Fantasy of Moderation!
BEST ANSWER? THE QUESTION
If you're reading this recovery column on a regular basis, you may have inferred a bias I maintain against prevailing treatment doctrine.
Yes, I don't trust "evidenced-based treatment."
On that note, allow me to opine on how someone comes to understand that they have a substance disorder:
If you are asking the question, you have the answer.
See, I just don't believe that anyone who ponders an unhealthy relationship with drugs or alcohol does not already have one. And guess what, it's going to get way worse.
Take someone who goes on a diet; chances are, someone else has shot a vanity bullet across their bow, or they are reacting to an old dress size that no longer fits. Rather than acting defensively, they go into action.
But the seminal moment for an abuser on his way to full dependence is the first time an onlooker makes the following comment:
"I think you have a problem."
Make no mistake. That is pure shock and awe because someone else has noticed what the abuser has already asked himself.
Enter a force that separates the substance "dieter" from the addict:
I call it the "Fantasy of Moderation."
What was for an exhilarating stretch a lovely ride with a new substance-fuelled personality comes crashing to a halt. What follows is nothing short of a full-time job trying to do the impossible--hide and seek.
The social user of anything has no such preoccupation. It simply does not exist, and never will. For the addict, however, what began as a question to herself ("do I have a problem, maybe?), segues into other inquiries, like "I wonder If anyone has noticed," and "I Wonder If I can control(moderate) this?"
You've seen this in theater. It's called a soliloquy, an actor stepping aside while action is underway to ponder his own fate.
If you've done this off-stage, give us a call.
Because you already know.