2022, The Year of You
Prioritising your mental and physical health are so important in the age of COVID.
How is 2022 looking for you?
Way back in 2020, when we first discussed the effects of COVID-19 and lockdowns on addiction, mental health and illicit drug supply issues, we could not have imagined that we would still be dealing with COVID-19 front and centre in 2022.
As the pandemic has progressed, we have begun to witness the long-term effects on society, including witnessing an uptick in the incidence of mental health and addiction disorders.
“Addiction and mental health issues are intricately tied to each other in a number of ways,” explains Mel Symon, Director of Hader Clinic Queensland. “The interplay between both is unique for every individual, but underpinning most addictive behaviours is a lack of coping skills.”
Rather than manage the ongoing lockdowns, fears of getting COVID-19, job losses and the generalised heightened anxiety that has come our way in a healthy manner, many of us indulge in addictive substances. This is, at its very core, based on a desire to change your mood and relieve yourself of uncomfortable emotions.
Drinking or drug-using appears like a simple solution initially – after all, we’ve been played by many in mainstream media that having a drink with friends is social, relaxing and will take all your cares away in that moment.
However, for someone that is caught down the rabbit hole of addiction, this momentary emotional relief that a substance initially provides becomes a millstone around their neck – not only does one typically need to ingest more of the offending substance to have an effect, but the knock-on feelings of guilt, shame and desperation eventually make life unmanageable.
At the beginning of a new year, many of us, including those who suffer from addiction, make resolutions to change.
We might think to ourselves in regards to the substance of addiction, “I’m done and I’m disgusted with myself. I need to be a better person – I’m never touching X again”. And invariably, when a relapse occurs, the person may think, “I’m a bad person and I deserve to be unhappy”.
This can lead to the person punishing themselves by isolating from friends and family, self-harming, and taking a “devil may care approach” to their addiction – because they’re too worn out to try and care anymore.
However, you can choose a different path in 2022 and it all comes down to behaviour change. In order to change, there must be a part of ourselves that begins to believe that we are worthy of self-love, compassion and kindness – and that self-punishment for our mishaps isn’t an effective strategy for long term change.
As a start, challenging our overly critical selves can help us see better long-term results in recovery and in life.
Hader Clinic Queensland embraces the 12 Step philosophy which states that we are to take one day at a time. In other words, we aren’t committing to being abstinent forever – just for today – because, after all, nobody is perfect.
We focus on the here and now – just today. When we make a mistake, we take accountability for it and take the next step forward.
Changing your behaviours in the long-term means accepting that there is a problem with how you’re behaving currently – and being open to change with a sense of curiosity, compassion and perspective.
Ask yourself honestly, what is going to be different this year? It is impossible to know unless you change your perspective. Most New Year’s resolutions fail because the parameters we define for them are too large for most human brains to wrap their heads around. A year is a long time!
However, scaling our changes downwards to create meaningful change in a smaller time window is key.
Start first with, “what is going to be different today?”
If that is too overwhelming, try “what is going to be different in the next hour?”
The old adage, “yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift,” rings true for every person, whether they suffer from addiction or not.
We are given the gift of hope with every new day that arises. Yes, we as a society, are in it for the long haul with COVID-19, yes, it has been a test! The best part is that, yes, we can change our behaviours around addiction within the next hour, day, week, month and so forth. Small steps lead to big journeys. Having support to lighten the load when the going gets tough is also key. That’s why we teach you how to make these changes in a way that works for you at Hader Clinic Queensland.
There is ALWAYS hope! Happy New Year!
Queensland’s only private rehab centre with ACHS accreditation
We are proud to be the only private drug and alcohol addiction treatment centre in Queensland to be independantly accredited.