Admitting that you have a problem is the first step. Unfortunately, there’s a lot more to substance abuse recovery than just words. Whether you’re looking for holistic drug and alcohol treatment or just seeking basic information about kicking the habit, here are 10 tips that you might find helpful during your recovery.
1. Know Your Weaknesses
It doesn’t matter if it’s booze, pills or something even more illicit. The most important thing is that you recognize what your weaknesses are and how to avoid them. For example, if you can’t resist the siren song of that old liquor store, take a new route home from work.
2. Ask for Help
Recovery is much easier with the support of family and friends. You might need to take things slow if you’ve already burned your bridges with particular people, but there’s always someone out there who’s willing to give you another chance. If it isn’t a loved one, it might be a sponsor with your local AA/NA group.
3. Form New Habits
Stress is one of the leading causes of relapse, so it helps to figure out in advance how you’re going to handle the next big challenge in your life without turning to drugs or alcohol. Maybe it’s a breathing technique; maybe it’s a new fitness routine. As long as it works for you, embrace it.
4. Utilize Online Resources
There are many blogs, websites, podcasts and forums devoted to addiction recovery, so don’t be afraid to poke the world wide web and see what comes out. Sites like Sober Nation can help you stay motivated and resist temptation, and they’ll also connect you with other people who are struggling with the same demons that you are.
5. Help Others To Help Yourself
Many former addicts find peace in performing charitable acts. It gets them out of their own heads and makes them feel like they’re doing something meaningful with their lives. If this sounds soothing to you as well, consider volunteering your time at a soup kitchen or sponsoring a little kid overseas. If you fill your days with goodness, it’s much harder to let the bad thoughts take over.
6. Keep A Journal
Try to make a habit of writing in a journal every day. Even if it’s just a few sentences about how much you struggled not to relapse, it can be highly motivating to look back on dark days and realize that you got through them despite everything. You might also learn new things about yourself and your thinking patterns if you’re able to look at them in black and white.
7. Have an Accountability Partner
This is someone that you’ll have to inform if you fall off the wagon. The thought of disappointing them might help you resist your cravings long enough to take preventative action like going outside, eating something or burying yourself in a hobby. Keep this person in your thoughts whenever you feel like slipping.
8. Improve Your Diet
Discipline in one area of your life often leads to discipline in another, so think about adding more greens to your pantry or cutting back on sugary snacks. You might even try your hand at cooking; it’s a precise, methodical hobby that involves a lot of focus, so it can keep your mind occupied on something other than using.
9. Give Yourself Plenty of Distractions
Have you ever noticed that a craving goes away if you don’t pay attention to it? This applies to everything from junk food to illegal drugs. By surrounding yourself with books, movies, games, puzzles, crafts and other time-wasters, you can have something to anchor you to reality while your demons are trying to pull you away.
10. Aim Small
Last but certainly not least, don’t try to conquer a mountain before you know how to climb. One of the most basic pieces of recovery advice is to take things one day at a time. Don’t get overwhelmed by the thought of staying clean for months or even weeks; just focus on making it until midnight without breaking your self-control. The next day, make it until midnight again.
Recovery is never easy, but the most important thing is that you’re here. You’re reading about addiction and how to get through it. You want to change. This is a very good step in the right direction, so let it be the first of many as you kick your bad habits to the curb and start a new life.