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Do they have to want it more than me?

Discussion in 'Share Your Story Here' started by Winterybella, Mar 27, 2015.

  1. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    Often I have heard a person has to WANT to be clean. A person has to want to be free of drugs and alcohol to be able to successfully kick their habits. Is this the only truth or is more involved? I got to thinking that often a person gets so lost in their world of drugs or alcohol abuse that the only thing they ever really seem to want is their next fix.

    Sometimes it feels like the husband , wife, friend or relative has to be the one who wants badly to save that person and not give up on them.

    I am that friend and relative. Must they want it more than I do?
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2015
  2. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    I'm afraid so. We already know that permanent changes can only ever come from within ourselves and sadly, this is true of addicts too.

    All we can really do is offer our support and hope that their "lightbulb moment" will come soon. Until then, no amount of persuasion will convince a user who is not ready to quit. It's difficult to watch our loved ones get into these states but nothing will improve unless they can admot they have a problem.
  3. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    Maybe I asked a question that I probably knew the answer I would get, but sometimes from where I sit it feels like some get so trapped in the maze, that it becomes almost impossible for them to know what they want. I feel like there are those times when all the "support" does not feel like enough and you just want to take matters into your own hands. I guess it doesn't work like that.

    I appreciate your comments Missbishi.
  4. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    You are very welcome!

    It's so frustrating when you can't do anything other than stand by and watch someone destroy themselves. Sadly, there's often little we can do besides staging an intervention, which brings a whole host of new problems.
  5. Profit5500

    Profit5500 Senior Contributor

    It is almost like being a hospice care nurse. I feel really bad for those who have to take on that job. If you do that its a major difference being paid to do that work and living with someone who is destroying themselves.
  6. OhioTom76

    OhioTom76 Senior Contributor

    I used to be more short fused with people I felt were drinking too much or doing too many drugs, despite the fact that I was a frequent drinker myself, and had done my fair share of drugs too. I guess some of my reasoning was that I felt I had everything under control, and could not understand how others could be so careless to let themselves get to such ugly points like that, and not even try to pull themselves together. In fact I would say I was even cockier than someone who didn't drink or do drugs at all, because I at least felt like I knew more of what it was like and how difficult it would be to accomplish.

    It wasn't until several years later when my drinking really spiraled out of control and I started using drugs again as well that I had to rethink all the people prior in my life who I had harshly judged and was very critical of - only to find myself in their shoes now. One lady, a former coworker, was my age now, and she stopped coming into work for months due to severe depression (she was also on a lot of meds and drinking a lot). I was so angry with my boss for not cutting off her pay or firing her in the process - she was getting paid to stay home and do nothing while we had to pick up the slack back at the office. But now I understand better what she was going through as I've gone through months/years not wanting to go to work or go out in public at all.
  7. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    My cousin is a hospice nurse. She loves the work, saying that it brings her great satisfaction to make people's last days as comfortable as possible. The thing that makes her sad is the relatives, as she always feels so sorry for them after their loved one has dies.
  8. jbbarn

    jbbarn Active Contributor

    I understand what you mean about wanting sobriety for them. I too am a relative of a very addicted person. I love him so much and you just want that love to drive out the hold that the addiction has on them. We have tried everything including prayer (which I still offer up daily), but this person is an absolute slave to his addictions. We just have to hope that someday they will decide that they want their lives back. Then we have to be there for them, if we can.
  9. imperivm1

    imperivm1 Community Champion

    They might not want it more than you do, but they should want it to some extent. It's difficult to be one hundred percent motivated when you're in the situation they are in but they should show at least a modicum of initiative. Otherwise, it's a lost cause. Their motivation will increase in time as they see their condition improving.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2015
    Winterybella likes this.
  10. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    Well, yes. You will not be able to effectively help someone if he/she is not willing to help himself/herself. I think the only thing you need to do is to be there for them and encourage them to walk towards the path of recovery, make them realize what they are missing in their lives.
  11. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    Of course the person must want to do something first before they do it, right? It's the same as studying. You will drop school or cut class if you don't want to study. My bro has been smoking since he was a teen, and he's almost 40 now and no person has made him quit even if his ex-gf's asked him to stop as well. So if they won't change their destructive habits, then we really can't do anything at all but pray that they will change their minds.
  12. Clairelouise84

    Clairelouise84 Senior Contributor

    Sadly yes it is true, lasting change has to be a personal choice, someone can convince you to do something, but unless you are fully subscribed to it then it will lot last. And as frustrating as this can be, it is the only way, people really do have to want to change because if they don't then they won't, it is that simple.
  13. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    If we are discussing things at this level, it's something extremely complex. Every single person is different so yes, some might want it more, others might have a better strategy, what matters is the results that you're getting.
  14. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    While I think wanting it can be helpful, I don't think it is the most effective solution. In my opinion, going about it with more logic than emotion can prove to be more useful. Of course it can be argued that wanting it can bring you to that point since having interest in the subject will cause you to research and find more creative ways but I think just being able to see the situation in a more objective perspective can be a lot more helpful in a sticky situation.
  15. Christian

    Christian DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    Unfortunately like most of the responses above have already outlined, the person in question or addict has to want to be clean for any real change to take root. However, your point of getting lost in addiction and not knowing a way out or not being able to grasp another way of living is a real truth that a great deal of struggling addicts face on a daily basis. The lifestyle of an addict is dysfunctional at best and a real lifestyle change is required to garner any significant hope of maintaining sobriety, long term or short term. One might stay clean for a short amount of time but until some healthy habits can be instilled in dealing with ones self and the way they live their life they are doomed to repeat the the same cycle of destructive behaviors. You can show them the door but inevitably they have to walk through it.
  16. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    I constantly think about this question over and over and over again. While I accept that the decision for PERMANENT change has to come from that person, I still feel like sometimes that first step is often only made with a lot of help when sometimes the addict is not even seeing that they have a problem.

    Christian mentioned that you show them the door and they inevitably have to walk through it. Maybe I can't speak from a position of experience but I feel like even if a door is open in front of me there may be hesitation on my part and sometimes it's at this point that someone has to pull, push or gentle help you to walk through that door.

    After that is when I think it's now all up to you to keep going forward. Someone suggested it's a rather complex situation and I tend to agree.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2015
  17. Christian

    Christian DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    I hear ya. It can be a difficult situation helping an addict get out of their own way and accept help. Sometimes a gentle nudge is required for them to start down the road towards a new life and sobriety, and sometimes you have to force the issue in order for things to shift. There are so many obstacles (fears) that one has to go through as an addict in facing the prospect of getting sober. Characterized by type of drug used as well as frequency and dosage of use, the detox process can be in many cases too tough to take on alone. This is one of the main reasons people give up in early sobriety and remain stuck in the cycle of wanting to quit and then giving up. After repeating this over and over again many addicts loose hope and just accept their fate as things will never change for the better. Showing them that no matter how far down the scale they have gone there is still hope is the challenge we face as family members or advocates of loved ones still caught up in the grips of addiction. In addition to the obvious physical, mental and emotional hurtles one has to get through in early sobriety educating them on what the drugs are inevitably doing to them as well as the collateral damage done to family and loved ones can help paint an over all picture of the destruction the addicts behavior is/has caused, and give the addict motivation to seek help not just for themselves, but for the embetterment of their family and loved ones.
    Winterybella likes this.
  18. anne16

    anne16 Active Contributor


    I actually have this dilemma, having watched an aunt of mine and her son recently arguing about the same issue. My aunt wants his son, my cousin to enter a rehab program again. Which my cousin refused. I can only stand at a corner and watched him make a mess of his life as I can't do anything about it. Well, I did console my aunt when she cried, but it doesn't really solve the problem.