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Facing & Overcoming Vs. Avoiding & Ignoring

Discussion in 'Sobriety Tips and Inspiration' started by Nadeshiko, Jun 21, 2015.

  1. Nadeshiko

    Nadeshiko Member

    On a lot of these threads, I see people suggesting that you should plainly avoid / ignore something rather than facing and overcoming it.

    If any of you have ever been in a rehabilitation home, you'd know that the first thing they teach you there is that you have to acknowledge and face what ails you before you can begin your road to recovery. So, when I see people on these threads talking about how you should just avoid and ignore it (while never really dealing with the problem at hand) is both worrying and angering, as it spreads misinformation.

    See, the thing is, facing and overcoming your problems makes you stronger. Avoiding and ignoring them is very negative, and leaves you in the same state.

    So, for example, when you face and overcome your addiction - if someone just so happens to offer you said-drug, you'd easily decline and walk away from it. When you avoid and ignore your problem, when offered said-drug, you'd easily accept and go toward it. Therefore, your problem hasn't been solved.

    I just wanted to say something about this quickly.

    Please, do NOT give "advice" about something you know nothing about.

    (^ It only hurts people)
    Natalie likes this.
  2. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    Avoiding and ignoring your problems would never be the solution. You would not be able to successfully recover if you would just underestimate and overlook these issues. That is why people need to toughen themselves up and be brave enough to face their problems.
  3. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    I just have to say as someone who has come out the other side, that yes - avoidance is not the best solution of course, for a long term approach - but at the start of my recovery it did help me to work out a strategy. Yes, I ignored old "friends" because they didn't understand where I was coming from with wanting to quit. Yes, I did ignore social invitations that require alcohol.

    So if people are making suggestions like that, it might just be where they are at on the recovery journey.

    Saying that people are giving advice about something they know nothing about makes it sound like recovery from addiction is a competition and recovery is only "right" if you've done it a certain way, without avoiding anything at all.

    The fact of the matter is addiction is different for everyone. If there was a perfect one size fits all approach to recovery then I'm pretty sure no one would ever relapse or anything like that either. We would all just get on the recovery bus and be fine straight away.

    We're in a real world with real people and not everyone is going to be able to just stand up and confront everything straight off the bat. So yes - I get what you're saying about avoidance not being a permanent solution. But please don't go putting people down and thinking they know nothing about the process if they're suggesting avoidance. I've been there, I've avoided stuff, and hey - I came out the other side. It was a part of my journey but not the whole thing.
  4. CallipygianGamine

    CallipygianGamine Community Champion

    Agreed, avoidance is more of a short-term, bandage treatment. Eventually people have to confront the underlying issues. But that’s never an easy thing; often, it’s a long process. So I can understand in the beginning stages why someone would recommend avoidance as a course of action. It’s a fragile time, so it can sometimes be the only strategy that works. Is avoidance a solution in itself? No. It’s a strategy, that’s how it should be looked at.
    kassie1234 likes this.
  5. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    Ignoring and avoiding your problems is probably how you got to be an addict in the first place. People tend to try and run away from their problems, turning to alcohol or another substance is one way of doing that.

    It's always better to try and confront a problem head on and face up to what you've got to do. Sometimes that's a lot easier said than done though and if people aren't careful, they can run away for so long and go so far that they can never find their way back.
  6. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    Lol funny but true. I actually said in one of the threads that it might be someone's advantage to put themselves right in the thick of things and face it. Because you could end up folding if it is put in your face again. Building up that willpower. Otherwise what's the point?
    This is a forum. People are just talking. Conversations and so forth. I think people do more typing and talking than reading. Maybe some.
    Talk is cheap isn't that the saying. I mean I think any intelligent person knows that you can't really take advice from other people about your own life. You have to learn to trust yourself. Live your own life. What is the point of having your own life if you always need to have other people to tell you what to do?
    People do what they want in the long run no matter what other people say. I do think that you are right that denial and avoiding is not going to work. Things need to be faced and dealt with. This is true.
    pwarbi likes this.
  7. Scooby Snack

    Scooby Snack Community Champion

    The thing is, the anticipation of an event is often far worse than the actual event itself--that's one of my mantras. Confronting a problem can be challenging but usually brings with it great relief. Very rarely is tackling a problem as awful as we imagine it to be beforehand.
    pwarbi likes this.
  8. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    You don't know how you're going to cope until your in that situation again, so by avoiding it, you don't know if you truly have recovered.

    I get that some people don't want to take that risk, but isn't it better to face it and deal with it, than it always bring there in the back of your mind and you wondering about it?
  9. Belovedad

    Belovedad Active Contributor

    You have to know your problem to get rid of it. I don't think avoiding anything helps. Establish a base for fixing your problem and take it from there. The base being acknowledging it and then you have to climb the ladder and get off at different stops to adjust the setting on specific floors all in the goal of reaching the top which is where you overcome the problem itself.
  10. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    Overcoming the goal at the end of the day is ultimately what we all want to achieve, and I'm sure the way we do that will depend on everyone's own abilities.

    That's the sad thing about trying to overcome an addiction, as there isn't a rulebook we can all follow. If only it was that easy!
  11. Vinaya

    Vinaya Community Champion

    We need to face, but most of us do not have courage to face. Since we cannot face, we tend to ignore. If you are ignoring, the problem will be recurrent. The only solution to this is first accept and then try to over come it.
    Interestingly, many people give advice on something they do not have any experience.
  12. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    Avoiding problems is never really a good thing since it will not go away on it's own and it will just persist until it gets worse. Facing them head on is the only way to go to be able to solve them. Drugs will only make you forget your problems temporarily, but when you wake up it's there again.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016
  13. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    It comes down to the old fight or flight issue, and every human as one of those initial instincts. Do you face something and challenge it, or do you run away, hide and ignore it.

    With an addiction, to overcome it properly, the first option is the only one to choose.
  14. Coolkidhere

    Coolkidhere Community Champion

    Like @kassie1234, I think avoiding triggers is more of a short-term solution. Of course at the start of recovery, you aren't strong enough to face the addicting substance yet. And to successfully get into recovery you need to avoid places, people and other triggers that might make you cave in. In a way, it isn't the best or even the preferred solution by some people, but it can certainly help people who are just starting their way into quitting alcohol or drugs.

    Now after that, maybe you might have enough willpower to face the problem. So whatever is the underlying issue that you might have, you would need to confront that. If people have hurt you in the past, you need to resolve that as well. But still... I think it's safe to say that even at this point, you still cannot face the addicting substance or else you'll be urged to take it again. You cannot even be with friends who drink or do drugs because they might trigger you to take it as well.

    For me, maybe a year after recovery, you can now face whatever substance you have been addicted with. But even at that length, you might find it hard to be within the vicinity of alcohol or drugs or nicotine. But once you are able to say "No" to those substances, then you know that you have truly recovered and faced your fears. So it truly takes some time before that can happen for a person.
  15. Bozz

    Bozz Active Contributor

    I think it's all about the person being ready to face a problem.
    Regression can happen if knocked back.
    Avoidance won't solve anything as the problem will stay playing on their mind, but as a Buddhist once said: "If you can't make something better, at least don't make it worse" (please excuse my butchering of that quote!).

    Gauge it, in the long run the problem has to be confronted to win the war, but is this now?
  16. SashaS

    SashaS Community Champion

    Yes, its obviously a lot better to face your problems and overcome them, but not everyone has the courage of physical/metal ability to do so. If your problem involves fighting someone twice your size holding a chain saw, then your best bet is to obviously run. Its a stupid analogy but that's how some people see their addiction.

    You just need to be ready to face it and consider what you can do to use everything in your power to address the situation. If an addict is here on this website, then they are already taking a step to face and overcome their addiction, they wouldn't be here otherwise. So I do agree that suggesting the opposite is a foolish thing to do and you're not helping anyone by doing so. If you're here to help others than yes, it is a lot smarter and helpful to suggest ways they can overcome their problems.
  17. bhu

    bhu Active Contributor

    Great topic, @Nadeshiko. Awesome responses, @dyanmarie25, @kassie1234, @Adrianna and @SashaS. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to participate in this discussion. I'm pretty much in agreement with all the above regarding facing your fears and overcoming them while picking your moments and your battles as best you can. There will always be those "life on life's terms" moments, you can count on that. But for the greater part, your life is indeed your own to design and write as you wish, with all the ups and downs that come with that inherent free will. I thin the Serenity Prayer sums it up best: change the things you can. You actually have a lot more power than you think you do. Peace to all of you and keep coming back.