One of the greatest challenges about ending an addiction is the ambivalence that comes with it. If using alcohol or substances has brought relief from emotional pain, a dramatic increase in energy, and a euphoric feeling for life, among other perceived benefits, reasons to continue to use might still be there, despite the growing severity in consequences. An individual might say that he or she wants to change, but there may be fundamental reasons might promote continued use. Thus, there often lies an enormous amount of ambivalence.
Factors That Contribute to Addiction
It’s true that there are other factors that can contribute to addiction, and not only ambivalent feelings. For instance, there might be predisposing factors that can places a person at risk for continuing to use even if they want to quit. These may include having:
- Learning disabilities
- Concurring mental illness
- High stress
- Inadequate coping skills
- Lack of support at home or work
- A dysfunctional family life
- Lack of impulse control
At the same time, in addition to the factors named above, there might be circumstantial factors, such as:
- Loss of employment
- A death in the family
- Loss of a close friend or relative
- Recent trauma
Making the Decision to Quit
However, sometimes people get to a place inside where they feel like they want to quit no matter of the circumstances. Perhaps they want to save their career, marriage, or custody of their children. When this happens, there’s a clear decision to quit. There’s a choice to make it happen.
Of course, those who make this decision will continue to face the same difficult circumstances,which mirror the reasons that got them drinking in the first place. Although they may not have the skills to cope with thedifficult emotions that led to drug use, their decision forces them to get the help they need. They might begin to go to support groups and ask about how to face triggers, cravings, and intense feelings. If they are struggling with a mental illness, those who have made the decision to quit might seek out the support of a mental health professional. They might also turn to their peers, friends, or family members for support.
Sometimes all it takes is a decision and then the determination to follow. Reasons that have driven people to get sober include:
- Not wanting to end up like an alcoholic parent.
- Wanting to feel better about oneself.
- Knowing that your family will be proud if you get sober.
- To regain self-respect and dignity
- To validate one’s self-worth
- To be a positive role model for one’s children
- To be able to hold down a job
- To be able to get married and have children one day
- To stop causing pain for family and friends
- To become more independent and self sufficient
- To create a good future
- To avoid dying early in life
- To ensure that one’s hopes and dreams will come true.
- To be able to open a business
- To be a positive role model in one’s community
- To avoid making dumb decisions
- To finally be able to get in touch with how I really feel
- To feel proud of myself
- To avoid going to jail
- To live a calm and peaceful life
- To live a more healthy life
- To avoid losing everything
- To take full responsibility for my life
- To be a good human being
- To be able to love my family and myself
- To carry out the will of my higher being
Sometimes getting sober simply requires a decision. Knowing why you’re getting sober, such as the reasons above, can fuel that decision. If you’re passionate about your life, making a decision can power your entire journey to long-term sobriety.