Freedom from addiction is the main promise in Alcoholics Anonymus.
On the title page of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, it states: “The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism”
There is a big difference between recovering and being recovered, as we discuss on our blog. Recovered signifies that you have changed and gotten stronger. Recovering says you are still fighting.
When dealing with alcoholism or drug addiction, you don’t want to be in a place where you are still fighting the urge to not drink or use. Often they call this white-knuckling your sobriety. You are doing everything you can to stay sober and not use, even though you have a strong urge to do so.
Are These Urges a Craving?
These urges are not cravings. When we are white-knuckling our sobriety and fighting off the desire, we usually don’t have any alcohol or drugs in our bodies.
For example, if you come out of an abstinence-based, 45-day treatment center, you won’t have anything in your body. Your body is not the mechanism pushing you to drink.
Instead, it is your mind.
The Big Book states that if you do not treat your alcoholism, you will develop a mental obsession and you will have delusional thinking.
For example, we see a lot of people who have gone to prison because of their drinking. They have wrecked cars, lost jobs, burned relationships with friends and family. All because of their drinking.
And this has happened time and time again.
Yet, the chronic alcoholic or drug addict, who doesn’t want to face his or her emotions, thinks that the next time they drink it will be different.
They think if they can just use or drink they will feel better, despite the wreckage they have caused.
Getting rid of this obsessive, delusional thinking is what they mean by freedom. Your mind is no longer in this cycle of addiction. You are free from it.
How to Get Freedom From Active Addiction
In the late 1930s when Alcoholics Anonymous was published, there were no meetings. There were no treatment centers. The main places alcoholics could go were prison or a few hospitals.
The book and Alcoholics Anonymous program, which has now helped millions of people get sober, states that one of the main requirements is to follow the instructions in the book.
Specifically, the first 164 pages in the Big Book share the directions on how to get sober.
What the book proposes is to have a spiritual experience, a major overhaul in our attitude, or a psychic change. You can read more about what a psychic change is on our blog.
As Carl Jung is quoted in the book as saying, we need to have huge emotional displacements and rearrangements. We need a “new set of conceptions and motives” to dominate our lives.
The book states that the best way to have these emotional rearrangements is to remove what is blocking us from selfish motives and aligning our will to a higher power.
For the chronic relapser, this is virtually impossible to do by yourself and often takes intensive inpatient care with professionals.
Also Addressing Mental Health
Underlying mental health issues — like bipolar, depression or anxiety disorders — are often intertwined with addiction and alcoholism.
It takes a sophisticated team of clinicians to properly diagnose mental health challenges from alcoholism and addiction. Often chronic relapsers are in need of a detailed treatment plan with many options of treatment.
A multifaceted clinical approach is often needed to find underlying issues that could adversely exacerbate alcoholism or addiction.
Burning Tree Programs – Since 1999
Burning Tree offers long and short-term treatment for adult men and women struggling with addiction. A national leader in long-term treatment, Burning Tree Program’s flagship program, Burning Tree Ranch, offers 8 to 14-month, long-term residential treatment for adult men and women who struggle with chronic relapse.
Call our admissions team for any questions you might have and to determine if you or your loved one is a qualified client for Burning Tree Ranch.