The hardest part of change is taking action
Fear of change is subtle. It operates under the radar, convincing you that it’s there to protect you and keep you safe.
In reality, fear is one of the most common reasons for resistance to change because it stops you taking any action. You’re terrified of being forced to think beyond what you have known for so long. It makes it hard for you to think clearly. So, it’s easier to do nothing and keep on drinking, getting high, placing bets or starving yourself.
Changing your behaviour is deceptively simple. All you have to do – when you strip away all the layers of motivation, disinterest, cravings and urges – is either take action, or don’t.
Either drink, or don’t drink. Gamble or don’t gamble. Call your dealer, or don’t call your dealer. Simple, right? Unfortunately, ‘simple’ is not the same as ‘easy’. Making a change may well be a simple decision, but often it’s the steps that lead to the first decision that are the hardest to take.
Human beings, although capable of incredible things, are also very simple creatures. We love being right – but we detest being wrong. You probably know someone who can never admit to being wrong, even on the losing end of a heated argument. You might even be that person!
We’re reluctant to admit to ourselves that we could be unhappy and we can be reluctant to take responsibility for that unhappiness. That’s entirely natural. However, a vital aspect of any Recovery is that we need to interrogate our own feelings and beliefs in order to overcome problem behaviour – whether that be a chronic addiction or just old-fashioned stubbornness.
In order to succeed, you must realise that you both need and want to make a change. That requires, on some level, that you recognise your own unhappiness or discontent.
Our egos, fragile as an egg shell, will always throw up excuses as to why we can’t change: “I have to drink”, the ego protests, “because I can’t talk to people sober”.
“I can’t stop – this is the way I am.” No, it’s not the way you are – there is nothing wrong with you and you so have the power to change. You can do it.
None of this is to say that change is easy, particularly when it comes to issues as harrowing for the body and soul as addiction. However, there are so many supports available to help you with that decision to change. Once you realise that you can change, and that you want to, the only thing stopping you is yourself.
When you make that decision, call us. We’re here to help.
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.