I think I mentioned in another thread, it took about a year of pretty intense craving, and another year or two of vague longing, which sort of mirrored the amount of time I was using. And I've since been offered/exposed and have had no interest at all.
I'd be pretty damn offended if someone judged me as an addict because I have been in the past.
From experience, I think the most important thing was to identify the reasons for engaging in the addictive drug or other behaviour (I'll just stick to drugs to keep it simple). Why is being high/drunk better than reality, what is it helping you to cope with, and are there other ways to achieve this?
It sucks being patient, but time does help - as long as there are other coping strategies in place to help until then as well.
And assuming you have stopped using, then thinking of yourself as still being an addict can potentially be damaging, it can make you feel helpless and that the drug still controls you. Being able to ignore cravings makes you pretty damn strong and in control and you should be proud of that.
(I know the 12-step program promotes the whole, always an addict and it's out of your hands thing, and that does totally help some people, but I don't personally agree with their philosophy).
Hmm, sorry for the long reply!
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09-07-2012 18:44 #31
09-07-2012 18:52 #32
I personally believe in 'always recovering'. I know a few people, mainly with past addictions to alcohol and they consider themselves 'non practicing alcoholics' decades after giving it up.
That doesn't mean a drug user will always relapse, quite the contrary. But I think it's important to be mindful of the reasons why the person used to begin with, and learning to have alternative coping strategies.
09-07-2012 19:18 #33
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09-07-2012 19:27 #34
This person I am thinking of has been clean for a long time after using for several years. Felt a bit the same about the 12 step program for awhile but nearly unbearable cravings/dreams etc have cropped up out of nowhere making her reconsider the whole thing...like maybe it never goes away, really. I think it's good to always be aware. What I am thinking is that addictions were just swapped for other things but coping mechanisms were never really established? not sure, it has been good to hear everyone's POV. I guess everyone's different.
09-07-2012 19:27 #35
09-07-2012 19:29 #36
My sister hasn't had a drink for about 12 years, and still considers herself an alcoholic, so does my mil who hasn't touched a drop for about 20 years.
I guess it is up to the individual.
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11-07-2012 10:11 #37
11-07-2012 14:23 #38
Some people have an addictive personality, swapping one thing for another is what keeps them going.
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11-07-2012 14:27 #39
11-07-2012 14:47 #40
'some' people.... Not 'all' people
Some people are simply bloomin brilliant and know better than to listen to that diseased part of their brain...they hear it ticking... They acknowledge it... They deny feeding it.
I guess it comes down to personal strength, honesty, support and focus.
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