Choosing The Hero’s Journey: Initiation
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A major aspect of the beginning stages of recovery from a substance use disorder (SUD) is looking within oneself and confronting things that you typically ignore or overlook. Now that you’re in treatment, you have the support that you need to finally do this. 

There may be demons in your past that you need to face or certain aspects of your lifestyle that are unhealthy or holding you back. Part of this process also involves trying to narrow down why you chose to engage in substance use in the first place. This is known as the root cause of addiction. 

You may find success in tackling this process with the help of a therapist who can help you work through your emotions. You may also find success in doing some journaling or meditation, as this can help you become more in-tune with yourself and how you’re feeling. It can also help to take part in group meetings, as learning from others can also help you recognize things within yourself that you might not have noticed before. 

Identifying the Root Cause of Addiction  

There is always a root cause of addiction. Sometimes, there can be more than one factor contributing to one’s substance use. It is different from person to person. Some people can easily point to something specific and say that that was the reason why they started engaging in excessive drinking or drug use. However, other people have to do some soul-searching and take a look at their past to determine what their root cause could be. There are things that can increase one’s likelihood of becoming addicted, such as a genetic predisposition or environmental factors, but they aren’t necessarily always the root cause of one’s addiction. Some of the most common root causes of addiction include: 

  • Childhood trauma 
  • Physical, sexual, or verbal abuse 
  • An undiagnosed mental health condition 
  • Financial struggles 
  • The end of a marriage or relationship
  • An excessively stressful work environment
  • A toxic relationship
  • An unhealthy home environment 
  • Losing a loved one 
  • Viewing or experiencing an act of violence 

Identifying the root cause of your addiction is crucial because if you don’t recognize it and take the necessary steps to address it, you’re likely to fall back into substance use after you finish treatment. 

Figuring Out Your Next Steps 

Once you have identified the root cause of your addiction, you can begin to try to figure out what steps you are going to take to fix the situation so that you can give yourself the best chance possible at long-term recovery. If you determine that you’re probably struggling with an undiagnosed mental health disorder, you can finally seek treatment. This may involve going to therapy or taking prescription medication to alleviate your symptoms. 

If it’s past trauma that you’ve ignored that you believe contributed to your substance use, you can start working with a therapist that specializes in trauma. This way, you can begin to finally process what happened to you and start the healing process. 

In other situations, the steps that you need to take to address your root cause are going to be more complicated. But don’t be intimidated because your treatment team will be able to provide you with guidance and resources to make this process as uncomplicated as possible. For example, if you are in a situation where your home life is toxic or unsafe, there are tools available to help you find safe housing. 

If you are struggling with unemployment, there are resources that can help connect you with open positions that would be a good fit for your skill set. No matter how daunting tackling this problem may seem, it is possible, and you will have the support you need throughout this process. 

Making Plans for Post-Treatment 

It’s important for you to plan ahead and determine what your life is going to look like when you return back to your regular life after treatment. You’ll need to determine if you’ll be attending therapy appointments, group meetings, or both. You’ll also need to take note of things you need to avoid doing in recovery that you used to do before. This includes anything that may threaten your recovery journey. Some examples include: 

  • Hanging out with anyone that may peer pressure you to break your sobriety 
  • Isolating yourself from others when you’re having a bad mental health day
  • Going to bars or parties where you know substance use will be present 
  • Continuing toxic relationships 

This is an exciting time as you can now begin to look forward to what this new chapter in your life is going to look like and how much more positive it is going to be. 

While you’re in recovery, you’ll face the task of taking a long look at yourself and addressing hidden demons you may have been struggling with for a long time but were too afraid to face. This involves identifying the root cause of your addiction or the reason that you chose to begin engaging in substance use in the first place. This answer may come to you easily, or you may need to do some soul-searching. Once you have identified the root cause of your addiction, you can work on addressing it and starting the healing process. This is also a time to come up with a post-treatment plan as you prepare for this new chapter of your life. If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance use disorder, our team at The Ho Tai Way can help. Call (714) 581-3974 today to learn more.