Watching someone suffer through the cycle of addiction is like watching them ride a roller coaster that could derail at any minute. You may ask them nicely, at first, to get off. Then maybe you will beg or plead with them, offering them anything they want if they will only step off of the ride. When that doesn’t work, you may threaten them, shout at them, or tell them they are going to die if they don’t stop. You may do any number of desperate things to try and help them. The problem is that they can’t get off, even if they want to. They are strapped in and stuck, knowing that this ride may be their last.
The Baffling Cycle of Addiction is a Complicated One
For the family and loved ones of the the person suffering from addiction, the addiction cycle evokes feelings of anger, helplessness, and fear. Being able to identify when a loved one is caught in this cycle is important. Here are some of the major components in the cycle of addiction.
Addiction is a disease with physical features. The addicted person is powerless when it comes to their reaction to drugs or alcohol. What is a simple glass of wine for one person may turn into a weeklong bender for another. The physical craving drives them to use more, to drink more, and to do anything to keep it that way, even if they have become physically ill from it.
Perhaps one of the most crucial aspects of this debilitating cycle is in the mind. Despite any number of consequences, you may watch your loved use alcohol or drugs time and time again. This is because that person believes the lies they are telling themselves and others. Maybe you’ve heard, “It’ll be different this time,” or “It wasn’t that bad,” or even “It’s prescribed.” The action of continuing to drink or use even after serious consequences is a key sign of the addiction cycle.
The spiritual facet of the disease of addiction may be the hardest to observe, as it usually occurs internally. Even if the drugs are removed and the mind has started to clear, the person is still left with the pain, guilt, shame, anger, and fear from their addiction. These feelings will try to drive the person back to their addiction unless they commit to whole-person recovery: recovery that address the physical, mental, and spiritual.
The cycle of addiction may seem hopeless, but it is not. Thousands of people have found recovery and long-lasting freedom from that crazy ride called addiction.