The disease of addiction can bring about some drama, darkness and havoc in one’s life. Chances are you know someone who has struggled with addiction and you’ve witnessed their lives go from normal to shambles over time. After all, the addiction disease is progressive and after a while it can go from bad to worse.
Perhaps you are actually the one struggling with an addiction and rely on your substance of choice to get you through the day. Maybe you’ve tried on various occasions to cut down or quit, only to end up picking up again despite your loved ones’ concerns. You may deny to others and even to yourself that you have a serious problem with alcohol or drugs, but deep down you know the truth. If you are ready to admit today that you’ve become dependent on substances and need some encouragement to reach out for help, the following steps will help you walk away from your addiction once and for all:
1. Admit to the truth.
You can’t walk away from your addiction if you don’t fess up to the truth that you are an addict. It’s perfectly okay to admit that you’ve become dependent on a substance and you may need some help in order to walk away from it forever.
2. Educate yourself on the disease.
Start reading about the addiction disease and learn as much as you can about it. You will see that the disease is sly. It sneaks up on you and baffles you at times. There will be occasions when you will think you’ve got it all under control only to find that the disease is stronger than ever. It’s important to read up on how the chemicals affect your mental and physical health because the more you learn, the more apt and motivated you will be to walk away.
3. Reach out for help.
If you’ve tried to quit before and just couldn’t, there’s no shame in asking for help. Call a rehab center and make an appointment to talk to a counselor. You can also attend a 12-step group and get yourself a sponsor. The point is to do something in order to shift your momentum and get some help. Sometimes, walking away from addiction requires you to let someone else walk alongside with you.
4. Attend meetings.
One of the 12-step’s meeting rules is “what is said in the rooms, stays in the rooms.” If you’re struggling with alcohol, become a part of Alcoholics Anonymous and attend a meeting. If you’re struggling with drugs, attend Narcotics Anonymous. There, you will meet other recovering addicts who will encourage you to stay on the path of recovery.
5. Make a list.
Sit down and make a list of the positive things addiction does for you. Then make a list of all the negative things addiction does for you. Most likely, your positive list will be quite small and your negative list will be large. After all, alcohol and drugs don’t really add value mentally, physically or spiritually to anyone. For the addict, there are considerably more negatives than for the average social drinker.
6. Read success stories.
There are countless recovering addicts who have been clean and sober for years that continue to share their success stories every day. Take time to read them regularly for inspiration. You might feel like you are the only one dealing with your issues, but chances are many others have dealt with the same things. Look at various addiction recovery websites, blogs and books that curate or tell these personal victories.
Always remember that you have the power to walk away from addiction. No matter how many times you’ve tried and failed on your own or attended rehab and relapsed, there is hope. It won’t be simple, but with enough drive, effort and vigilance, you will rid yourself of this disease for good.