It is common for people to make a few half-hearted attempts at quitting addiction before finally becoming ready to get down to business. Making this type of major life changes requires total commitment, so giving anything less than this can mean missing an opportunity to enjoy a better way of living. Below are just six things to avoid if you are serious about addiction recovery:
1. Excuses for Why You Can’t Succeed
It will always be easy for individuals to come up with excuses for why they cannot do something. The problem is that by focusing on these justifications just disempowers you, sapping you of all your motivation. What you need to remember is that no matter what your excuse for not being able to quit, there will be others who had the exact same excuses yet succeeded. It is not that these individuals are somehow better than you are; it is just that they gave up on the excuses and instead focused on how they were going to succeed. There is absolutely no benefit to being able to come up with excuses, so stop doing it.
2. Predicting Your Failure
The word self-fulfilling prophecy refers to a situation whereby a person causes a bad result to happen just by predicting it. There is nothing magical needed to explain why this happens. If you expect to fail at something, you will not be able to summon enough motivation to try your best; why would you when you expect this effort to be wasted? You may have failed many times in your attempts to quit alcohol or drugs in the past, but it is now vital that you believe you will succeed this time.
Self-handicapping is a type of ego defence mechanism that can be very dangerous for those trying to break free of addiction. It occurs when the person is too afraid to try his or her best in case the attempt ends in failure. If individuals have not tried their best, it gives their ego some consolation – it can feel much worse to try your very best and fail. If you self-handicap in your attempt to quit addiction, you are greatly reducing your ability to succeed. Try your very best and you will succeed in your attempt to build a better life.
4. Using Your Recovery as a Bargaining Chip
If you put any conditions on your recovery then it only ends up weakening your chances of success. An example of this would be getting sober in an attempt to win your ex back. The reality is that you are not in a good position to be bargaining because stopping the substance abuse is all about making your life better. One of the other problems with bargaining with your recovery is that even if you get what you want, you could also lose your motivation to stay sober.
5. Getting Sober for Other People
Getting sober just for other people is not a good idea – this has to be for yourself. The problem is that doing it for others can soon lead to resentment if they do not live up to your expectations of how they should respond to your decision. This type of resentment is always going to occur as the addicted part of your brain looks for reasons to relapse.
6. Keeping the Option to Relapse
As long as the relapse option is there in your life, staying sober will always involve a struggle. It is much better that you remove this option completely. This means you give up on the idea of ever being able to use alcohol or drugs safely in the future.