Addiction, among many other negative things, is extremely inconvenient. Not only does it mismatch your priorities, disrupt relationships, and drain your bank account, it inevitably occurs when there are other things you have to take care of in life.
Your job, for example, may not have outlets for you to take time off to get treatment. There are certainly some instances when you have no option other than going to rehab, but there are times when it may be possible to recover naturally and on your own.
If you think your situation is one that could be handled independently, we’re going to give you some tips on how to break an addiction on your own. Hopefully, we can provide some key insights that will help significantly in your effort to get clean.
Let’s get started:
How to Break an Addiction on Your Own
One important distinction to make is that it’s going to be difficult either way. Just because you’re working through these issues by yourself doesn’t mean it will be a walk in the park.
There’s a reason that addiction is so hard to beat. Your body and mind are going to crave the thing you used to do so frequently. This is a “mind over matter” situation if there ever was one.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of your recovery options.
1. Examine Your Relationships
It’s rare to find someone who gets hooked on an addictive substance without a network of people who are doing the same thing. It’s likely that you were turned on to your drug of choice by a close friend and continued to use with the help of some people in your life.
This doesn’t mean that all of the people in this network are bad people or don’t deserve respect. It does mean, though, that you have to remove yourself from those relationships unless those people are willing to make a change too.
If there are people around you that will continue to use, you will be regularly tempted and potentially pressured to use as well. If you’re serious about sobriety, those relationships will have to change.
2. Seek Healthy Networks
If you cut out the people who are still using, you may find that you’re relatively alone. Without meaningful relationships or relationships that have the potential to deepen, it’s going to be increasingly tough to stay sober and avoid your old ways.
The myth of the “lone wolf” is kind of a misleading one. Actual wolfs who go off on their own are left without protection, help to find food and companionship. Start making efforts to join new activities, reconnect with friends you had before your addiction, and spend time with your family if they’re healthy for you.
Additionally, seek out people who are actively trying to make a healthier life for themselves. You’ll find your tribe and they’ll help you get on your feet in order to grow stronger.
3. Make Exercise a Part of Your Life
Exercise might seem far-removed from your desire to use drugs, but there are actually a number of important ways that exercise can help you stay sober.
First, note that your relationship to any drug relates primarily to dopamine. This is the brain chemical that brings enjoyment and drives you to keep using. Without dopamine from drugs, your brain will crave it intensely.
That’s why many people use suboxone for opioid addiction. It serves as a healthier substitute for your dopamine receptors.
Exercise releases dopamine and increases feelings of self-confidence. That way, you’ll have a natural answer to your cravings.
Additionally, exercising gives you a reason to excuse yourself from a situation or do something when you have nothing else to occupy your mind with.
4. Practice Mindfulness
“Mindfulness” is absolutely a buzzword these days. People use it with a number of meanings, but there’s a core idea that is truly effective.
Mindfulness is the practice of increasing your awareness of what’s happening in your head. That increase generally comes from the practice of mindful meditation. By setting the intention to focus only on your breath, you’ll notice how many intrusive thoughts barge into your mind.
Those thoughts typically lead to anxiety, action, and sometimes drug use. By getting a firmer grasp on your thoughts and how they work, you can better defend yourself against the desire to use again.
5. Improve Nutrition
Odds are, the throes of addiction have left you with a body that’s wanting in a couple of areas. Most people push the quality of their diet aside in the search for their drug of choice.
Additionally, drugs have a tendency to harm our bodies in very significant ways. A weak body generally leads to a less-focused mind, so it’s important that you get yourself back into a healthy shape through nutrition.
A balanced diet will give you clarity and energy if you keep it up and make it a habit. You’ll need that clarity to make decisions about whether or not to use.
6. Find an Interest or Passion
You’ll probably be left with a lot of free time, even outside of exercising and working on yourself. Getting sober is a perfect opportunity to revisit your interests and passions.
Whether that means drawing, playing an instrument, going back to school, or something else. It’s important that you have healthy activities that you enjoy doing, so why not reignite some of those old passions?
7. Improve the Rest of Your Life
This seems like the most hollow thing a motivational speaker could say but bear with us.
We often fall into addiction when areas of our lives are broken or damaged. Those things don’t just fall away because you’re sober now. It’s important to improve yourself to the point where you feel genuinely healthy.
That means socially, emotionally, physically, and mentally. If you can get to that point, the idea of using again and throwing it all away will seem repulsive.
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Figuring out how to break an addiction is a tough process. There are a whole lot of things you have to consider, but we’re here to help.
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