If you have trouble setting limits or exercising moderation, you may assumed you have an "addictive personality", but the reality is much more complicated than that. Whether your substance of choice is a drink, an illegal narcotic, or a video game, you don't have a genetic or wired in predisposition to use it too often. Instead of succumbing to the defeatist idea that you'll always have trouble saying no, empower yourself by confronting the real roots of this behavior pattern.
Substance use is just one of many behaviors that people choose to repeat. Over time, repeated behaviors evolve into habits, and they may continue even after the negative effects begin to outweigh the psychological or biological benefits. Some people form habits quicker than others do, but they do this for a variety of reasons that are unique to every individual.
At Saint Jude Retreats, you'll have the freedom to explore those reasons for yourself. 12-Step programs revolve around a mythology of lifelong addiction and powerlessness, while our program focuses on the importance of choice and empowerment. Despite what you hear about "addictive" drugs and personalities, substance use is like any other behavior. It only turns into a habit if you consistently ignore other options, and increasingly rely on its short-term benefits to avoid or relieve long-term problems.
Because we don't believe in addiction, we don't believe your personality can be "addictive" either. However, we do understand that this label is an attractive, easy way to explain how much a substance appeals to you, or how much effort it takes to say no. All of this actually depends on your own perspective and preferences, and these are constantly changing over time. It's just time to focus on changing them further.
Don't settle for an "addict" label or explain your self-destructive behavior choices with a permanent personality defect. Instead, congratulate yourself for acknowledging one important truth: for now, you have made a habit of choosing short-term rewards over long-term progress. This doesn't mean you'll always do this, but after you're aware of your behavior pattern, you can start working on ways to changing and improving it.
Self-awareness is always better than labels or stereotypes. After you identify a pattern of excess you want to change, work backwards to figure out when and how you use it. The answer isn't genetics, and it might not be obvious at first, but you probably have at least one recurring reason to overindulge.
For example, do you have concerns that anxiety or depression will creep back into your mind if you're not under the influence? Do you focus so intently on enjoying each moment that you want to keep good feelings going, even when it's not practical or healthy to do so? Are you used to watching loved ones take drugs or drink, and you've never been exposed to healthier options of celebrating or relieving stress?
To answer these questions honestly, you'll need to start with a fresh perspective by removing the influence of substances. If you'd like to learn more about a Cognitive Behavioral Learning (CBL) program that can help you to leave your substance use habit in your past, call one of our Guest Services Consultants who can provide you with information and help you decide if Saint Jude Retreats is a good fit for you.