This is the time of year when most of us celebrate freedom. For many people, that mean a celebration of American ideals and the courage of those who fought against those who would undermine what our nation stands for.

For other people, freedom has an entirely different meaning. To those with histories of addiction, freedom means an end to the loss and suffering addictions creates. Freedom means they’ve not only gained the strength to overcome their addictions but have replaced the power those addictions held over them with self-determination and growing self-confidence. Freedom means restoring and repairing relationships with friends and family, without the constant interference and chaos addiction causes.

For people battling addictions, freedom isn’t an easy choice. They can see the effects their addiction has on them and those around them, but the thought of being able to become and stay sober seems so painful and difficult. However, the people who have stood up to their addictions and found freedom will tell them it’s worth every bit of effort. They reached a point where they knew they had to make a change in their lives or allow their addictions to destroy them completely. They made a decision and saw it through.

Does life become easy when you overcome an addiction? Not at all. Life can be hard, and you’ll still face challenges and tough decisions. But you’ll have an easier time managing and dealing with those challenges and decisions when you’re clean and sober, because what’s involved in achieving sobriety will help you take control over your life.

There are those who gain freedom from addiction on their own, but most people need some extra help. That may be a stay in a rehab facility, joining a 12-step group such as AA or NA, or working one-on-one with a professional counselor. The path you choose depends upon what works best for you, but no matter which path you select, the key is taking that first step and admitting that you need help. Admitting your addiction has power over you is not a sign of weakness. In fact, it’s a sign of strength and a desire to find a way out.

If you want to be free from addiction, why not set a time to talk to one of counselors, so you can learn more about the options that are available and what might be the best choice for you? And if someone you love is struggling with addiction and you need help coping or want to better able to help them find the help the need, our counselors can help, too.