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Friday, May 17, 2019

Overcoming Addiction: When Willpower Alone Isn't Enough

You may see yourself as a strong-willed person who has accomplished a lot in life through your dedication and determination. However, even people who have successfully exerted their will to attain educational or career goals find themselves baffled when they can’t will themselves to quit using drugs or alcohol.

Unfortunately, it’s a common misconception that people with a substance abuse disorder can walk away from drugs or alcohol if they just use enough willpower. If you’ve tried and failed to overcome your addiction using willpower alone, it’s not your fault.

When Willpower Isn’t the Answer

The most fundamental thing to realize about addiction is that it isn’t the result of a series of bad decisions or a lack of moral fiber. It’s a chronic and progressive disease. Think about it in these terms: Nobody expects people with diabetes or cancer to cure themselves through sheer willpower, so why would you feel like you are “less than” if you have tried and failed to quit drinking or abusing drugs?

Because of the way addiction changes the brain’s chemistry, all the conviction in the world is fruitless if you don’t follow a process for proper recovery. Indeed, surrendering and admitting you can’t go it alone can help give you the motivation you need to recover successfully.

5 Reasons Willpower Alone Will Not Help You Recover

1. Support is essential. If you believe you can get through this with willpower alone, you’re likely being too stubborn to admit when you need help. In addiction recovery, isolation can be a recipe for disaster. A successful recovery doesn’t take place in a vacuum. You cannot expect to regain your mental and physical health completely on your own, nor should you try to.

2. You’ll need daily reinforcement. You’ve likely heard someone say, “There are no days off in recovery” – and as you’ll discover, there’s a good reason for that. When you quit using drugs or alcohol, you’ll need tools and coping mechanisms you can use daily to defeat cravings and triggers and silence the tiny voice that keeps telling you things like, “This time, it’ll be different,” or “Just one drink won’t hurt me.” Permanent recovery is an ongoing process that requires re-committing every day to your physical, mental and spiritual healing, and maintaining the skills necessary to build a fulfilling, sober life. Certainly, willpower can be an asset on this journey – but it’s not the only answer.

3. Merely choosing to quit is not going to cut it. Have you ever decided you were going to stop using drugs or drinking and then found yourself unable to keep that promise? Resolve and commitment are not sufficient to make such a significant change and stick to it for the long term. Restoring physical and psychological balance takes time and professional therapy.

Find Your Solution at Canyon Crossing

Changing habits is not easy, and it can feel intimidating. Your strong will can help you know when it’s time to ask for help, and your determination can help you follow through with the actions that will lead you to discover a new way of life.

If you are tired of the way you are living and are ready to make a fresh start, call our admissions specialists today. We provide women’s-only addiction recovery and transitional living in Arizona that can help you regain your sense of purpose.

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