Spring: A season for renewal

Any time is a great time to tackle any addiction but, given that seasonal changes do affect our bodies and minds – the arrival of spring will make it easier for some to strive for recovery.

Why would the time of year matter? Apart from spring symbolically representing fresh beginnings, there are actual seasonal variations that make this time of year ideal for facing any challenge.

Why spring is better than winter

The cold months of winter bring weather changes that affect everyone and when people aren’t able to get out of their homes and stay active, possible effects include:

  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Oversleeping
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

When the days are shorter, the weather is colder and people don’t leave their homes, you start to notice mood shifts. This can lead to irritability, depression, boredom and anxiety which can all cause cravings that are difficult to ignore. This increases the chance of succumbing to your addiction to numb the pain.

You also have a long list of celebrations occurring during this time: Halloween, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day. These special days can affect a person with addiction in multiple ways. There might be social or work events occurring during these holidays that bring stress and temptation. Any trouble with your family could become more apparent and while visiting other people’s homes, you have easier access to alcohol and other substances.

So, it’s easy to see why spring is the ideal time to face up to your addition and out the steps in place to seek treatment. Longer days, better weather, less holidays and a general upturn in everyone’s mood sets the right tone for you to reclaim your life.

Is it time to face up to your addiction?

The chances are that you didn’t expect to become addicted when you started. You may have thought you were just having fun and could quit at any time. The good news is that you can quit, although it is a complicated process. There are many factors – physical, mental, and emotional – that make quitting difficult. This is why so many people find treatment helps to guide them through the complex process of quitting.

Tolerance

When you experience an addictive substance or behaviour the first time, it may be overwhelming, unpleasant even, or it may be mild and pleasurable. If the effect feels strong, you may feel there is no danger of you wanting to overdo it. If it is mild, it may seem harmless and innocent.

The more times the behaviour is repeated, the less sensitivity you have to it, and the more you need to get the same effect. Drugs, such as alcohol and opiates, work on specific parts of the brain, creating physical tolerance. Behaviours, such as sex, food control and gambling, produce feelings of excitement that get less intense over time. As tolerance develops, you may want to do more of the drug or behaviour to get the same effect.

Guilt and justification

The discomfort of feelings of guilt when your behaviour doesn’t fit with your own standards of right and wrong can be a strong motivator to make changes. Sometimes it can work against you, causing you to justify your behaviour to yourself and other people. This can get in the way of the decision to quit.

Some common justifications are:

  • Denial“It’s not a problem.”
  • Minimisation: “I have already cut down.”
  • Comparisons: “Uncle John drinks far more than I do.”
  • Defiance: “I would rather live a shorter life and be happy than quit and be miserable.”
  • Rationalisation: “I’ve never stolen to finance my habit.” “I am way more sociable when I’ve had a drink.”
  • Lesser of two evils: “Better I do it than I be impossible to live with.”
  • Taking Behaviour out of Context: “In some cultures, this is acceptable.”
  • Glorification: “Queen Victoria used to…”

You have the power to seek recovery now

Most people suffering from addiction wait until something catastrophic happens in their life before seeking help. But in reality, treatment works, no matter when you choose to seek it. And there are many long-term impacts you can avoid by starting now instead of later:

  • Finances: Addiction can be expensive, and often causes people to lose their jobs
  • Social: Addiction can make you act in ways towards others that you wouldn’t otherwise, especially to get a fix. Many addicts end up alienated from their friends and family.
  • Physical: All addictions have long-term physical and mental impacts. Some are more severe than others, but all become worse over time.

If you know the consequences of your addiction will only increase with time, then it’s a good idea to get help now.

A new beginning

Don’t wait for an intervention, now is the time to act. You have nothing to lose in trying treatment and keep in mind that many patients get the best results when they choose to seek recovery on their own.

Make Spring 2020 the time you seek help and you’ll look back on this time as the start of your journey to recovery, to a fresh start, to renewal…

Tabor Group

Tabor Group is a leading provider of residential addiction treatment services in Ireland. We provide support and care to hundreds of clients suffering from addictions to alcohol, substances, gambling and eating disorders. For more information on Tabor Group’s services, click here.

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