Randall has worked with a Diakon Family Life Services counselor since he left rehab, as he continues his recovery from addiction. He is in his eighth year of sobriety.
I started drinking when I was 16. I stopped at age 51. During those years of alcohol addiction, I also used drugs for a period of time. Drinking and partying became an everyday ritual, something I believed was part of me. When it all got so bad—when I found myself in such a dark place that I was unable to help the people I cared about the most, my family—that’s when I realized I needed help.
Drinking and partying just become an everyday ritual when you do them for a long time. Drinking becomes part of every event. You simply must find a way to incorporate it because you are so used to it being part of everything you do. You try to change that, that pattern or direction. But it seems very difficult to do, because you believe drinking is part of you.
The drugs, the depression, and drinking increased, but none of that cured the pain. That’s when it got so bad for me. I was in such a dark place that I realized I needed to reach out for help. Stopping and looking at the reality of where I was emotionally, financially, and in terms of being able to support the people I care most about—my family—caused me to realize I needed help.
It is National Recovery Month, so it’s a good time to discuss what it means to have a behavior disorder or addiction and how you can help loved ones affected by one of these illnesses. Common behavioral issues include eating and mood disorders, depression, ADHD, social phobias, post-traumatic stress disorders, and panic/anxiety disorders. Substance abuse is an extremely prevalent behavior disorder.
“Addiction is the compulsive use of the addictive substance.” ~ Father Martin (recovering alcoholic and public speaker)
The amount of substance used makes little difference to the nature of this illness. How the substance use affects one’s life and the lives of others is what matters. Whether it’s happening as a result of problems concerning money, family or work, individuals facing an addiction typically stay that way if they don’t get help. Like many other illnesses, addiction will get worse without intervention.
We asked several Diakon Family Life Services staff members to share their insights and suggestions on this issue that affects numerous individuals and their families …