Addictions are insidious, greatly painful and slightly frightful to fight with. It’s likely that you have yourself experienced addictive tendencies in the past, or have seen someone in your close circle undergo this. It might be the case that you’re experiencing a debilitating addiction right now, and you’ve noticed it impede every little part of your life to the point where you’re completely tired of it and are starving for change. This guide is aimed at you. It’s good that you’re here, and you should be proud of reading these words because they are the initial step to recovery. With every progressing word you read, the understanding that you need to do something about your situation is entering into your mind, and no matter how much you try to block it out in favor of relapsing, you will realize that there is always, always, always a way out for you.
However, getting to grips with the nifty gritty of addiction recovery is much more difficult than a simple few words and overblown platitudes can offer. Fighting an addiction is akin to fighting a battle in a Tolkien novel. It will be a massive, life affirming and shifting battle to rid your mind, body, and soul of the painful and damaging affliction you currently find yourself struggling with. The steps to success are listed below. Arm yourself with this information, and you’ll be that little more equipped to overcome the battle.
Using the metaphor of a ‘fantasy war,’ might seem reductive or even offensive, but it is, in fact, a good way to frame it, because it takes some of the seriousness self-loathing that comes from an addiction and softens it. It appeals to your heroic nature, and it will take a heroic nature being uncovered for you to overcome whatever afflicts you. The following tips will too:
The first step to any addiction recovery is to admit that you're addicted. This might sound easy at first. It’s likely you’ve already thought “Okay, I know I’m addicted. That’s why I’m here. What else are you going to tell me, genius?” We’d suggest taking another moment of self-reflection. It can’t hurt you. Do you really, deep down, understand this addiction? Do you know how it grew, how long you’ve been in it, and how much you’ve sacrificed for it?
Do you substantially, essentially know, without a doubt, just where your life is heading if you forget to keep on top of this issue? One of the great issues with relapsing is that people hoping to recover from the drug are simply carrying out the motions of recovery, and not essentially understanding that this is a life or death battle in which every day clean is a victory and every relapse is a tragedy. Refusing to fool yourself about any part of this process will help you overcome the tendency to make things less important than they actually are in your mind, and it provides a stable footing for you to throw all your strengths into the next means of doing well.
Meditation is often touted by people writing articles on spirituality, or ‘living your best self!’ This is often coupled with some platitude about ‘staying in the present moment’ or ‘feeling better in your skin!’ This is only a surface level reading of what meditation can offer. Meditation, achieved correctly, can help you increase the density of your gray matter, the area which helps you regulate emotion, plan long-term and stay on top of your strengthened self-control habits. Meditation is akin to mental and spiritual surgery and can correct your mind because you’re simply giving it the space to correct itself. Your mind wants to heal, but constantly imbuing it with the debilitating and sometimes disorienting effects of an addiction can prevent it from doing so.
Not only will mediating allow you to get over the worst of the difficulties that face you by staying aware of your cravings, and giving you the space necessary to resist them, but it will help you stay calm, collected and confident your addiction can be resolved. Attitude is everything, and meditation will allow you to make your attitude your complete and total ally.
It’s super important to surround yourself with loving people who have an interest in your recovery. It’s important to communicate with them the difficulties you’re facing so you don’t feel so alone in the battle you’re to undertake. You wouldn’t enter a real life battle by yourself, so why struggle with your demons alone?
We are social creatures, and we require human contact to stay physically and mentally normal, even those who are so introverted they would rather stay in their comforting shell all day long. If your addiction has isolated you from your usual friends and family, because the chances they have given you in the past have been neglected, then it’s important to find communities elsewhere. Local resources can point you in the direction of communities either recovered or suffering from the same addiction as you, and this community feeling can go a long way in putting your issues in the correct perspective. Sometimes, when home alone, small issues turn into massive issues when lacking a proper referencing point. It’s much harder to deceive yourself about your progress when you have to objectively measure it in a community of your peers.
However, communities often provide much more than simply logging your progress and quietly exchanging pleasantries because you can’t find a community elsewhere. In a community of people who understand, truly understand, the pain you’re going through, you might find that you feel more comfortable telling your story to a group of listening ears. This talking therapy can do wonders in making sure you express yourself. It’s not only good for getting issues off your chest, but it’s good for putting in place the ideas you have about yourself and your life, and you may even come to some form of insight about it thanks to this exercise.
You may have noticed the former tips require you to take action. They do. You must be responsible for your recovery, as it all starts with you. However, you are more powerful than you realize, and as you recover, this power will become more and more apparent to you. Stay patient, try and open your heart, and seek professional help to defeat your addiction. Believe us when we say thousands and thousands of people have regained from your affliction before, and some were even the most hopeless of cases.
You have the strength, power, and wisdom to overcome this. We wish only the best of luck and love to you.