You say that you can stop anytime you want. That’s a greatly positive attitude to have. Maybe things get a little out of hand and you say to yourself that you’re going to take a “break”. So you actually decide that you’re going to stop doing X, Y, Z.. for a week, two or even longer… a month!
Scenario 1-9: During the first few days, you have a tough time experiencing things like sleeplessness, shakes, you’re more irritable than usual and you can’t stop thinking about having that fix. The majority of people cave in before the end of the week. You get a phone call from a friend about a party, an outing, a concert, or dinner at so and so’s.. You know they’ll have the desert you’re avoiding, but you never turn down an invitation for free food, booze and whatever else might be available. You’re done. Switch up any of the details and MOST people end up back with X, Y and Z..
Scenario 10: You make some arrangements where you’re going to stop and you might do something like, go stay with family, since you know that X,Y,Z isn’t acceptable and it will help you refrain. A change of environment is always a good encourager of change. It doesn’t always stop all of us. In situations like this, substituting behaviors is likely since the new environment might be ok with X, but not Y or Z. Food is usually overlooked as an issue by most people. Besides, we all have to eat. Bingeing on home cooking is always comforting. This can also head in the wrong direction fast as overdoing it day after day will take its toll and before you even notice, you won’t be happy.
Let’s say that you’re actually able to maintain yourself through the first week. Maybe you started a new job and wanted to make a good impression and that was the motivator. You actually started eating somewhat better and getting more rest. Your complexion cleared up and you’re feeling a little more energetic by week 3. Your grounding yourself and feeling good about yourself thus far. You’ve started exercising again.
Your friends keep calling, looking forward to the party you’re having after day 30. They’re not happy that you’ve been m.i.a. Their weekends just aren’t quite the same without you.
Now you’ve “proved” to yourself (and everybody else) that you can stop any time you want. Maybe you start up in a “responsible” fashion. You can be “normal” like everyone else. If you’re vigilant about this, you might just be able to continue with X, Y or Z in a “healthier” fashion. The thing is, if you don’t, it won’t take long. In a short time, maybe in a few weeks, maybe in a few months, you will be back, right where you left off if not worse..
In the case of opiate/opioid users, stopping for a period of time and then lapsing back into use can prove fatal. People build up a tolerance while they are using. After detoxing and then commencing use once again, the individual is prone to overdose when using the same amount of the substance as in the past. ie: using ten bags of heroin daily for a long time. After not using for a while, the person’s tolerance has diminished. This creates a greater possibility of overdosing when the individual goes back to the ten bags straight away. The other variable is that the drug may be stronger than the individual previously had experienced and the individual overdoses at bag #6.
In the Big Book, of Alcoholics Anonymous, there is a famous personal story where a gentleman doesn’t drink for twenty five years. When he resumed his drinking, he drank to his death in just four years.
People tend to think that they don’t have a problem if they can stop for a period of time such as we just spoke about. They clear up and get themselves together during this time. GREAT! They don’t use X, Y, Z so their life only gets better. The truth is that if there was no problem, there would be no reason to stop in the first place. Upon returning to the use of X, Y, Z substance(s), it’s inevitable that there will be increased negative consequences as use is prolonged.
We hope that this post might be able to get yourself or your loved ones closer to being “out of the woods.” You are encouraged to be honest with yourself. That is the only requirement on your journey to a happier, healthier YOU! Love Life Today. THiS ReCoVeRY LiFE.