Chemical dependency requires a diagnosis based on a thorough evaluation by a certified professional with a willing participant. You wouldn’t ask a doctor to fix your car, or your repairman for marriage counseling, would you? As ridiculous as that may sound, many people try to do the same in their sobriety when it comes to issues in their personal lives that go beyond drinking and using. Frankly, some people just aren’t qualified to help in areas where someone such as a doctor or a psychiatrist can.
As contradictory as it might sound, finding a program of recovery was the help I needed at the time. Before entering high school, I had participated in a clinical study for depression. My parents were concerned because my grades had taken a dramatic slide, from being a Straight A student to barely being able to pass any of my classes. They knew I needed help, so they did what any normal parents would do, which was take me to see a professional.
The next few years were dramatically worse. I had begun to isolate myself from people that I knew, including my family, and had withdrawn from almost everything I had taken interest in. I had been prescribed a psychoactive drug that just wasn’t working, and therapy sessions that I was never honest in. I wasn’t suffering from a chemical imbalance, but in retrospect turned out to be maladjusted to life. It wasn’t until I went through the ringer and found out that I was beyond human aid, that I allowed myself to truly receive the help I needed.
Finding the program however was only half the battle, as there were still many aspects of my own life that I had to seek outside help for before I could continue on this journey. Luckily, I was able to confide in friends and I was supported by the program of Alcoholics Anonymous to eventually find the help I needed. There are many of us who have had experiences with whatever you are going through, and if you can muster up enough courage to share your struggles, there may be someone who can help point you in the right direction. For many though, finding professional help is a necessity and can be intimidating and confusing.
As in my case, often people are prescribed with medication that may not be necessarily making things better. Psychiatrists can be all too eager to try and give patients the help they need, but if you’re not being completely honest with yourself and your doctors, they are at a great disadvantage in getting you the right medication. Similarly, if you cannot be honest with the people in your sobriety, there is nothing more they can do for you.
With all that being said, there are many issues that we may have to face in our recovery from chemical dependency; like depression, anxiety, and other diagnosis’s that, if left untreated could send us back to the places we worked so hard to rise above. Hitting bottom in sobriety isn’t easy, but just like coming into the program; this may be another perfect problem that can help us to take the first step in finding the exact solution.