Overcoming addiction: two words that seem like the impossible. Overcoming anything can be intimidating for that matter. Whether it is a fear, an obstacle, a sudden life change, we all face battles every day. Addiction can be someone’s battle, or it can be used as a shield. Either way, it is important to know that things must be overcome in a healthy and mindful way.
Associate Yourself With Positivity
Many words can be associated with addiction. Unfortunately, people tend to associate it with negative, sad words. “Addiction makes me feel lonely, afraid, out of control, helpless, shameful.” The list can go on and on, but it’s about time that we change the tone and conversation surrounding this one word. First, be proud of yourself for admitting that you have an addiction. For some people this is the hardest step that takes a long time to take, or never take at all.
After, stop looking at your addiction as something that makes you less of a person. Say things like “Addiction makes me realize what is important in my life”, “I will take control of my addiction”, or “I will help myself and others overcome addiction”. Looking at this circumstance as an opportunity to do something better will help tremendously.
You Are Stronger Than You Think
Second, know that you are stronger than your addiction. Withdrawals can be very painful and seem like they will last forever, but remember why you are wanting to change. Write down those reasons and keep them in a place where you will be able to read them whenever you feel like going back to your old ways. If you are more of a visual person, have pictures of loved ones or of something that inspires you on your phone or in your wallet. These little reminders will have a big effect on your strength.
Isolate or Congregate?
No longer are the days, if there ever were, that addiction affected a select group of people. A homeless person, a troubled teenager, a high school dropout, a convicted felon. These people were never the only ones who suffered from addiction, because addiction does not discriminate.
In light of the opioid epidemic, we are more aware that addiction can affect anyone. You also don’t have to get illicit drugs on the street; you can just go to your physician and get a prescription written. We need to stop degrading others, and especially ourselves. We are all human, it is in our nature to have addictive tendencies. Reach out to someone if they are having a difficult time. Don’t be ashamed to get help, you deserve to be happy as well. Let us stand up to addiction, together, and work on lifting each other up instead of putting each other down.
Live For Now, Life For Your Future
The past is the past. There is nothing you can do to change it, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay on the same path. Think of ways to live a happier, healthier life that will bring you closer to the way you want your life to be. Prepare for a 5K, spend more time with your family or friends, get help at a recovery clinic, keep a journal and reflect on the positive things that happened that day. Life is too short to think “what if”; start living the best life you could live, today.