As a former employee of an outpatient behavioral health services provider designed to help individuals struggling with mental disorders and substance abuse diseases, I know the role that addiction can play in precluding an individual from leading a productive and powerful life. In addition to working with social workers that offered support and guidance to people with addictions, I struggled with and overcame a debilitating addiction to eating several years ago. Despite the fact that addictions can have a profoundly negative impact on an individual’s life, there are a variety of solutions that people struggling with addictions can implement in order to make things such as alcoholism or chronic gambling a thing of the past. If you are currently struggling with an addiction and want to recover, consider implementing the following strategies:
1. Find A Replacement For Your Addiction.
Although the term addiction is broadly defined, it basically refers to a state of being marked by enslavement to a practice or habit which is physically and/or psychologically habit-forming to the extent that cessation results in severe trauma. Part of the reason that this trauma transpires is because the absence of the addictive behavior precludes the individual from mental and physical preoccupation with the activity, thus entailing a feeling of emptiness. In order to ensure that an individual’s recovery from addiction is successful and long-standing, it is important for the recovering addict to develop healthy hobbies and activities that are fun and fulfilling. Oftentimes, addicts already had a hobby that they enjoyed engaging in prior to the addiction. Whether you enjoy activities like gardening, reading science fiction novels, or going out to the movies, engaging in a healthy behavior can help make your addiction a thing of the past by keeping you mentally and physically preoccupied.
2. Develop A Support Network.
No human is an island, and relationships can either contribute to or detract from our personal and professional efficacy. If you are attempting to recover from an addiction, it is important that you be surrounded by friends and family members who recognize that you are attempting to overcome an addiction. In being sensitive to the issue, your loved ones can provide you with the support that you need in a manner that can speed up your recovery time. Also be aware that overcoming your addiction means that you may have to let go of some destructive relationships that helped facilitate your attachment to a destructive behavior. Thus if you are still in a romantic or platonic relationship with an individual who overtly or covertly encouraged you to maintain your addiction, you should not feel guilty about ending your interaction with such persons.
3. Be Accountable To Someone.
Although having a support network is good, being accountable to someone may be even better. While people within your support network can provide comfort and encouragement as you recover, being accountable to someone helps facilitate discipline and the avoidance of your addictive behavior because you know that you will be responsible for telling another person about your progress. In discussing the value of being accountable to someone, Therese J. Borchard notes that “Twelve-step groups use this method-called accountability-to keep people sober and on the recovery wagon.” Coupled with your development of hobbies to replace your addiction as well as the maintenance of a support network, having an accountability partner who keeps you on track can greatly aid you in overcoming your addiction.
Irrespective of the addiction you struggle with, viable solutions are available. By implementing some or all of the strategies outlined above, you can put your debilitating addiction in the past and begin living a much more productive, positive life. Good luck! :)
More Articles From Jocelyn:
How To Break A Bad Habit