Signs you may be a high functioning addict and what you can do

When we think of addicts our vision may go to a shopping cart pushing, disheveled person who lives under a bridge and talks to themselves. Although this does exist the reality is the vast majority of addicts are highly functioning individuals who can hold down a job, maintain family & social connections, and appear to be normal. Addicts can be found in places such as hospitals, business offices, movie sets and teacher’s lounges. Addicts are frequently highly driven and successful people who seek extremes in life. From the outside these people seem to have it together but on the inside they can be riddled with anxiety, depression, regret, self doubt, loneliness and lack of connection or focus. They may also give in to peer pressure and feel the need to “keep up” with coworkers or what is considered normal behavior for their industry. Whatever the root cause the bandaid can come in the form of drugs, alcohol, or excessive behaviors. Anything to make you feel better even if only momentarily.

Addiction comes in many forms, traditionally we think of substance abuse but it can also be an addiction to excessive behaviors like eating disorders, love, sex, gambling, shopping or even obsessive thinking. Any of these patterns of behavior can lead to imbalance and illness in the mind and body. Even if your habits started off innocent enough they can slowly begin to consume your life, becoming your main focus, and eventually deteriorating your health and quality of life.

How can you tell if this is you or someone you love?

Here are some common behaviors of high functioning addicts:

~Excessive drinking (for men this is four or more drinks a day, or 14 drinks a week, for women, this is three a day or seven in a week).
~Joking about your drug or alcohol consumption
~Hiding any part of your addictive behaviors
~Getting a DUI or other legal issues related to your addictive behaviors
~Using drugs or alcohol to feel relaxed or confident in social situations
~Getting drunk, wasted, or indulging in your addictive behaviors when you didn’t intend to
~Making excuses for your addictive behaviors so loved ones don’t worry
~Needing drugs or alcohol to get through your day
~Experiencing mood swings, a frantic unstable life, or frequently feeling ill
~Denial- addicts often think that if they drink fine wines, craft beers, and top shelf liquor that they don’t have a problem. Many addicts get their drugs in prescription form, often telling themselves they don’t have a problem because it is prescribed, even if it is detrimental to their health and lifestyle. They may also rationalize their behaviors by pointing out that they have important jobs and have reached a high level of financial success.
~Rigid routine- high functioning addicts are a slave to their routine. Indulging in their addictive behaviors is at the center of their lives and everything else must be scheduled around it. Over time they may withdrawal from activities and hobbies that at one time brought them joy
~Living a double life in order to keep your secrets

If any of these behaviors sound like you or someone you love, you owe it to yourself to get help. So where do you start?

The first step is to admit there is a problem. Once you have admitted that the addictive behaviors are beginning to negatively impact your life you can begin to get help and find your way back to a healthy balanced life.
Ask for help. There are a wide variety of treatment centers, coaches, and group support available for those who are ready to heal.
Examine your life! Ask the tough questions like what are my limiting beliefs? Am I happy? What would make me happy? How do I want to be remembered? Am I living my best life?
Find new healthy habits that will bring you real joy!

When you are ready to get away and focus on your health and recovery join us in Costa Rica for a retreat that focuses on changing addictive behavioral patterns. Our retreats incorporate a variety of medical, emotional, spiritual, and physical treatments to help you restore your health and sense of well being. Contact us when you are ready for real transformation.