My addiction saved my life

By Ashlee Secord

When you break your leg, foot or dislocate your knee it’s likely are you’re going to need a crutch or two to get around. Without that crutch your mobility will be limited to hopping to and from your bed and bathroom and possibly the couch. The crutch, albeit new and awkward, is a lifesaver in many forms. What may have been otherwise impossible (walking, returning to work, etc.) is now possible with the aid of the crutch.

Often, addictions are referred to as “crutches” and rightfully so. I don’t think I would be the first person to confess that my addiction saved my life at one point. It was there when I needed it most, it comforted me, and alleviated the pain during a time in my life that seemed to be more than I could bear. I have met numerous drug addicts, alcoholics (what’s your poison?) who give their vice credit for softening the blow of the circumstances they were facing. Call it self-medicating, checking out, call it what you will, it seemed necessary at the time to endure a period of our lives.

Yes, for a time.

As the body heals the crutch becomes less and less necessary. The leg, foot or knee is starting to need less caution and can now bear more weight as the weeks progress. We begin to test walking without the crutch and maybe using the crutch becomes so infrequent that it is forgotten!

Now, imagine if the leg, foot or knee healed but you continued to use the crutches. Its use has become habitual, even comfortable. Safe. Walking with the crutches creates the illusion of added support. 4 legs is better than 2, right? You start to believe that so long as you are using the crutches you are less likely to break your leg again. Letting go of the crutch, life without the crutch now seems scary. So you carry the crutches with you everywhere you go. Sometimes you’re not even using them, you’re just holding them. Sometimes they’re in your way, especially at the grocery store, going up and down stairs and you think, “Why am I even holding these?” Places and situations where the crutch once made things easier in a time of need, they are now complicating and making life more difficult.

Let us return to our addictions. Yes, yes they served a purpose. They helped us endure the difficult times in our lives but are they still necessary? I am not trying to write a blog to encourage the use of our vices. What I am saying is that they communicate something about us and that they served a purpose when there didn’t seem to be another option or resource available. What I am saying is: our crutches are going to get in our way at some point. Where they once helped they will soon become a nuisance because crutches are intended for temporary use. To aid in mobility during the healing process. They are not intended to be permanent.

Taking that first step without the crutch can be the scariest. Will I fall? Will I hurt again? Will I be able to endure the pain? What if it is too much? Am I strong enough handle what is it to come?

You are not alone. Thrive Therapy can help you take those first steps when you’re ready and provide the support you need during the healing process.  Contact Thrive Therapy today and discover what resources are available to you now.