Beating an addiction to drugs or alcohol doesn’t require special intellect, some unique formula, or heavily guarded secret. There is no miracle cure, magic pill, or expensive medication. On the contrary in fact, because the steps you need to follow are mostly about using common sense.
Yes, getting professional help or going through an addiction treatment program can be a massive help. Not so much because the treatment and help provided is rocket science, but because it provides you with a safe and supportive environment for making the changes that need to be made.
Keep hanging out with drunks and drug users, and that’s what you’ll remain. Surround yourself with healthy, supportive, loving, successful, humble and grounded folk … and that’s what you’ll become.
Step 1: Responsibility
Until you take absolute and total responsibility for your addiction, you’ll never recover. Because until you do, you always leave yourself with a ‘back door’ or excuse to keep using. No one else can make you pick up that drink or drug … so blaming a spouse, parent, partner your childhood, work or whatever just won’t cut it.
Accepting total responsibility is about humbling yourself and saying, ‘this is my mess and the only person that can fix it is me.’
Step 2: DWIT
DWIT stands for ‘Doing Whatever It Takes.’ That needs to be your attitude – you’ll do whatever it takes to recover from your addiction to drink or drugs. Too many people think they can negotiate their way to sobriety.
‘I don’t feel like doing this,’ or ‘That isn’t really for me.’ If you’re serious, you’ll simply do the things you need to do. Once you’ve turned your life around and have recovered from your addictions, sure drop NA or AA if you think working your own Spiritual Program is something you’re more comfortable with.
But don’t use the excuse, ‘AA isn’t really my thing’ as justification to keep drinking. If you’re desperate enough, you’ll go to AA or whatever other recovery program can help you whether you like it or not.
Step 3: Reach Out
Many people stay stuck in a life of addiction because they’re too scared or ashamed to ask for help. Unfortunately alcoholism and drug addiction still carry a certain social stigma so nobody wants to be thought of an alcoholic or drug addict. Who cares what anyone else thinks?
Would you rather kill yourself than get the help you need to start living a healthy, prosperous and fulfilling life? Doesn’t make sense. Living the life of addiction is an incredibly lonely and isolated place. That’s why treatment programs are so powerful because suddenly you realise you’re not alone and there are others going through exactly what you are.
Having that support is incredibly powerful. So if you take nothing else from this article – ask for help! There are loads of people out there ready and waiting to help you.
Step 4: Unlock Your Potential
Unlocking your potential is about making the decision that you want to go beyond just thinking about survival, because that’s essentially what living the life of drugs and alcohol entails.
This is about embracing your recovery to the full and becoming all you can be. Decide that you want to fulfil your potential spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. Join programs, read books, take classes, learn how to meditate, make new friends, start a new hobby.
That can sound scary, but remember it’s about taking baby steps. This is where recovery programs can help and make such a difference. Because integrating with people in the same boat as you who are also there to support you, makes the world seem a much less scary place, especially initially.
There is nothing particularly new or revealing in anything I’ve just said. But sometimes we over complicate things and make it seem harder than it needs to be. So it’s about getting back to basics and reminding ourselves of the timeless principles that lead to lasting and permanent change.
C-P Lehmann is the owner of an alcoholism help and drug addiction help website at www.alcoholism-and-drug-addiction-help.com that offers guidance, advice, help and support from former addicts to anyone affected by drugs or alcohol.
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