Whether you have committed to beating drug addiction or alcoholism, or if you are only toying with the idea, chances are you will receive an untold volume of unsolicited advice on how to accomplish that task. Much of that advice will be good, some will be questionable, and a few tips might be dangerous. In all likelihood, you will benefit from third-party assistance, but even without that assistance, you can do a few things that will make your journey easier.
A sampling of ten of those things is listed here;
- Many people turn to drugs or alcohol to alleviate the stresses of jobs or everyday life. Look for ways to handle those stresses that do not involve abusive substances. Try getting some exercise or fresh air, count to ten or take a few deep breaths. The key here is to recognize when stress is affecting you and to do something other than take drugs or alcohol to numb the effects of that stress.
- Drug and alcohol use follow patterns that involve triggers in your life. When you encounter a trigger, distract yourself. This could be as simple as changing your immediate surroundings or doing a crossword puzzle. Try taking up a new hobby and working on that hobby when the urge to use drugs or alcohol arises. Anything that gets your mind off of addictive substances can work.
- Make recovery and sobriety your number one goal. If you focus on your success, you will more likely achieve what you set out to accomplish.
- Keep a daily diary or journal, and refer back to it regularly. You will see patterns that you did not expect and find things that you never anticipated would work for you. Use those successes whenever temptation strikes.
- Talk to someone you trust about your journey. Ideally, this will be a professional addiction counselor, but if you are unable to connect with a counselor, try a trusted friend who is on board with your goal and who can give you the support and encouragement you need to achieve that goal. If you cannot or do not want to involve a friend in your struggle, join a recovery support group.
- Watch your diet. You can improve your physical health with a good diet. When you feel better, you will be more likely to stick to your recovery plan.
- Set daily goals for yourself. A basic tenet of addiction recovery is making it to midnight. If you aim to make it through a single day without using drugs or alcohol and you meet that aim, you will increase your self-esteem and find encouragement in your ability to meet even this small goal. As each day of sobriety adds up, each successive day of sobriety will be easier and easier to achieve.
- Volunteer your time. Addiction recovery involves more than just staying away from drugs and alcohol. Former addicts who are most at peace with their recoveries are those who have focused their energies away from themselves to help others. Addiction is ultimately a disease of self-centeredness. When you start helping others, you focus less on your own problems and have less of a need to self-medicate to handle those problems.
- Adopt an attitude of gratitude. This is more than just a cliche. Examine your life and write down at least three things every day that you are thankful for. You will develop a list that will eventually remind you of all the good in your life, and that list will help you to stay away from artificial substances that you once felt you needed to find some good.
- Do not give up. Many recovering addicts and alcoholics experience a relapse or two. If you do fall off the wagon at any time, pick yourself up and start over. Do not beat yourself up over a relapse.
Beating addiction or alcoholism can be an arduous task, but many people are ready and willing to help you complete that task.
If you are looking to connect with some of those people, please call Sustain Recovery Services at (949) 407-9052. Our counselors can provide many more tips and suggestions to help you beat your addiction problem.