There comes a moment when an individual realizes that his or her addiction has reached its breaking point. For some, this awareness comes after a few months of use. For others, it can take years.
In general, there are several events along the way that lead to this moment, some being easier to recognize than others. Nonetheless, they all signal the same conclusion: either the addiction has to go, or the individual.
Here’s when you know that there’s no more time to waste and that you need to get help now.
1. Your livelihood is being affected.
People affected by addiction gradually become more isolated the longer they use. Over time, the addict’s yearning for stronger highs climbs to the top of the priority list, causing them to neglect key aspects of their lives, such as their jobs or careers. And instead of getting help, the embarrassment of having to let their employers know they need time off for rehab prevents them from getting out of the situation. As a result, their work ethic and productivity continues to suffer until their employer notices and finds out anyway or simply gives them the boot.
If this is you, know that the medical world views addiction as a disease—like cancer or diabetes—and you have some rights for time off depending on where you live. Here’s a list of executive rehab centers who’ll work with you on the level of privacy you require as well as your schedule.
2. Your depression is at an all-time high.
With the isolation and desperation that exists in addiction, the individual is bound to experience increased depression. At this stage of the addiction, relationships with some friends and family members may have already disintegrated, causing a sense of loneliness and abandonment. Know that most addicts compensate for these feelings by finding a greater high which, in turn, causes more isolation and depression.
3. You think about the substance or behavior constantly.
The need to get away from the people around you so you can engage in your addiction surfaces to the top of your mind often. And when it does, it usually nags with urgency. You simply want to be left alone and act on your destructive habit. At this point, it’s likely that your addiction has become your number one source for comfort and best friend as you feel compelled to rely on it more constantly.
4. You start to see physical signs of your use.
Whether it is the hair loss and blue fingernails from anorexia or the epidermal pustules and rotting teeth associated with heroin abuse, your body will eventually suffer due to your addiction. It can become so severe that your body can, quite literally, break down because of it and lead to one tragic end. You are fully aware of this, but it’s as though a part of you no longer cares what happens. If you’ve taken a bystander role in the midst of your body’s decreasing ability to function clearly and consistently and start to catch yourself receiving questioning looks as you get lost mid-sentence due to your brain’s disintegration, addiction is well on its way to consuming you if you don’t do anything about it.
5. A medical professional tells you that your life is at stake.
For some people, the breaking point comes when their physician serves them with the cold, hard truth: that their addiction has reached a high level and is now going to kill them. Oftentimes, we feel invincible and as though the tragedy we see in others could never happen to us. We forget how vulnerable we truly are, just how much our bodies can really handle and how finite our time on this earth is. Hearing the words spoken by a professional is sometimes enough to cause us to take a step back and reevaluate what we really want out of life.
Reaching the breaking point in your addiction is never easy. Some people reach it faster than others and at different points. Some seek help when they have become isolated, while others wait years into their battle when the physical side effects reach their peak. Unfortunately, there are those who never seem to hit their rock bottom nor find their way back.
However, if you found your way here and have read this far, it likely means the thought of recovery has been playing in your mind. And with a multitude of addiction research, treatment, and support available in this day and age, there are only two things left for you to admit—that there is hope, and that the time is now.