HOW TO OVERCOME AN ADDICTION
Culture and habit are very closely related terms that depict the way of life of a person. These habits are strongly influenced by parents, religion, peer groups, and society at large.
The unfortunate thing is some people know their habits are unhealthy, they have also tried to change them, but it seems impossible. In such a situation, the habit has metamorphosed into an addiction. As such, this article is written to explain what addiction is and how the addiction could be alleviated.
What is Addiction?
Addiction is simply the inability to give up a substance or a particular attitude, even when it is evidently causing you physical or psychological harm. The term addiction is often used to describe a person’s inability to break away from hard drugs. The in-depth meaning spans across attitudes and behaviours people find difficult to shake off. It is also important to note that addiction should not be confused with excessive use (or misuse).
For instance, one who plays video games excessively or excessively drinks during a night out; would obviously not be described as an addict in this case. He or she becomes an addict when it has become chronic, and the individual cannot resist the urge to do them. However, psychologists have classified addiction into substance and non-substance addictions.
Some signs of an addict are revealed when the person begins to face relationship issues, especially when another person identifies the addiction. Also, while addiction itself has harmful effects, an attempt to temporarily do away with the addiction could also bring about some changes in health at the initial stage.
- Accept the fact that you have a problem
The first step to recovery from an addiction is to accept that there is an anomaly in your lifestyle. Most times, there is a tendency for an addict to be defensive or angry when the addiction is pointed out by other people. Therefore, accepting that you are an addict gives you the physical and moral courage to begin to seek help. Once you have the courage, you could express your sincerity to give up your addiction either to a family member, friend, counsellor or psychologist.
- Ponder over your life as an addict
This is a time for self-examination. You are expected to weigh the quality of life you have been living as an addict. Think about how your life has been going on. Take time to pinpoint the things your addiction has cost you. It could be poor grades in academics, losing family or friends, etc. Just be honest to yourself, and try to write down all you remember. After writing them down, be honest with yourself in answering the question of whether these events would have occurred if you were not an addict.
- Find support Professionally
It would be best if you were careful of the persons you meet to seek support from. For instance, upon the discovery of your addiction, it would be wrong to discuss the addiction with a fellow addict. This is because the fact that you have discovered your addiction does not mean that your colleague may as well discover it. They may talk you into believing that it is a normal way of life.
Therefore, meeting professionals like counsellors, therapists, or psychologists are the best option. These professionals examine you and give advice and recommendations based on the peculiarity of your situation.
- Identify your triggers
A trigger is an event or experience that makes you react in a particular way. This is an important step because even if one intends to stop their addiction, there may be things that still make you go back there.
Just imagine one having a cube of sugar on a table. Obviously, ants will spread across the table. Since the person is not comfortable with the ants, the person kills the ants without removing the sugar cube. The ants would obviously keep coming till you remove what is attracting them.
In the same vein, you cannot claim to stop addiction without first addressing what took you there. Social isolation, stress, and emotional damage are usually some experiences that degenerate people into becoming addicts. Therefore, you must, first of all, manage these triggers.
- Exercise regularly
The importance of exercise in general health cannot be overemphasized. Exercise relieves tension and stress and restores one to a normal and healthy state of mind. So, to live up to your exercise routine, you could join sporting clubs for an outdoor game you are interested in. Also, indoor games like Scrabble and Chess could distract your mind from your addiction; due to the level of reasoning involved.
- Environmental factors
In quitting a particular addiction, you may need to change your environment. You could get rid of things that remind you of your addiction in your daily living. It could be the channels you watch on TV, the applications on your phone, the places you go, or even the friends you keep. Anything that may make you go back to your past should be replaced with positive things that will enable the faster realization of your new personality.
- Keep hope alive
Withdrawal from an activity you have gotten used to could be difficult and demanding. It would be best if you, therefore, resisted the temptation to give up on your rehabilitation. Most often, you may attempt to console yourself with statements “it is a free world”, “it is my life”, and so on.
Giving up your old way of life may bring pain and make you sober, but you can receive consolation by referring to the things your addiction has cost you (which you have written down). It would help if you also were happy with yourself when you noticed that the time you spend without reaching out for your addiction is constantly on the increase.
Habits are difficult to change; addictions are not different, but the good news is no matter how difficult, it is possible.
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