Recovering from addiction is never easy. Whether it your addiction is drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling or nicotine, your road to recovery is going to be similar. It isn’t easy and every step of the way you are going to be tested and challenged.
One of the ways you can assist the recovery process is to adjust your lifestyle. Not everyone has the ability to do what James Frey did at the end of A Million Little Pieces where he enters a bar and orders a glass full of whiskey. He picks it up, smells it and then asks for it to be tipped down the drain.
Not everyone has this mental strength or discipline. Also you find that your resolve can slowly be chipped away so the more times you put yourself in that situation, the more times you feel challenged. As Oscar Wilde said,
“I can resist everything except temptation”.
One thing that people often do is to move away. In their exciting neighborhood, everything around them has the potential to be a trigger. This includes both people and places. The brain is very powerful at making associations and new places aren’t going to come with this baggage.
Often people lapse due to the people they hang out with. So while leaving behind your own friends is tough, sometimes you have to make tough decisions like this if you are going to make a full recovery.
Idle Hands Make the Devil’s work may be a glib cliché but there is a lot of truth behind it. If you are bored, restless and have a lot of time on your hands, people may go looking for trouble. One way to counter this is to find a hobby. Whether it is going for walks, taking up woodwork, spending time at a charity, cooking or playing sport it doesn’t matter. You could even go full circle and volunteer at rehab facility. The more things you find to fill your life, the busier you are going to become. You aren’t going to have the time or energy to go looking for mischief.
Another benefit of this is that the sense of accomplishment you gain from the hobbies will make you more satisfied and content and thus your sense of self-esteem will be better. Often you see recovering addicts challenge themselves to run a marathon. The process of preparing for the race keeps them occupied and then on completing the 42 kilometers they get a massive high. Not one they are used to but a natural one that fills them with a sense of exhilaration.
Ultimately it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you fill your life with things that are going to occupy you. In a way you have to reinvent your whole existence but that’s what it can take to make a full recovery from addiction.
Many people turn to God following on from their addiction. This would be up to the individual as to how relevant this is. God and religion can give them the direction, structure and focus that has been lacking. If you don’t feel this is right for you, then don’t force it.
Often a symptom of addiction is people feel they are lonely. They feel isolated and remote. If you aren’t in a relationship, there is no doubt that finding a partner assists in recovery. Not only do you have someone you can spend time with but more importantly you have someone you can talk to. If you are ever feeling down they can prove to be a rock that you can lean on. If you are already in a relationship than make an effort to keep your relationship as strong as it possibly could be.
David Wise writes about lifestyle related articles. He recovered from addiction at LVN Treatment, a Los Angeles drug rehab place. He is in the midst of writing a novel about his experiences.