If you are battling any type of problem with drugs or alcohol, you are probably going to find it is much more complicated than “just stopping”. Those that are the real deal alcoholic and drug addict are dealing with something much deeper than at a physical level. Substance abuse problems sit deep in the thinking mind, no matter how much you know you need to stop, there is always that little voice in your head saying, “just one more”. How do we stop it? Can it be stopped? Yes! Thank God it can. I have been sober for 4 years but it isn’t because I wanted it enough, it’s because I took the necessary actions. Anytime I tried before that without doing these things I stumbled and got back into the vicious cycle that is drug addiction. Here are some things that I think everyone trying to get/stay sober should do.
Lying and dishonesty became second nature to me in my addiction. Not only was I lying to everyone around me, but most importantly I would lie to myself. I would tell myself so many things to justify or rationalize any terrible action I was about to take. When we start cleaning up, hopefully in a treatment center of some sort, we are at a huge crossroads. Part of you is going to want to continue to manipulate and lie to others to get your own way or give off a perception that you want. This absolutely needs to be dropped. Getting honest with myself in treatment meant telling the professionals there about my true fears, my hesitation to get sober and my doubt/hopelessness in myself. There had been times before in treatment where I made it look like everything was okay and I was okay, but I most certainly was not. It was so important to get real, raw and honest with the people who were there to help me. I can’t describe the peace of mind that comes when you are not hiding anything or lying to anyone about anything. I truly believe before anything else, honesty needs to be practiced. Complete honesty.
I grew up with the belief system of, “I am a man and I can take care of my problems by myself.” It’s a belief many people have and in some instances it is true. When it comes to recovery and getting sober, it’s an absolute killer. It was crazy for me to think that I could get myself out of the mess I had made, if I could do it myself why didn’t I do it years before when my life had started to take a dark turn back then? Thankfully there are tons of sober people in recovery who’s main priority is to help people new to recovery. It is up to those in early recovery to find these people and ask for help, they will always be happy to help. For me personally, the facility I went to had an alumni program which was a godsend. It connected me instantly with people who had more time than me and were around primarily to help new people such as myself! People who have time in recovery have been where you are at in early recovery and found a way out, ask them what they did to find a way out and do as your told. I promise the results will be incredible.
Be Kind To Yourself
My worst enemy is myself, the things I tell myself at times are the harshest comments anyone has made about me. Early in recovery, I thought I had to be perfect and make no more mistakes. Once we learn and are open to a spiritual solution to our problem, many of us think that means we have to do everything right and if we don’t then we are failures. The more time people have in recovery the more they will tell you how many flaws they have. You will make mistakes, you will make dumb decisions and you will fall short. When you do, talk to somebody about it and learn from it and move on, it really can be that simple. Ultimately for me, if I know I am trying my best and giving it all I got, it doesn’t matter if I succeed or fail because I will fail but I won’t let that stop me, don’t let it stop you either.