Overcoming Addiction

addiction Jun 04, 2022

For information on this topic, check out my Insider feature where I talk about How To Support Someone Who’s Trying To Get Sober!

​Early in my career, I was told that working with addiction + eating disorders would be “challenging” & that there’s “a high burn out rate” with clinicians who work with these populations.

Common struggles that come up in this line of work include risks of relapse, medical or crisis issues, legal ramifications, broken trust, familial or relational discord, repressed traumas, denial of severity, & many other accompanying behaviors tied to addiction. Struggling with addiction issues causes people to often behave differently when they’re intoxicated vs. when they’re sober; they might say or do hurtful things, & they’re more prone to take serious risks with their life, or even the lives of others. The addict’s behaviors often cause loved ones to live in a state of panic & fear, too. For those who are close to an addict, learning how to deal properly is a balancing act of both offering up support in navigating recovery options, while simultaneously, not losing sight of looking after their own wellbeing. Ultimately, addiction is a condition that one must want to learn how to manage—nobody else can take that fight on for them. With that said, there are SO many misconceptions about addiction….which is a big reason why I’m passionate about advocating for this population (regardless of the inherent challenges involved). I mean, nobody wakes up & says, “I’m going to be an addict!”Addiction is NOT a choice, but recovery IS. Most people who are dependent on substances, starvation, etc….are actually self-medicating in response to a core issue or disturbance (i.e., a history of trauma, abuse, low self-esteem, depression, etc.). Thus, it makes sense for why they seek to numb in the first place. Ultimately, those with addiction issues need expert assistance from clinicians who use evinced-based methods to treat this life-threatening condition. I am one of those clinicians & I feel blessed to help many amazing clients as they bravely step away from their destructive coping behaviors. Seeing their courage to face their demons for the sake of healing has made me a grateful witness (& not a burned out counselor, as others had warned)!

What are your thoughts or experiences involving addiction?