On a RollJason Powers, M.D
People say it all the time: “She’s on a roll.” “He’s on a winning streak.” “They’re feeling it.” In sports it’s called “in the zone;” golfers say the cup looks a foot wide on those days. Songwriters say the music pours out of them. Business people describe certain times when their intuition is spot on, and every move creates more opportunity.
There are many forms of creativity. When a person applies his talents and abilities, good things happen eventually, even if progress is slow in the beginning. Perseverance is a necessary part of creation, too. If something doesn’t work, it’s another lesson in the process of finding what does work.
Sometimes, people believe that alcohol and drugs improve their creativity. They use substances as a way to lose inhibitions. This may seem to work for some people, in the very early going, but it soon limits the emotions and spontaneity involved in creativity. History tells us that this choice comes with a price. The sad stories about musicians, filmmakers, entrepreneurs, authors, and artists who couldn’t stop drinking and using are all around us. Often, these creative people were unable to continue to produce work they found satisfying, prior to their eventual incapacitation.
For a man or woman in an addiction-fueled decline, the world becomes smaller, not larger. Recovering individuals often describe this process as a feeling of falling down a well, or traveling into a tunnel that becomes narrower, every few feet. Options seem to be disappearing, bridges get burned, and loved ones are more distant, either in reality or in the mind of the addict. This shrinking of the world becomes disturbing, then depressing, then terrifying. The day comes when there aren’t enough chemicals to make the bad experiences go away.
At this point, the addict may feel like there is no way out. With no hope, what’s the point? The answer is recovery.
There is a method to recovery that requires other human beings. When a person has lost her way, thoroughly, she will need others to help her crawl out of the well. The newly sober addict has trouble thinking clearly, so thinking his way out of the addiction is close to impossible. Recovering people need friendship, encouragement, guidance, and an atmosphere free of harsh judgment. It’s natural for the larger world to judge hurtful behavior unfavorably, and most addicts have at least been unavailable to others. The support of non-judgmental peers is important.
Treatment is one of the ways a person falling deeper into an addiction can stop the descent, and begin coming back to the world. Treatment offers support, therapy for past traumas, education on the disease of addiction, and the beginning of family healing. Treatment center staff members can guide the newcomer into a variety of support groups, and also refer him for ongoing therapy. Social services are recommended for clients in need.
Has it been a long time since you were on a roll? Do you miss the person you used to be? Does it feel like you are falling down a well? Call Positive Recovery at 877-476-2743. We have a lifeline for you—all you have to do is grab it and hold on!