The road to recovery is long, winding, and very bumpy but the one thing that it is not, is impossible. Recovery is very much possible for everyone out there struggling with addiction, you just have to know what steps to take to begin the journey. With that being said, the very first thing you have to realize and start working towards is creating a new life where addiction has absolutely no place, but not just the addiction itself but the environment that comes with it and surrounds it entirely, including locations and people. You have to recognize that you must create a new positive life where you are currently, surrounding yourself with only supportive positive people that will keep you humble. This is absolutely essential because if you do not take this first step to re-direct your life, all of the factors that brought you to addiction can eventually catch back up with you.
Now that isn’t to say that you need to move cities and change your name, but it does mean that you are going to have to adjust some things in your life and you will have hard work cut out for you! Like most self serving journeys, it all starts within. You have to start in your own mind and decide you want sobriety for yourself and go get it.
There are many things that can contribute to addiction for each person, things, places, people, feelings etc. that lead people to search for a vice like using drugs to escape from their every day lives. We refer to these certain things as leaders to high-risk situations. And these high-risk situations are what encourage the bad behavior and the drug use. Some of the most common high-risk situations can be described by the acronym, HALT: hungry, angry, lonely, and tired.
All of these have everything to do with how you are feeling physically and mentally and how you react to these emotions. For example, examine how you feel towards the end of your days, often we find ourselves hungry after work, angry from something that happened at work or just having to work in general, lonely because it is easy to isolate yourself, and tired from a long day. These are all reasons why cravings may be and are impossible to ignore at the end of the day.
As mentioned before, there are many things that can contribute to your personal high-risk situations, and people, places, and things may have more of an influence than most think. Being around people that you use with, hang out with after you use, fight often with, celebrate by using with and those who make you want to use is one of the worst things you can do when trying to recover. Along with being in, near, or around places where you use, hang out after or before using, and especially where you get drugs or alcohol. Lastly staying clear of things that remind you of using is very important when going through the process.
There are many things you can do to recognize, approach, and avoid your high-risk situations and they include; becoming completely aware of all of them in every form and recognizing fully that in order to recover completely you will need to cut them all out when it is all said and done. Then you can start taking better care of yourself, being sure to eat healthier for every meal, keep up with personal hygiene, join am outside recovery or 12 step group to avoid feeling isolated, learn how to relax so you can learn to let go off all of the anger and baggage holding you back, and make an effort to create better sleep schedules for yourself so you are not so tired.
Now we know all of these tips are much easier said than done, but making the conscious effort is the place to start as well as making a written out list of all of your personal high-risk situations and going over it with someone else in recovery. Creating a list and going over it can help keep you in line and aware so you don’t get caught off guard in the middle of one. Addiction is difficult to overcome, especially when it can be so sneaky and show up out of nowhere fast.
Learning to relax as we mentioned is a huge piece to the puzzle that is recovering fully. There are many reasons that people may develop an addiction to substances, but some of the main reasons are to relive stress and tension in their life, to escape reality, to realx to get away from stress, and to reward themselves for dealing with stressors in their life. So the key to ending this vicious cycle is to learn how to fully remove yourself from your stressors in a healthy way and to relax naturally. When it comes to the recovery process, relaxation is a necessity, and there are many healthy ways to relax. For example; going for walks, taking fitness classes, meditation, dinner with family/ friends and even prescribed medication.
A lot of learning to relax has to do with how you cope to your stressors and how well you can use your coping skills during all situations. There are many coping skills you can learn and acquire over time, but there are three main ones that are essential to learn in the beginning and those are having the ability to relax, manage your stress, and change your negative thinking as soon as it happens.
Honesty truly is key to a happy life, to end addiction you must end all traces of lying, and hiding in your life. Addiction requires lying and hiding for it to be successful, and these two things create a vicious very unhealthy cycle in your life that leads to consequences and relapsing every time. You must stop lying to your loved ones, and most importantly yourself in order to take the first steps to recovery.
If you are not honest with yourself nothing will change, honesty will create the atmosphere for open minded recovery and set the stage for a healthy path of recovery for everyone involved and it will restore trust in loved ones that you are serious about recovering. As we know the path to recovery is very difficult and requires complete and uncandid honesty, there is no room for addiction to hide when you are being 100% honest.
Addiction is an ugly thing, but it provides us with the chance to change our life. To change your life for the better is the end goal, to live a life your proud of is what everyone dreams of and when you decide to take the first steps to recovery you are getting the chance to re-create your life, re-define your goals and take back what is yours. The opportunity for change is something some people wish for and never get, so never take your chance to change your life for granted. Take it as an opportunity to re-build from the ground up and never look back. Recovery can and will change your life!