Addiction and alcoholism is never our fault. As addicts and alcoholics, we like to blame other people because we don’t want to accept responsibility for our actions. Our actions get out of hand, out of control, and beyond our manageability. We don’t want to take responsibility for the situation we have created or the fact that we cannot manage what we have created. What most people don’t understand is that the act of blaming in addiction is rooted in shame. We experience deep and crippling feelings of shame about ourselves and our lives. Shame, however, doesn’t feel good. Addiction and alcoholism are disorders of pleasure in the brain. Our brains experience a change in chemical wiring which cause us to crave pleasure when we experience something that isn’t pleasure. The idea of taking responsibility goes directly against what our brains are asking of us. In response, our brains create cravings for drugs and alcohol which promise to relieve those feelings of shame and pain. To get rid of the pain as quickly as possible, we resort to old behaviors which takes the pressure of shame off of our backs. We likely use drugs and alcohol. Then, we blame other people.
Blaming is what we do when we want to assign the responsibility of our thoughts, actions, behaviors, feelings, and emotions to other people. We want others to be at fault so we can take some of the responsibility off of ourselves. Being wrong, being responsible, and being at fault is more than we feel we can bear. This process doesn’t happen over time, it happens for us in a heartbeat because it is so ingrained in our minds. The moment we decide to take responsibility for our addiction and realize it was us who started using and it is only us who can stop using, we change everything. It’s such a simple answer, that it is difficult for many of us to come by.
Simple is the answer to recovery, which is why phrases like “keep it simple” are important to recovery. Each addict and alcoholic has a story, a life of experiences that led them to their addiction. Very few of us could say, however, that somewhere within that story was someone forcing us to use drugs and alcohol. It would be the rare case that every single time someone used drugs and alcohol it was completely physically against their will, removing any part of responsibility they may have. Accepting responsibility and removing blame is a lifetime experience. It happens when we get sober, but it happens many times after. Such a monumental experience with removing blame in a critical moment of our lives prepares us to remove blame for the rest of our lives as we continue to live sober.
The answer to addiction is simple. Simple Recovery offers action-oriented, multiphase programs of treatment for addiction, alcoholism, and co-occurring disorders. Call us today for information on our transitional programs of care and start your recovery today: 866-601-8128