“Well, one more won’t hurt, right?”
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We’ve all said about any number of things. One more piece of candy. One more episode in our binge. One more call to an ex. One more drink.
And it is a seductive notion, isn’t it? We tend not to think about cumulative effects. We just think in terms of “one more.” One is such a little number. How could one more do any harm at all?
Here’s the thing: the “one more” hustle is akin to something called “moving the goalposts.” And moving the goalposts can get you in a heap of trouble if you are doing it in order to talk yourself into maintaining a bad habit—like drug or alcohol abuse.
What Does it Mean to Move the Goalposts?
Moving the goalposts is a sports metaphor, but it’s easy to understand even if sports are not your thing. Imagine that you are playing a game in which the object is to get the ball to a certain point on the field. You might even imagine a post—a goalpost—that marks the spot you need to get to.
Now imagine that just as your team is about to reach the goalpost, the other team uproots it and moves it farther away. That’s moving the goalpost–not a great move if you are hoping to have a fun, competitive game.
It also isn’t a great move if the “game” you are playing involves drugs or alcohol.
Moving the Goalposts One “One More” at a Time
Let’s tie our two ideas together. Let’s say that you have developed a substance use disorder. Maybe you’re not quite ready to admit it. Or maybe you know you have a problem, but you don’t think of it as a particularly big problem. You figure one more drug, one more drink, one more party isn’t that big a deal.
And to prove it isn’t a big deal, you start moving the goalposts. You decide you’ll get help after one more big night out. Or you’ll get help if you ever get picked up for driving under the influence. Or you’ll get help if you regularly have trouble remembering everything you did the night before. Or you’ll get help when you get in (or get in another) fight.
Every time one of those things happens, you decide on a new marker for when it is time to get help.
You are able to talk yourself into this because of a belief in something called “rock bottom”—the hard-to-define lowest point you can imagine sinking to. If you keep moving the goalposts, you can keep changing the definition of “rock bottom,” and you can do it “one more” at a time.
Waiting for Rock Bottom Is Not a Winning Strategy
The truth is that it is all too easy to keep redefining your personal rock bottom so you can talk yourself out of trying to get help for your substance use disorder. But all too soon, your personal idea of rock bottom won’t even be all that relevant. Eventually, the drugs or the alcohol will do lasting damage to your body and brain. You could find yourself disabled or in a coma or even dead. Or you could hurt or kill someone else while you are under the influence.
Those things truly are rock bottom. And they are irreversible.
So that means the time to get help is not when you reach some ill-defined state of rock-bottom-ness. The time to get help is right now.
The Place to Get Help is Bel Aire Recovery Center
Maybe you have been moving the goalposts in regard to your drinking or drug use because you are embarrassed to admit you have a problem. Or maybe you are nervous about detox and rehab and would prefer to put it off as long as possible. Maybe you just don’t think treatment will work for you.
At Bel Aire Recovery Center, we understand all of these concerns. So let us reassure you. You will never be judged at Bel Aire Recovery Center. You will be listened to and will be an active participant in your treatment plan. And while there is no cure for a substance use disorder, our team has the experience, expertise, and compassion to make sure that your treatment builds a firm foundation for your recovery. We’re committed to a continuum of care, which means you will have access to support and resources during the challenging early days of recovery.
So let us sum up. Your goal is clear: to get and stay sober. The timeline is clear: you need to do it now. And your best choice for exceptional care is also clear: Bel Aire Recovery Center is ready to help.