Combating Addiction with Daily Choices
by Tyler S. Hansen
There is no easy way to recovery. As much as we may wish for it to be true, there is no single, monumental decision that will suddenly remove the shackles of addiction. Rather, the path to sobriety is found through the choices that we make every day.
Many of these daily decisions will not be easy. Fighting an addiction takes commitment and a strong willpower to resist temptation. However, addiction can be fought, and it is possible for you to make a new start for yourself.
Choose to Be Sober
While this choice may seem obvious to some, fighting an addiction requires a decision to become and remain sober. If you don’t make this decision, there is no way that you can recover from your addiction.
Some days will be harder than others. But each day you will need to renew your conviction to remain sober. This means that you will have to say no every time you are tempted to fall back into your addictive habits and to situations that may leave you vulnerable. If you need extra help, take comfort from 10 inspirational overcoming addiction quotes.
Find New Friends
As much as you may wish to, you cannot keep spending time with people you used to engage in addictive behavior with. The risk that you will fall back into that pattern of behavior is too great, even if your friends claim they will support you in your decision to remain sober.
Though you refuse to engage in addictive behavior with these friends, the fact remains that spending time with them may cause you to experience cravings, making it harder to resist your addiction now and in the future.
Try to surround yourself with sober friends who will be a good influence on you and will help you on your path to recovery.
Create a Good Diet and Exercise Regimen
If you are like most drug users and alcoholics, chances are you weren’t leading the healthiest of lifestyles. Creating a good diet and exercise regimen for yourself can raise your sense of wellbeing, and your confidence levels, not to mention improve your overall health.
By eating a healthy diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats, you’ll notice a stark difference in your energy levels and immune system. You should also drink water instead of sugary drinks and coffee.
If you need help adjusting to your new lifestyle, surround yourself with those who also value healthy lifestyles and will help support you and give you the encouragement that you need.
Be Patient with Yourself
Perhaps most importantly, you need to make the choice to be patient with yourself. You are your own worst critic, so you may find yourself tempted to be overly harsh on yourself.
Everyone makes mistakes, not just addicts who are trying to recover. You may fall flat on your face on your road to sobriety, but the important thing is to keep going and renew your convictions. It may take more than one attempt, but it is very possible for you to achieve the fresh start that you desire.
Just remember to take each day one choice at a time.
Tyler S. Hansen is a recovering addict who currently has been 7+ years clean and sober. He spent time in the Utah State Prison for drug and theft charges and now works as an Advanced Substance Use disorder counselor for Steps Recovery Centers and the Utah County Sheriff’s Office. He is also attending the MSW program at Brigham Young University and is an advocate and speaker for recovery.