Having a healthier heart and lowering our cholesterol are great motivators for eating better and exercising. Wanting a nest egg for our golden years is a way to motivate us to set up a retirement account with our tax refunds. These represent small changes we agree to make for a better us—and a better tomorrow. When we talk about addiction and its grip on an individual, however, motivation for change isn’t as easy as adding on a workout routine or pinching some pennies.
In fact, motivation plays a key role in the recovery process, and loss of it plagues so many trying to recover from addiction. Continued use by an addict will eventually overwhelm all parts of their life affecting their health, their values, their finances, their careers and their relationships. There may come a point along the path they are traveling when they recognize they have had enough. That point or that line is different for each person and each circumstance. Understanding where that threshold exists for each person is what motivates one individual but may not motivate another.
Unfortunately, Cory Monteith, who played Finn Hudson on the popular TV series Glee, did not reach that point in time. Not long before that, we experienced the loss of Whitney Houston, who had a long history of battling addiction. But for as many losses as there are, there are also successes.
What motivates someone to pursue treatment and beat addiction? It may be the imminent fear of losing your life to addiction or the fact that you have done things you never thought you would do before you were addicted. The reasons run the gamut and include life-threatening medical problems, financial ruin, pain, the loss of loved ones and several others. It may be too that family, friends or work pressured you into treatment making them the catalysts or motivators to pursue addiction recovery.
For an individual suffering from addiction, there is a part that cannot be numbed or silenced by drugs or alcohol. Treatment may or may not work the first time, or even several times following that. Some addicts hit rock bottom while others may notice the problem earlier on in the process. If you think sheer willpower and motivation is all it takes to battle an addiction, you don’t understand the role powerful cravings, and the compulsion to use, play in this matter. Addiction is a complex problem. It requires professional treatment and proper support combined with the addict’s willingness to quit and change the pain in their life addiction has caused.