In recovery, how many times have we heard the phrase, “question your motives” after wanting to partake in a debatable act, but then went ahead and followed our own will in spite of it? This type of disturbing behavior is more than just a bad habit, and is of significant concern, because it could be viewed as destructive, which can exemplify a warning sign of struggle. Disturbing behavior should not go unnoticed, and needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.
Some alcoholics/addicts have had previous addictions before alcohol/drugs while others haven’t, but whether they end up reverting to a former addiction or substituting with a brand new one, it is a definite cause for concern. This disturbing behavior means that they have just transferred their obsession. The disease will always remain and can manifest itself in all kinds of shapes and forms: food, shopping, sex, gambling, relationships, and so on. An addict/alcoholic may not even realize they are swapping one addiction for another, or that they are displaying a disturbing behavior, because of how sneaky the disease of addiction can be.
Being alone and isolating from others can be a disturbing behavior for an addict/alcoholic, because the disease of addiction plays horrific games with the mind. In early recovery, support is crucial. Having some time for yourself is fine, but when you avoid others and do not partake in regular activities, you put yourself at greater risk for depression, anger, and even a potential relapse.
This is a disturbing behavior in recovery because when an addict/alcoholic gets bitter, agitated, or aggressive, they are usually concealing feelings, but can only disguise them as anger for so long before the obsession to pickup overshadows all other thoughts. Numbing the pain of anger with drugs becomes more appealing if the attitude is not changed.
Living a clean, sober life includes honesty as a key component for success. It’s definitely a worry if the addict is lying about where they were, who they were with, and what they were doing, because clearly something suspicious is going on there, and it is likely to be that they have returned to, or plan on returning to, abusing their substance of choice. This disturbing behavior may not necessarily mean that they have gone back or plan on going back to using, but it absolutely means that there are still some underlying issues, perhaps related to low self-esteem, if they have to get creative and make up most of what they are talking about.
Regardless of whether the recovering addict has used or not, if they are stealing, they aren’t exactly working an honest program. Stealing is a huge sign of a relapse because it is a disturbing behavior that gets them high in a different way – off adrenaline. Not only is this dishonest of the addict, but it could lead them down a vicious path of continual crime that lands them in consequences with the law, or even sucks them back into their alcohol and/or drug addiction, because of the disturbing behavior triggering their former lifestyle.
There are different kinds of ways that addicts and alcoholics may act out in, and being aware could help prevent a full-blown relapse. The disease of addiction is a manifestation, and we are susceptible to becoming addicted to anything that makes us feel good. There is usually motive behind these actions, and disturbing behavior is never good news when it comes to addiction, which is why seeking the advice of other recovering addicts and being honest could save lives. Acceptance of the disease of addiction and willingness to get better can aid in banishing the worst of self-destructive behaviors.
Learn more about signs of a relapse here: Relapse Warning Signs & Prevention