I Want to Quit, but I Can't


This is one of the most powerful realizations an addict can have. It is a clear light in a world that is otherwise full of darkness and deception. The statement is a reflection of a deeper truth, one that makes plain the lies we tell ourselves and others.

For the addict, this admission can be a blessing or a curse. For some, it pushes them to seek help – help they can now accept because they know the drugs have become more powerful than their will to resist.

If you think you might have a problem with drugs or alcohol, call 877-331-2545 for more information about treatment options.

Unfortunately, other addicts use it as an excuse to slide deeper into their dependence. After all, if I cannot quit, no matter what I try, I might as well surrender and just continue until I am arrested or die.

An honest response to the “I can’t” would be, “You can’t. We can.”

One of the most powerful experiences an addict can have is to hear others who have been where they are now and have survived the war. These recovering addicts have scars, certainly. But they also have the knowledge that there is hope, there is light at the end of the tunnel and addiction can be overcome.

It may take many tries. Tries followed by relapse and apparent failure. Each period of sobriety is part of the process. It gets easier over time, and even an addict who relapses is further ahead than one who didn’t get clean in the first place.

Group therapy sessions include stories from the front lines as only other addicts can tell them. This is one of the critical aids that 12-step programs employ. Medical treatment facilities will also include this powerful technique along with individual counseling.

If you understand what it means to admit, “I want to quit but I can’t” then also understand that there is help available. Diseases are not willed away. No one tries to cure an infection by willpower alone.

Drugs and alcohol give one answer and one answer only: take more. It doesn’t have to be that way. No one has to lose their entire future because some unthinking, uncaring chemical is tricking them into believing they are worthless. Grab that moment of clarity when it comes and get help.

photo by Rajesh Sundaram

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