As it turns out, there are a few common themes amongst those who maintain sobriety after an addiction. Here’s what we can learn from them.
Seek Out Help
While many people can overcome addiction on their own, getting outside help can help you recover more quickly and with fewer relapses. Look into addict help treatment programs, AA groups, or other professional resources.
These groups are designed to help people like you improve their lives. They have the resources you’ll need and can help you through your journey.
Asking for help isn’t a weakness, it’s the smart thing to do. And it’ll ease your struggle down the line.
Recognize How Your Addiction Hurts Your Life
When you’re ready to give up your addiction, it’s usually in the throws of an angry hangover after a night of regret. But as these symptoms pass, it’s easy to forget why you wanted to give up your addiction in the first place.
Whenever you’re convinced to relapse, remind yourself why you’re quitting in the first place. Remind yourself about the damage it’s causing in your life, and that you’re actively choosing to seek out a better future.
It may even be helpful to write a letter to yourself, reminding you of why you’re giving up your addiction so you can review it when you’re feeling weak.
Find a Social Network
Social support is vital for achieving any goal, whether it’s losing weight, running a marathon, or giving up an addiction. You need people in your life encouraging you to pursue your goals and to encourage you when you feel low.
Alternately, give up the people in your life who encourage you to relapse.
Identify Your Triggers
Maybe it’s certain people, a time of day, or a specific place. No matter your addiction, certain patterns will trigger a craving. Learn to identify these triggers, and find a healthy replacement over your habit.
Or, if you can, avoid the triggers altogether.
Never Give Up
There is no guarantee that once you decide to give up an addiction, you’ll give it up for good. It’ll likely take several tries before your sobriety sticks for good.
No matter how many times you relapse, always remember it’s not hopeless. Use each relapse as a learning experience to figure out what caused the relapse, and identify how you can avoid it again in the future.
You Can Beat Addiction
It’s not easy to beat addiction, but it is possible. Addiction acts more like a mental illness than it does any act of willpower. Therefore, you need different resources to overcome it than willpower alone.
Reach out for help, find a support group, and keep trying. Just like it takes several rounds of chemotherapy to beat cancer, it can take several attempts to stay sober. That’s okay. What’s important is you keep trying.
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