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7 Ways to Take the Power Out of Wanting to Use

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illustration of person breaking shackles

Recovery is not an easy path, but no matter how you feel today, know that you don’t have to act on your thoughts and feelings by getting drunk or loaded. After all, sobriety is about living in the moment and becoming an active participant in your own life. If you continue to stay strong one day at a time, you’ll be there to witness the highs and the lows settle into a calm and realize how much sweeter life in sobriety can truly be.

To guide you through the toughest parts of your journey, here are 7 tips you can use to rise above the recovery blues.

Staying sober is never easy. If you feel the urge to give up your progress, use these 7 tips to help you get the edge off and rise above the recovery blues.

1. Go to a meeting.

You don’t have to white-knuckle sobriety or struggle through it alone. Part of recovery involves surrounding yourself with others who fully support your commitment. Whenever you feel the urge to return to your old habits, align yourself with the winners and get yourself to a meeting at your earliest convenience.

2. Talk to someone.

Thoughts of wanting to drink or use is nothing to be ashamed of. As a matter of fact, it’s a natural part of the recovery process. However, when the idea cannot seem to leave your mind, it’s important that you tell someone about it. This will help get the guilt off your chest and open you up to receiving the love and support you need. Remember, even people in long-term sobriety experience these thoughts at some point in their life.

3. Clean your living space.

Cleaning is good for the soul. When you find yourself feeling itchy, try doing some deep cleaning around the house. Imagine yourself clearing away all of the things in your life that are no longer working. Each time you find something to throw away, associate it with one of the negative consequences of drinking or using. Try visualizing yourself clearing a path to a new future that is clean and sober, realized through a home that is spic and span.

4. Get in touch with your spiritual life.

If you’re a member of a church or religious group, now may be the time to get involved again. If you’re not part of one, your period of recovery could be the perfect time for you to embark on a spiritual journey. Whether it involves prayer, chanting, meditation, yoga or simple deep breathing exercises, your ultimate goal is to cultivate a relationship with a power greater than yourself that will help keep you treading on a straight path.

5. Eat something.

Part of taking care of yourself when you’re newly sober is making sure that you’re eating several balanced meals a day. Skipping meals can make you feel cranky and off-center. This is one of the reasons there’s usually plenty of coffee and donuts at office meetings. A nice snack is a great way to take the edge off on those rough days.

6. Take a rest.

Getting plenty of rest is another essential part of getting over the hump in early sobriety. Let’s face it—we don’t put our best foot forward when we’re tired. Our decision-making gets clouded and defenses get weakened, which is similar to what life was like when you were drinking and drugging. During recovery, it’s important to give your body the much-needed rest it deserves, especially when you’re feeling tempted.

7. Don’t isolate yourself.

When you’re not feeling your best, being surrounded by other people can easily slip you into feeling different and alone. This sense of isolation makes you vulnerable to breaking your commitment. When this happens, make sure to surround yourself with people whom you trust and are committed to trudging the road of sobriety by your side. Once your urges come to pass, not only will the right company benefit your overall health, but it can also help you find the fellowship you crave most.

If you or someone you know is seeking help from addiction, please visit our directory of treatment centers or call 800-772-8219 to speak to a treatment specialist.

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