there are cases where this support is not in place to this degree but the person still recovers. But my experience has shown that these cases are rare and much needless suffering takes place.