Giving up alcohol or drugs can feel impossibly complicated if you are currently struggling due to an addiction. The reality is that it does not have to be complicated at all. Here are six simple steps you can take now to help you overcome your addiction problem so that you can begin to enjoy a much better future.
1. Become Honest About Your Problems
As long as you are in denial about your problems, it would be doubtful that you would be able to overcome them. This makes sense, does it not? After all, why would you bother trying to fix something that isn’t broken? The problem here is that your mind can be working against you when it comes to substance abuse and there are likely to be cognitive filters that are preventing you from seeing the seriousness of your situation. Even if you have become willing to accept that you do have a problem, you may still be underplaying the seriousness due to a type of thinking known as terminal uniqueness.
The only chance you have of beating denial is to develop the willingness to be completely honest about your situation. This means letting down the barriers and allowing others to challenge your beliefs and opinions; most important of all, it means challenging your own beliefs and opinions about addiction and recovery.
2. Ask for Help
Some people have managed to break free of addiction without too much help, but this tends to only work for a minority of individuals; the problem is that most substance abusers believe they belong to this minority. There is also the problem that becoming physically sober is just the start of the journey. If you want to give yourself the best chance of a better life, you need to be willing to ask for some help – if you are not willing to do this, it could be because you are not yet serious about changing your life.
3. Understand Why You Fell Into the Trap of Addiction
If you do not understand why you fell into the trap of substance abuse, there is a high risk that you make similar mistakes in the future – even if you stay free of drugs, you could still end up turning to new maladaptive behaviours. One of the benefits of entering a rehab programme is that you are going to spend time with a therapist, so this individual can help you discover the reasons why you fell into the addiction trap. This knowledge will allow you to avoid similar mistakes in the future.
4. Develop New Strategies for Dealing with Life
The reason many people end up falling into addiction is that they just do not have the proper tools for dealing with life on life’s terms. This means that they end up turning to alcohol or drugs in an attempt to cope. It is vital that you develop new coping strategies for dealing with life or else you run the risk of relapse or turning to new maladaptive behaviours to help you deal with things.
5. Develop Gratitude for Your New Life
Without gratitude, it does not matter how much stuff you have or how much you achieve, you are never going to be happy. It is vital that you are able to remain grateful for your sobriety, as this will give you the determination to fight to keep it. When people first get sober they tend to be very enthusiastic because it is so new and fresh, but this enthusiasm can begin to wane once individuals have been sober for a long time – do not let this happen to you. It is often said that those who are grateful for their recovery will never relapse, and there is good reason to believe that this is true.
6. Commit to Sober Living
If you are only half-hearted in regards to recovery, your sobriety will always be precarious. This type of ambivalence most often occurs because many still hold onto the hope of one day being able to drink or use drugs again. It is important that you give up on this hope and fully commit to making this new life work for you.