Project Unbroken and Addiction – Coping with Addiction
Many persons believe that will willpower is a major factor in overcoming addiction. However, for most addicts having a strong willpower will not help them to quit abusing drugs. Persons who have been able to use their willpower to reach their personal, academic, professional and other achievements are often amazed that this same determination is not effective in helping them get through substance abuse. The reality is that willpower alone won’t help you with complex issues associated with an addiction. Learn more about Project Unbroken – fighting alcohol & drug addiction.
Let’s look at five reasons why willpower cannot adequately help you overcome addiction.
1. Addiction is not an option.
Primarily, if willpower alone could help, you probably would not have had an addiction. Persons become addicts not because they planned to, but because the power of choice went missing. At some stage, you couldn’t control the desire to use drugs, drink or participate in other unwholesome habits.
2. Willpower subdues the pain.
Some medical professionals will tell you that people who are in pain tend to use strong willpower to suppress it. It is quite unlikely that you will use suppressed pain to overcome an addiction, and fighting a silent battle will not help you to find the root cause of your problems.
3. A decision is not enough.
Maybe at some point, you decided you wanted to stop drinking or using drugs, but unfortunately, you discovered that it was no use; you just kept falling back into the addictive behavior. It is fine to exercise some amount of determination and commitment. However, how effective will commitment and determination be in helping you make the lasting changes you really need? You need a combination of recognized treatment methods for addiction, which include behavioral therapy, medical care, and support by way of addiction treatments. Read more about willpower here.
4. Willpower prevents you from seeking help.
People who have successfully kicked their addictive behavior usually do so because they asked for help. If you keep on believing that you have the strength to manage it all by yourself, you are never going to seek help or allow someone else to help you. Trying to handle your addiction alone is not good for your recovery.
5. Willpower and decision lethargy
People who tend to use willpower to manage habits, behaviors, and decision usually become lethargic. Willpower has nothing to do with the formation of a person’s habits and behaviors. Whenever the individual chooses to use willpower to effect changes to behaviors and habits that are well established it creates lethargy. An individual will experience tiredness or lethargy in these two areas of the brain the prefrontal cortex and the basal ganglia. Behaviors, decision-making, and policymaking take place in the prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia regions of the brain.
6. Forgetting too quickly
Willpower is a short-term method for overcoming addiction. Be aware that as an addict, you will need other treatment methods and means of support to help you overcome successfully. Why? You will always hear that small voice inside your head telling you, “It is going to be different this time around.” You cannot depend on willpower alone to overcome because you will always remember what drugs or alcohol did for you rather than what it did to you.
The Value of Willpower in Addiction Recovery
Your decision to stop using drugs and/or alcohol may cause someone to tell you to forget about whatever you heard about using willpower. However, the truth is, your decision to stop is the most significant choice you will ever make in your life. This is where willpower becomes necessary. You will need the willpower to help you follow-up on your decision, a decision that will take you on the path to full recovery. While you may have trouble changing your behavior and even the way you look at the world, you still need to carry through with your decision. That strong willpower you possess can help you to stick with the treatment program right through the end.
You may think that your strong will is enough to help you make major decisions that will affect your life. While it may be effective in some areas of your life, it is not strong enough to end your substance abuse or your addiction. While you have the power to make the change, you should not depend on your willpower. Ask for help if you feel you can’t make it on your own.