20 Jul Alcoholism and Addiction are Diseases of Perception
Addiction is often referred to as a disease of perception, particularly in twelve step recovery programs. And in accordance with this line of thinking, the drugs or the alcohol (or object of our addition, whatever that may be) actually aren’t the problems at all. What exacerbates the problem, however, is the phenomenon of craving. This phenomenon was first described in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous by Dr. William D. Silkworth in reference to alcohol. It was a groundbreaking analysis at the time back in 1939, later confirmed by modern science. In short, it means that when an alcoholic takes one drink––or when a drug addict takes one drug––he or she wants more and more.
Alcoholism, addiction, and perception
Let’s break this down starting with how one’s perception enters into the equation when it comes to alcoholism and drug addiction. At its very core, this is where it all starts. Envision a population of individuals who suffer near crippling fear and anxiety––fear of failure, fear of death, fear of rejection, and the list goes on. Imagine also a group of people with such low self-esteem that they never want to leave the house or be around other people. Maybe it’s because they think they have no social skills, they don’t like the way they look, they don’t think they’re successful enough––you get the idea.
Just add alcohol or drugs and certain people from these groups will experience an instant shift in perception about themselves. Almost instantly, they find they’re no longer afraid of rejection, or they suddenly feel attractive and ready to work the crowd at their best friend’s birthday party. This then sets off a chain reaction of them wanting more and more…and more. What they’re usually failing to recognize, however, is that nothing has changed. They’re no more or less confident than before, they don’t look any different, and outside circumstances are no different. What’s different is their perception of a given situation.
The phenomenon of craving
For an alcoholic or an addict, it’s often said that one is too many and a thousand never enough. And, once again, this all begins with that little thing called perception which is not really such a little thing for an alcoholic or an addict. It’s liquid (or powdered, or THC-fueled) courage. Rarely, if ever, will you find a true, die-hard addict or alcoholic that can just quit cold turkey without addressing the root cause of what’s causing them to drink or use. That’s because what’s underlying all of the inebriated debauchery is someone who’s suffering from something so much deeper than an actual substance like alcohol or a drug.
With that being said, it’s not all that easy to teach an alcoholic or addict that they should just quickly change their thinking and put down the drugs and alcohol. It usually requires patience, diligence, open-mindedness, and a willingness to change. It also tends to require a recovery program, whether that’s a twelve-step recovery program or similar, and in many cases, some time in a recovery center. The good news is that it’s totally do-able and while recovery is not going to be a cakewalk, enough people have gotten clean and sober successfully over the years that there’s literally tons of peer support out there for anyone ready to take the plunge. Recovery also happens to be the best deal in town (any town, really!) because it invariably leads to a supremely groovy life. And we can personally vouch for that since most of us hanging around Kembali are doing the sobriety deal, too. And it rocks.
Kembali Recovery Center Can Help
If you or someone you know and love is struggling to get or stay clean, Kembali Recovery Center can help. Contact us today to learn about our Residential Treatment Program and our Recovery and Beyond Program.
*Please note that intakes are on hold until the pandemic is declared over by the Indonesian government. Currently the country is scheduled to open up for tourists September 2020, but dates are always subject to change. We’ll keep you posted as updates arise.