Addiction can be incredibly difficult to overcome on our own. Substances have a way of getting into our minds in dark and insidious ways and can cause a dependence in that way. This makes it very hard to attempt to quit “cold turkey,” and weaning ourselves off doesn’t work in many cases.
It is for this reason that rehabilitation services and groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous exist. After all, they are good resources for us to actually overcome our addiction issues. One of the most important parts of this is knowing what to expect when you check in for rehab.
Coping With Addiction
It is really important to remember that addiction is not a sign that you are a bad person. You are not weak or flawed because you develop a substance misuse disorder. Additionally, it takes a lot more than simple “willpower” to end an addiction.
To help change the patterns in your brain, you will also need to change some aspects of your life. It’s really important to do this when you are committing to becoming sober. New routines will help you break out of your previous patterns.
Dealing With Stress
The method that many people suffering from an addiction take to relieve their stress is often turning to their substance or behavior. This is a natural response given the chemical makeup of our brains. If you are looking for other stress relief methods you can look at this page from Mayo Clinic.
That being said, I can also explain some healthy methods for relieving stress that do not involve using an illegal drug. One of the best ways that I find help me is spending time with my loved ones. Making connections with other people is a great way to feel better about life. Especially if you are spending some good quality time with them.
As you spend this time, laughing is another great method to reduce stress. This might sound cheesy, but it’s true! Making jokes and having a giggle can help you feel better in even the worst situations.
The most important thing here is that you are diverting your patterns of behavior. Changing your routine when you are feeling overwhelmed is a good way not to relapse back into an addiction pattern.
The final method I will mention here is engaging in a creative activity. Many rehab centers such as Sunshine Behavioral Health in Castle Rock provide such things while you’re getting treatment. Try painting or drawing. You don’t have to be good to enjoy it, after all – use watercolor paints and make squiggles on a page!
You can also try listening to music or even playing an instrument if that is something you enjoy. Whatever you decide to engage the creative side of your brain with, you will enjoy some reprieve from the stressors surrounding you. Give it a try!
Deciding Who You Let in Your Life
Clearly, this is a difficult topic. Sometimes we have to cut loved ones out of our life no matter how much we care about them because the relationship is toxic. For more resources on toxic relationships, you can look at this Time article: https://time.com/5274206/toxic-relationship-signs-help/.
A toxic relationship is one that is dysfunctional in some way. This can include a relationship between people who look to undermine each other’s goals, don’t support each other, if they are disrespectful to each other, and compete with each other. This sounds unpleasant, so you would think it would always be clear that you’re in one. Sadly, that is not the case.
Sometimes, in fact I would venture to say oftentimes, we do not realize that we’re in a relationship that is toxic until we feel stuck. A feeling of hopelessness or inability to get away might be one sign. However, there are other ways to tell.
The easiest way to notice is if you find yourself constantly unhappy while spending time with the person. Please note that this is not reserved only to a romantic partner or significant other. You can have this type of relationship with friends and family as well.
A strong codependency can also indicate an unhealthy bond has been formed. Feeling guilt for spending time without the other person because you feel you always have to be with them, almost like a babysitter – well, it’s not generally something healthy. You might want to reexamine why you feel this way.
The final way you might cope in your addiction recovery is changing the way you think about and perceive yourself. A lot of people who suffer from or are recovering from a substance misuse disorder have very low self-esteem. While it is not their fault, the guilt and shame can eat them up inside.
There are ways that you can help yourself with this, though. Probably the best way is to get external help. Perhaps you could find a counselor or therapist. Most rehabilitation centers have mental health professionals to help you along and start this journey.
The most key part of this process is to forgive yourself. This can feel impossible. Some mistakes that we make feel unforgiveable. However, once you come to terms with what was done, you can allow yourself to move past it and forgive yourself.
One final note I will make here is that you can start writing affirmations for yourself. This probably sounds a bit cheesy, but I assure you, it’s worth trying at least once. Get a nice notebook or piece of paper. Write out sentences such as “I deserve love” or even “I deserve forgiveness,” based on my last point! This will really help your own self-perception.
It’s Good to Get Help
Like I’ve detailed, recovering from an addiction is hard. That’s okay. It’s okay to struggle and to need assistance. Being able to seek out resources that are made for these issues is such a blessing. We should take advantage of what is available for recovering addicts and work to improve our life!