What happens when you’re in the precontemplation stage of addiction recovery? If you’re addicted to alcohol, drugs, or smoking, this can be a difficult time to get through. 

The precontemplation stage of addiction recovery usually occurs when addicts have many doubts about whether or not they are ready to quit their bad habits and try something different, and they may not know where to start if they do decide to change. 

While addiction recovery can be tough at any stage, there are some things that happen during the precontemplation phase that can surprise you.

1. You Become More Aware of Your Addiction

During the precontemplation stage of recovery, it is common to become more aware of your addiction and the effects it has on your daily life. You might hear about addiction and recovery from the media, through stories that friends tell, or in conversations with other people. 

You might start to notice the negative effects that drugs and/or alcohol may have on you and those who you share your life with. There is also a chance that it may motivate you to start taking a break from using and see how hard it is to stay clean.

This is when you start to think about what life would be like without drugs or alcohol and if there is still hope of living a clean life. 

2. You Start to See the Negative Effects of Your Addiction

It’s during the precontemplation stage that you start to see the negative effects of your addiction. You can feel your self-esteem and self-worth shrinking, and you can begin to feel like a shell of your former self. 

Your listlessness can lead you to use more as a way to escape from reality. You might not understand what is happening and why it’s happening, but you know something is wrong. 

The amount of energy you’ve put into thinking about your addiction becomes exhausting. You may also start to realize how much time and money you have wasted on your addiction. 

Every dollar spent on drugs or alcohol takes away from what could be going towards bills or groceries, which would have gone a long way in preventing stress in other areas of life. 

3. You Are Hit with an Inner Battle

It can be tough to get through the precontemplation stage. You know that your addiction is hurting you and your loved ones, but you’re not ready for change yet. 

Here are some common thoughts and feelings during this stage: 

  • I don’t know how I’ll ever stop my addiction. 
  • If I just had more willpower, I could do it on my own. 
  • Recovery is too hard; there’s no point in even trying. 
  • No one else has had to deal with what I have, so why should I bother?

As soon as you start to take steps towards recovery, you’ll notice an inner battle between want versus should. 

The want side will encourage all the bad decisions that led up to this point while the “should” side wants nothing more than for things to get better.

4. You Begin to Feel like You Are Not in Control

Addiction is a disease that affects your mind, body, and spirit. It takes over your life and makes it difficult to enjoy things you once loved. 

When you’re addicted to something, the only thing that matters is when your next hit will be. You are constantly in survival mode, looking for a way to get more of the drug or alcohol so you can feel normal again. This is when you feel like you’ve lost control. 

But this feeling isn’t normal at all and once you realize this, it is finally time for some change. There are many people who suffer from addiction but don’t know how to make changes happen. 

Take a moment to figure out what you want, write down three specific goals, and talk with an addiction professional about ways to find help through treatment programs, support groups, therapy sessions, and 12-step meetings (like Alcoholics Anonymous). 

Remember, there is no shame in asking for help; people who love you want nothing more than for you to have everything that life has to offer.

5. You Start to Believe That Recovery is Possible

During the precontemplation stage, you might start to open up to the idea of change. It might be difficult for you to put your finger on what is bothering you, but you know that you are starting to feel frustrated and unhappy with your life. 

You might have seen or heard about other people who have been able to get sober and are now living a better life. 

You may start to believe that things will never get better for yourself if you don’t make a change soon. If you are able to take the first steps towards change during this time period, this is when you may start believing that recovery really is possible.

Start Your Recovery Journey at Maryland Addiction Recovery Center

During the precontemplation stage, you will start seeing the positive aspects of recovery and become more motivated to change. This is not the time to hold back. Instead, this is the best time to reach out to caring professionals who can help, like the team at Maryland Addiction Recovery Center

If you or someone you know needs help for addiction or co-occurring disorder issues, please give us a call. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive dual diagnosis addiction treatment in the Mid-Atlantic area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or your loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (866) 392-1424 or email our team at info@marylandaddictionrecovery.com. For more information on all of our drug addiction, alcohol addiction and co-occurring disorder services and recovery resources, please visit our website at www.marylandaddictionrecovery.com.