Most people are familiar with the idea of a 12 step program, and pretty much anyone can guess that the steps involved have to do with recovery.
But what are the steps to addiction? Are there any? I would say that there are. In recovery programs, they often say we didn’t get this way overnight, when referring to the fact that it takes time to heal and recover.
Just like recovery, addiction is a process. Some people believe that they were born an addict. Others can look back and see how they slowly became addicted over time. But even if you were hooked on your very first try, it took time for your addiction to evolve and get out of control.
We all have a different path, but most of us probably had some similar steps that led to our full blown addiction:
1) Introduced to our drug of choice, tried it for the first time.
2) Started using it socially and at parties, etc.
3) We started using it with increasing frequency and to excess, but still under control.
4) We went overboard with our use a few times but continue to partake.
5) We might have argued with a close friend or family member over our use but did not stop there either.
6) Start isolating more as using our drug of choice becomes our main priority in life. Obsession takes over and when we are not using we are usually thinking about using or planning our next use. At this point you could say we have crossed a line.
7) More consequences, such as legal trouble or major breakups in our relationships. We continue to rationalize our drug use through these events, however.
8) Complete denial. We believe we are completely unique in our love of drugs and/or alcohol.
9) Paranoia and fear dominate our lives. Our goal now is to stay self medicated at all times if possible.
10) Existing only to use drugs or drink. No longer eating meals or using basic hygiene.
11) Extreme isolation. Completely dehumanized. Animalistic.
12) Overdose. Insanity. Death.
So those are the addiction recovery steps. I was right around step 9 when I was finally blessed with the decision to get sober. What point were you at?
At least this gives you a good picture of what to look forward to if you decide to relapse. I m not too excited about progressing any further in my addiction, how about you?
For today I will stay grateful and push myself to grow in recovery.