If you have experienced addiction or you know someone who might be addicted to drugs, you probably have a lot of questions.
In this article, we’ll specifically address some common questions that surface regarding drugs, drug misuse, substance use disorders, and life after drug therapy.
How Do I Stay Clean?
A primary fear that many people encounter is the fear of relapsing. Once you have managed to overcome your addiction, staying clean becomes the next challenge.
BetterHelp counselor Mrs. Crystal Westman addresses this question by encouraging people who have dealt with addiction to speak with a therapist.
She says that in her case, when she acts as a therapist to people trying to stay clean, the first thing she does is speak with them about how the counseling process works through the BetterHelp site, how she can work together with them, her style as a counselor, and how she intends to help her patient through the counseling process.
She mentions that a therapist will probably take the first session just to get to know you better and put forward a few questions to understand your state of mind better. The next step would be to create a plan and goals that the patient can work on going forward.
Is There Hope For Me?
If you are feeling discouraged about your recovery, you’re not alone. Many people struggle to feel optimistic about their potential for wellness, especially after experiences of trauma and addiction.
BetterHelp counselor, Angelie Greene, responds to this question by pointing out that just reaching out and asking for help is a sign that you are doing your best to survive these heavy emotions and difficult times. However, to the person asking if there is hope, she says it sounds like your resilience might be beginning to fade. Opioid addiction is extremely challenging, and, especially if you have been using for an extended amount of time, quitting on your own is not advised. Addictions can make your body feel like you can’t live with your addiction and you can’t live without it. Often, people have challenges that date back to before the addiction.
She pushes the person asking this question to look farther back beyond the addiction and instead to the origin of your challenges.
She also reminds the person asking this question that if you are willing to do the work necessary to get past your addiction, then there is hope. Working with a support group and a counselor can put you on the right path. Counseling is like being lost in the woods in the dark of the night, when suddenly, a helicopter appears with a spotlight to show you the way.
How Can I Afford Counseling?
So many people do not seek out therapy because of the preconceived cost. If you do not have insurance, you might never have even considered therapy to be an option for you.
Luckily, platforms, like Ask a Therapist, are available online as a form of support for all the questions you might be facing.
Support groups and groups that protect your anonymity are often free to all. To find out how much individual counseling costs at BetterHelp, you can email [email protected].
How Do I Deal With Life Post-Addiction?
If you’ve overcome your addiction or you are incredibly close to doing so, congratulations. That is difficult work to conquer.
Now, however, you might be struggling to figure out how to cope with life. The counselors at BetterHelp are here for you.
Counselor Mr. Donald Ford responds to this question by sharing some very important information on self-care. He defines self-care as making time to do things that you enjoy, just for the sake of bettering the experience of your life and improving your overall mental resilience and mental health. He invites you to think about everyday activities that are fun, relaxing, and energizing for you. They could be as simple as going on vacation or reading a book.
Beyond that, he points out, self-care is also about caring for yourself. Examples of self-care in that sense are getting enough sleep, eating regularly, looking after personal hygiene, and any other activities that are necessary for maintaining good health. This aspect of self-care should be a priority. There will always be other items on your to-do list, but you shouldn’t let them interrupt your self-care time. You should prioritize self-care in the same way that you prioritize your other responsibilities.
A good way to do this is by setting specific self-care goals. If your goals are vague, like “I will spend more time taking care of myself,” then it is easy to not follow through with them. Instead, make your goals specific. For example, he says, a goal can be, “I will walk for 30 minutes every evening after dinner.” Then, you can make those self-care goals into habits. If you eat one salad, that won’t eliminate health problems. In the same way, using self-care just once won’t significantly reduce your stress. For your self-care habits, choose activities that you enjoy and that you do often, then stick with it.
Set boundaries, say no sometimes, and protect your self-care time. In order to say no to others, you don’t need a major obligation or significant excuse. Your self-care time is enough of a reason to turn down other obligations.
“Remind yourself that your needs are as important as anyone else’s,” Donald Ford advises.
How Do I Forgive Myself?
If you feel like shame and guilt are following you everywhere you go, you might be having trouble forgiving yourself for your prior choices, words, and behaviors.
Forgiveness is so important when it comes to recovery. In order to fully move onto the next chapter of your life, you need to create space for forgiveness.
Likewise, if you are a parent or loved one of someone who is experiencing addiction, you might be struggling with forgiveness. Whether you blame yourself or cannot find room in your heart to forgive yourself and the individual, therapy might be a good choice for you.
BetterHelp counselor Stacey Shine addresses this problem by saying that she truly understands that being the parent of someone struggling with addiction can completely overtake your life. Her suggestion is creating a solid support system made up of people you can be honest with about your difficulties. In this way you can model for your child dealing with addiction exactly the behavior that they most need to practice, which is accepting help from others.
How Do I Trust Myself?
Similarly to finding forgiveness, rebuilding trust in yourself can feel like an uphill battle. You might feel a lack of faith in your own intuition, in your own choices, in your own worldview. It can be dizzying.
Rebuilding a foundation of trust often requires guidance. You don’t have to do it alone.
BetterHelp counselor Dr. Veronica Villa reminds someone asking this question that they have the right to feel their own emotions. Be confident, she says, about experiencing your emotions. What comes next? Attending therapy is a great idea. This allows you to focus on your own journey so that you can take the time to work on yourself. You may, sometimes, need to go back to past chapters in your life and take a little time to understand them so that you can prevent yourself from making those past mistakes again, spoiling the present. This counselor reminds readers, “you deserve to be happy. Live the life that you want and deserve, and see your dreams come true. Attending therapy can help you a lot. Give yourself the opportunity to be happy.”
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.