Almost everyone engages in the habit of escaping their problems on some level. Sometimes life becomes overwhelming and our only way to cope is to mentally “check out” through television, internet, food or in some cases alcohol and drugs. For people with substance dependencies, avoidance is a major part of their disorder that prevents them from coping with their life directly.
Their need to avoid stress or depression through drugs becomes a compulsive habit as they continually alter and escape reality. As avoidance grows stronger throughout a person’s addiction it can eventually take the form of denial that prevents them from seeing how much their substance abuse is affecting their lives and those around them. They avoid the reality and the truth about their situation to a dangerous degree.
In order for an addict to recover it is crucial that they become more grounded and reduce their avoidant behavior so that they can resolve situations rather than constantly looking for an escape.
The Strategy of Avoiding
Addicts can be avoidant in a number of different ways that only serve to fuel their disorder and increase their behavior. Many people with addictions get involved in drug use to not only avoid emotional issues but also their own adulthood and responsibility.
As addiction progresses a person’s tendency to avoid personal responsibility becomes dramatically exaggerated. They will justify everything that happens in their own mind so that they never feel or experience responsibility for their actions. It is important for addicts to be held responsible and accountable for all that they do so that they can stop avoiding and begin changing their behavior for the better.
Self-destruction is a part of the mechanism of escape that helps addicts to resist the need to be a reliable and responsible adult that people depend on. In treatment, addicts should focus on becoming more personally responsible to improve their avoidant tendencies.
Therapy Sessions and Facing Reality
Although there are many facets that must be dealt with in addiction treatment, one of the most important is for an addict to learn to face reality. Life and all its difficulties can be hard to face directly especially for people with addictive personalities. Reality can make people feel uncomfortable, stressed out, or even simply bored and empty.
Drugs offer a withdrawal into the fantasy that helps someone experience a state of mind where they feel relaxed and blissful or energized and imaginative. Instead of accepting their life as it is and embracing the good and the band of their existence, addicts look for ways to alter reality.
During recovery, individual therapy sessions can help a person come to terms with their problems in a way that decreases their need to constantly avoid. Talking with a therapist can help patients become more grounded as they open up about personal feelings, thoughts, and share their experiences. Trained counselors can help guide patients and allow them to see life from a different perspective and grow in their ability to accept reality. They can learn strategies and tactics to deal with life’s problems in more effective and direct ways. Rather than escape, addicts can eventually have the tools that they need to confront reality and be more present in their own life.
In recovery, one of the foundations of treatment is combating the habit of avoidance because it is a major component of addiction. Addicts in recovery learn to replace their tendency to escape with more constructive and positive means of coping. Resolving problems head-on can make people feel much better in the long run rather than seeking a temporary release from addictive drugs. Abstinence, therapy, and rehabilitation can all work to help eliminate avoidance from a person’s life.