8 Ways to Overcome Addiction
While there’s no big “cure-all” for addiction, there are certain habits and practices that can help you more than others. Before you check yourself into that holistic rehab Florida, keep these tips in mind, too.
1. Find an Accountability Partner
An accountability partner is someone who will hold you responsible for the choices that you make during recovery. For many people, this is a mentor or sponsor in their addiction program, but it can also be a friend, relative or spouse. The specifics don’t matter as much as your feelings towards them. They need to be someone that you don’t want to disappoint. As long as you’re willing to answer to them, they can help to keep you on the straight and narrow.
2. Trade Your Bad Habits for New Ones
Put a rubber band around your wrist that you can snap whenever you’re feeling a craving. Take a walk around the block without your cell phone when you feel the urge to call your ex-dealer. By replacing your old routines with new ones, you can rewrite the neural pathways in your brain that used to be devoted to addictive behaviors. You’ll create newer, better pathways that steer you away from drugs instead of towards them.
3. Find a New Hobby
Many sober stories include the discovery of a new hobby. It doesn’t matter if it’s something grand like cliff-diving or something simple like solving crossword puzzles; the key is that it keeps you occupied, entertained and away from the activities that you used to indulge in when you were bored. Don’t be afraid to sign up for one of those community events that you see in the local paper. It might be just what you need to get yourself out of a rut.
4. Start a Journal
You don’t have to spend hours poring over a notebook and recording every single thought in your head. Just aim for a line or two every night before you go to sleep. Even if it’s as simple as “I wanted to use today, but I didn’t,” you’ll be able to look back on these entries in the future and have tangible proof that you overcome your demons. If you did it on Tuesday, you can do it on Wednesday. If you did it for two weeks, you can do it for three.
5. Create Short-Term Goals
Speaking of weeks, if your palms start to sweat when you imagine going without your vices for that long, there’s no shame in moving up your timetable. It’s quite common to feel overwhelmed by the thought of being sober forever. Instead of setting such a distant, intimidating goal, try to give yourself small benchmarks that you can take frequent pride in passing. For example, try to get through a whole afternoon without using. Then make it a whole day. Then make it a whole week.
6. Avoid Your Old Haunts
You’ll hear a lot about “avoiding temptation” when you’re in rehab, and it’s good advice. If you were trying to lose weight, would you torture yourself by walking past a bakery every morning? The same principle applies to visiting your old friends or hanging out around alleyways and drug houses. If you let yourself go back to these danger zones, it’s only a matter of time before you go back to old habits, too.
7. Upgrade Your Wardrobe
This is one of those minor changes that can make all of the difference in your self-confidence. Instead of wallowing around in the same t-shirts and sweats that you used to wear when you got high, buy yourself some sharper, more expensive clothes. Not only will you feel better when you look better, but you’ll also come to associate your fancy threads with the “new you.” You won’t want to drag down your classy wardrobe with not-so-classy habits.
8. Carry Around a Meaningful Object
Maybe it’s a picture of your kids. Maybe it’s a job application for a position that you really want. Whatever your reasons for getting clean, hold onto them. Give yourself something tangible that you can touch when thinking about them. Mental images can fade away, but real-life objects can be clutched like lifelines when you’re having a bad day.
These are just a few tips for overcoming your demons, addictions and bad habits. They might not make a difference when used on their own, but when combined with a good rehab program, they can be exactly what you need to get sober once and for all.