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It Isn't The Quicksand That Will Kill You When You're An Addict

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It Isn't the Quicksand that Will Kill You
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A person drowning in their addictions may believe they're able to get out of quicksand on their own.

You've seen it in movies. You've read about it in books.

Quicksand, a hidden natural phenomenon that can kill unsuspecting travelers. But did you know it isn’t sinking into the quicksand that will kill you?

There is often a misconception that people falling into quicksand die by drowning. Although that can be the case, it is not really what kills them.  

Rarely, do people who fall into quicksand get sucked all the way under, leaving no trace that there was ever a body. In fact, researchers have discovered that in wet quicksand, your body will actually stop sinking before your head goes under the surface.

So if it isn’t drowning, then what is it?

It is the fact that you can’t get out without help. Quicksand traps the person and usually, there is nothing close enough to reach for and use to pull oneself out. 

Thus the person is left out in the elements, possibly exposed to the unprotected sun without being able to get food or water. Without help, the person will not die by drowning, but rather by starvation.

A person may even try to get themselves out, but researchers showed that a person would need to have the same strength to pull themselves out as they would need to lift a medium-sized automobile. 

So unless you are from Krypton, chances are, you won’t be able to do it alone.

Similarly, a person drowning in their addictions or battling with depression and anxiety may believe that they can get out of the quicksand by themselves. 

The Physics of Quicksand teaches us otherwise. In order to get out, the person caught in the quicksand is going to need help. Someone on higher and more stable footing is going to have to help throw a rope or a long stick to help the person get out.

And sometimes, it may take more than one person to help pull the person out. 

In order to know how to get out of depression, there are some steps that need to be taken, using this Quicksand analogy:

Step 1: The person in the quicksand has to accept that they are stuck and can’t get out by themselves.

Step 2: They need to ask for help.

They need to ask help from people who are stable and can help pull them out. It may be wiser to ask for help from someone on stable ground rather than for someone who is stuck in the quicksand right along with them. Asking for help from a higher power is another way to complete this step.

Step 3: The person who is stuck is going to have to reach out and hold on tight as they are pulled out of the quicksand.

The quicksand will try to suck the person back down into the pit, so the person is going to have to hold on tight to the sticks or ropes handed to them in order to get out.

In recovery, these rescuing aids work by using the 12-Step program, doing the work assigned by therapists, reading recovery material, and doing daily activities to enhance their own emotional, spiritual, physical, and social stability (see more about dailies here).

Once a person is out of the quicksand, one of the keys to ongoing survival is to avoid falling back into the quicksand in the future.

Rarely, if ever, will a person die in quicksand if they have someone willing to help them out of the hole. If you or someone you know is stuck in quicksand, know that there is help. There is a way out.

Troy L. Love is currently the Lead facilitator of the LifeStar Network, a nationally recognized Sexual Addiction program which he currently runs at Yuma Counseling Services. For more information on getting help, please call them at 928-2769535.

This article was originally published at yumacounseling.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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