It’s practically impossible to beat an addiction without help. Therefore, the following suggestions for overcoming an addiction are not meant to encourage you to face addiction alone. The truth is, most who attempt detox and recovery on their own fail. However, if you’re waiting for treatment to begin or if you’ve been through treatment and you need a boost to your recovery, you might consider the following:

  1. Gather your friends around you. There is power in numbers. If you are feeling alone in your journey of recovery, gather the support of those who know and love you. Ideally, you want to corral the help of those who have a positive influence on your life. And even better, you want to spend time with those who have already reached the goal you want to achieve.
  2. Read inspirational books. There are some incredible stories out there about the challenges others have faced and how they overcame them. Books can inspire, motivate, and facilitate commitment. And if you don’t find an inspirational book, find one on healing from addiction, how to make a life change, or ways to stop a harmful habit. Both inspirational and non-fiction, self-help books can be a great friend too in times of trouble.
  3. Predict and plan for times of weakness. There are going to be times when you get triggered and you’ll need a coping tool. Instead of turning to drugs or alcohol when you’re challenged, have something else to replace your habit. Perhaps you need to grab the phone to call your sponsor instead of grabbing a glass of wine. Perhaps you need to grab a pen and journal out your heavy feelings instead of grabbing the bottle of tequila to wash them away. If you know you’re going to get triggered, keep with you a few tools to grab instead of the beer, wine, or crack.
  4. Distract yourself from cravings. Truly anything can work here. Anytime you have a moment where you feel boredom coming on, switch your attention to something that will engage you. This could be exercising, watching a good movie, listening to music, making yourself your favorite meal, gazing at the moon, gardening, spending time with friends, calling your family, or tending to your favorite hobby. You might make a list of all the possible things you could do in order to distract yourself whenever a craving comes on. It’s harder to think of something to do right in the moment. But if you had a list, you can run your finger down the items and choose one that sounds good.
  5. Exercise. Physical activity is frequently used as part of the treatment for depression. Exercise helps to boost one’s mood and has many health benefits. Research has actually found that exercise can even prevent depression and other psychological illnesses. Exercising at least three times per week can keep someone healthy physically, emotionally, and psychologically.

Whether you’re in or out of addiction treatment, the above is a list of suggestions for staying well.

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