The human mind is full of astounding, endless limitations on one end of the spectrum. On the other it is an ineffectual, gullible mass taking up space between our two ears. The gray matter thriving organ is often times it’s own worst enemy, under or over analyzing everything in life as it looks for both internal/external validation. It is also of course our source of retaining knowledge and power, because after all, one who knows nothing can understand nothing. So the brain has a lot of pressure to not screw things up (like I’m told at every one of my family holidays). The psyche is quite a fragile place.
You see, the mind is a sneaky thing that loves to play tricks on its owner. This, coupled with the sneaky disease of alcoholism, leaves room for so much uncertainty. Should some of us uncertainly get sober with uncertainty, it is helpful to know for certain in the least that temptation will certainly rear its ugly head with unimaginable certainty. Unawareness will be the death of us all.
The importance of avoiding cross addiction depends entirely on the thought structure floating above our skulls and the awareness of that unawareness. The cultivation process of rock solid avoidance from drugs/alcohol is one that won’t work simply from willpower and warrant. It is one that will require action, effort, and perseverance.
Awareness of Cross Addiction
With all that being said, your mind can be trained. As you read these words, think about the words you’re reading, then think about that. This is a simple exercise in observing the butterfly effect our thoughts multiply in. Thought always provokes thought. Rationale begets rationale and insanity fathers insanity. Every action is a reaction to something else and they are all the impetus to themselves in the comic book strip, bubble like structure that so many of us unknowingly cogitate in.
Yet there in lies the immediate problem uncloaking its own self. Lack of introspection leads to broken syllables, discarded dreams, and bad decisions. Recovery teaches us that in sobriety, becoming aware of ourselves holds the utmost gravity. The lack thereof is what allows the disease of alcoholism to thrive without remorse. Self-examination brings about the revelation that those of us with alcoholism are powerless to the disease. It helps us look at ourselves realizing things are indeed unmanageable, or were.
The importance of avoiding cross addiction relies on that thoughtfulness. Without it, complacency often takes place. We begin convincing ourselves we did what we needed to to get to where we needed to, but now all we need is our own willpower. We don’t need fellowship. We don’t need God. We don’t need you. Just us, we got it now. This is the arrogantly destructive mentality of alcoholism.
Understanding Cross Addiction
That complacency that many of us find ourselves in often comes after some a good bit of time in actual recovery, or it comes from the denial of our true alcoholic nature from the get go. This is why there is such importance behind avoiding cross addiction. It’s those thoughts that will bring us right back to the misery. The thing with this illness is that it never goes away regardless of age, race, gender, creed, or sexual identity. Time will make us stronger in our endeavors against our alcoholic thinking, but there is always room for mistakes. Relapse and cross addiction go hand in hand as mistakes; thing 1 and thing 2.
This disease of alcoholism wants us dead though, plain and simple. Relapse and/or cross addiction are just tools used in addiction’s arsenal. In order to combat the disease properly, addicts/alcoholics have to be constantly vigilant, always watching that thought bubble. The disease will convince us the problem was with alcohol, so a little cocaine won’t hurt. Or crack, LSD, jenkem- whatever it is your eyes set themselves on. Pry them off though. Change the thought process and call yourself out. Don’t allow justification to make demands, while you work diligently to become a better you. Avoiding cross addiction and its temptations can be as simple as that.
A few other techniques that follow the importance of avoiding cross addiction include:
- Playing the Tape Out
- Distracting Yourself
- Utilizing Therapy/Asking for Help
- Willingness over Willpower
- Going to a Meeting
Avoidance of Cross Addiction
Relapse is unfortunately very prevalent in the recovery community. It is seen more times than not, and can oftentimes be attributed to the cross addiction. Far too many tease themselves with the idea of using like they see their friends do, even after having already put together years of continuous sobriety. Again, this is how the disease of addiction works. It convinces us that we aren’t addicts, we were just addicted to one thing; a fallacy of utter proportion. The importance of avoiding relapse, goes one in the same with the importance of avoiding cross addiction. No matter the substance, alcoholic thinking will have its excuses and never be satisfied.
For addicts, recovery becomes the top priority in our lives because it teaches us wisdom, or it keeps us alive at the very least. It’s through practicing the 12 steps and entering some form of a fellowship that we become people again. I mean as active addicts/alcoholics we were people still, but we were shells of the human beings we were meant to be. The heroin addict is no happier than the meth addict, and that’s what the importance of avoiding cross addiction shows us. Addiction is addiction is addiction. It doesn’t matter what the vice is, dropping the substances for true addicts/ alcoholics is a requirement for living. When you live and breathe in obsession, no good is to come out of it. If you or a loved one is suffering from drug or alcohol addiction please give a call at 877-978-1208.