Recovering from addiction can be a long and lonely process, but the fact the addict is trying to recover is very important as the most difficult step of all is recognizing that there is a problem in the first place. Once the addict recognizes they have a problem, then they can begin the journey to freedom from their addiction. It is important to understand, however, that the nature of drug addiction is that it is an illness and it may not be cured at once, there will be difficult days and relapses, but the rewards if the addict makes it to the end of the journey will be life-changing, to say the least. Here we will take a look at why it is never easy to recover from drug addiction and how to give yourself the best chance of staying clean.
Creating a New Life
The hardest but possibly most important step for a recovering addict is that they need to create a new life for themselves away from their previous temptations, a life that gives them a sense of purpose and direction. Simply stopping will not get rid of the addiction; it needs replacing. Your social life will need to change from the people and the places that you used to hang out with to the things that you associated with your addiction. No-one said these things would be easy, but a new life is fundamental.
Think positively and give yourself something to do at the end of the day, when your time would otherwise have been spent with drugs. Negativity breeds anxiety, depression, and further addition. Do not be scared, and you are capable of recovery, it just takes time, and enormous will power.
Asking For Help
Most addicts start trying to recover on their own because they want to prove that they have control over their addiction and that they are strong enough to help themselves on their own. This is by far the hardest way to go about beating addiction. The nature of addiction is that it is isolating, so one of the most fundamental steps is to seek help at one of these trusted centers where the addict can learn to develop a recovery circle.
The sooner the addict surrounds themselves with professionals and family and friends who want to help, then the quicker they can break the cycle of addiction. It is normal to find asking for help difficult, but once the addict does, they will find that talking to non-judgemental people in an understanding environment will be a vital tool when recovering.
Addicts must be completely honest and open with everybody in their recovery circle, and this is not easy. An addict will have spent years, or even decades, lying to everyone around them about their addiction. It will have become second nature, and it is never easy to go from this extreme to the opposite of being completely transparent and truthful. It will take an awful lot of practice to start telling the truth, but it will enable the addict to become self-aware and start to start to discover who they actually are.
An addiction cannot hide with honesty, so once the addict realizes this, their journey will become more pleasant and rewarding. Nothing changes if nothing changes, so the saying goes, so helping the addict to be honest about themselves will help them to recover.
Finding an Escape
For many addicts, their addiction, be it to alcohol or drugs, started off as a simple pleasure to unwind after a long day at work, or as a means to relax or to reward themselves. When trying to recover, it is, therefore important for the addict to find something else to replace this escape mechanism with. Start with healthy eating and exercise, give yourself something to look forward to at the end of the day, look forward to getting that good night’s sleep.
Of course, this can be easier said than done, but self-care is essential for mental wellbeing and effective recovery, so it’s necessary for the addict to understand this at an early stage, to minimize the chances of a relapse. Find solace in yoga or meditation, and the mind will relax rather than be constantly seeking that extra hit. This is a non-negotiable aspect of recovery and will really help to prevent relapse.
Negotiating the Recovery Process
The addict must understand right from the beginning of the process that their addiction has given them the opportunity to improve their life. This is non-negotiable and is what makes recovery so difficult and ultimately so rewarding. All change is difficult, whether relating to addiction or not, but recovering is rewarding because it gives the addict a chance for change. This has to be a key mantra whilst in rehabilitation, the fact that this is a great opportunity.
Do not resent the addiction. It happened and is in the past, what is important in the future and where you will be once you come out of the other side. Often addicts in recovery refer to themselves as grateful addicts, and this is because they have taken the important step of recognizing what the future can hold, the chance to rekindle broken relationships, and to strive for a better life.
As we have discovered, recovering from addiction is difficult, very difficult, in fact. The rewards, however, can outweigh all of the negative consequences of the journey into addiction and can allow the addict to understand who they really are and to start to make a real-life for themselves and their loved ones. Creating a new life is a fundamental first step to give direction in place of the addiction. Removing old habits, friends and activities can be difficult at first, but as long as there is a new purpose, then this will breed positivity. Asking for help can be the most difficult thing to do, but once done, then the barriers are down, and actually the addict will find a whole circle of people open to them to help them change their life around, as long as they are honest with themselves and those around them.