Overcoming Addiction by Sanitizing Your Life
Getting clean and overcoming addiction necessitates cleaning up your lifestyle. If you have recently left a rehabilitation program, or you’ve simply made the decision to start working on a substance-free lifestyle, the world can seem like an entirely different place. Getting professional assistance, re-building your social circle, or simply clearing out the potential triggers in your own home are some of the ways to make the experience easier. But it takes effort and willingness to change, and humans are creatures of habit. Addicts especially develop bad habits over time. Change does not always have to mean a major shakeup. Making even small adjustments to your life can have a significant impact on your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being in recovery.
Some modifications are more difficult than others and require a greater amount of effort and willpower. Certain friends, activities, or places you used to like hanging out may not be conducive to the new lifestyle you are seeking. You can always reach out for help when it comes to restarting a healthy lifestyle and continually learning how to overcome addiction. Identifying the specific steps you may need to work on makes it easier to tackle the larger goal of staying clean and sober.
If you would like some guidance on restarting or maintaining a clean and healthy lifestyle or information on a rehab center near you, call 614-502-6247. We will be able to provide you with the assistance you need to get you started on your new lifestyle.
GET RID OF TEMPTATIONS
One of the first and most important things to do in overcoming addiction is to get rid of any drugs or alcohol that might still be in your living space. For a drinker, simply dumping any remaining liquor or beer down the drain is the easiest route. In the case of an illegal substance, a quick flush down the toilet will do the job (you do not want to put illegal substances in the household trash). Of course, this isn’t always easy. If possible, it’s a good idea to do this step with someone else present. This ensures you won’t be tempted to pour the contents elsewhere, and it shows your willingness to be held accountable. Assuming the person you are with cares about your well-being, they will be happy for you and supportive of your new choices.
At the same time, there may the temptation to “hide” substances instead. But this can be problematic. Out of sight is not out of mind for an addict. Even if you are not currently experiencing cravings or urges, consider that it will eventually happen, and the first thing your brain will do is draw a mental map to the so-called hiding place. Ensuring that you have no access to your drug of choice, especially in your own home, is crucial to recovery. This doesn’t have to be a somber activity. You can even make a celebratory event of it! After all, you are making the choice to take a small but valuable step towards being a better version of yourself.
DITCH THE PRESCRIPTIONS
The same approach for alcohol and other substances applies to prescription medication. Leaving easily-abused pills in the medicine cabinet is an invitation for relapse. Again, if you just pack away your prescriptions in the bathroom closet, you will still know where to find them. Removing the meds entirely will also help avoid the day you tell yourself that just one or two wouldn’t hurt. Medication can be expensive, and your pharmacy may have take-back options for certain prescriptions, so you can contact them to find out. If not, the FDA offers a detailed guide for disposing of different types of medications.
Most can be safely flushed down the toilet, but if you’re using the household trash, remember to:
- remove the meds from their container
- put them in a sealable bag mixed with undesirable trash like coffee grounds or cat litter
- dispose of the prescription container, but only after removing or blacking out your personal info
Also, avoid saving medication “just in case” you may need it later on. Not only will it leave a tempting door ajar, but expired medication can be ineffective and potentially dangerous to consume. If a significant other or someone else in your household requires medication that may cause you to relapse, ask them to store it in a safe place that you don’t know about, or even keep it under lock and key. Asking them to take note of their pill counts and make random checks can also aid in maintaining your accountability while overcoming addiction.
Call today in order to get in contact with one of our experts. They will be able to provide you with the information you need to help with overcoming an addiction. Do not let prescriptions control your life. Call today and we can help you kick this habit.
SOCIALIZING IN RECOVERY
One of the most difficult aspects of recovery is coming to the realization that some of your relationships may not be beneficial to a clean lifestyle. Developing a social circle that includes others who are in recovery can be an invaluable tool to aid in overcoming addiction. This does not mean you need to ditch all your old friends (unless they are toxic to your sobriety). But being around people who know exactly what you are going through automatically improves your odds of staying sober.
New relationships can be fun and rewarding, and at the same time challenging. Some people are naturally outgoing and adept at meeting new people, while others may be more introverted, and have difficulty trusting strangers. Recovery meetings are an excellent place to make new acquaintances. Newcomers are typically greeted warmly, and the group setting can make it less stressful in getting to know people. In addition to meetings, there are sober fitness clubs and gyms. MeetUp is a popular app and useful for finding people who share your interests. If you are an “outdoorsy” person, try typing “sober hikes” into the search, or “sober concerts” if live music is your thing. There are even sober motorcycle clubs for bikers who love hitting the open road with a clear head.
The fact is, there are a lot more people than you might think who enjoy living a drug- and alcohol-free lifestyle. You just have to connect with them.
Fortunately for substance users, there are a wide variety of recovery programs where you can find the support that will be essential in your journey. Engaging with others who have shared in your struggles is a great way to reinforce your newfound sobriety.
If you prefer a more academic approach, SMART Recovery offers a similar group setting, focusing on the basics of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). There is a workbook, and meetings focus on the hows and the whys of addiction and problematic thinking. Depending on where you live, some programs may be more accessible than others. Twelve-step programs are the most common. Remember that the vibe and the makeup of these groups can differ, and it may take a few tries before you find an environment where you are comfortable. Don’t be afraid to try different meetings and different approaches. They all offer opportunities to make friends in recovery and help build a solid support base. Call us today, and we can help find the right treatment for your needs. We understand that every situation is unique, and we want to help get you the treatment that is unique to your needs.
Addiction can be a selfish affliction. The main focus of a brain in active addiction is on getting the substance it wants and needs. All other concerns are secondary. Addicts frequently deal with feelings of worthlessness or purposelessness in life. They may also have the sense that they don’t contribute to society—they’ve taken a lot, but not given much back. You now have the chance to give something back and help yourself in the process. There are a variety of ways to assist others, and not only can it be a rewarding experience, but it can aid in maintaining a healthy, sober lifestyle.
You could volunteer at:
- A food bank
- A homeless shelter
- An animal shelter
- Habitat for Humanity
- Your church
- The local library
- A VFW post
And being helpful to others does not need to be work-related. Consider dropping by and checking in on an elderly neighbor or calling a friend that may be going through a difficult patch. Write a letter to a relative you haven’t seen in a while. There are many ways to give back. Not only will this be a constructive way to spend your free time, but it will also allow you to demonstrate to yourself that you still care, that you have value in the world, and that sobriety is helping you demonstrate it.
FINDING A FUN HOBBY
Recovery can be an excellent opportunity to re-engage with the activities you used to love most. Boredom is often cited as a trigger for relapses, or a reason you may have used in the first place. So keeping busy can be a means of staying clean. You can also find new ways to express yourself and healthily occupy your mind.
Here is your chance to pick up that guitar that’s been collecting dust in the corner; to break out your old paint set; to start building a birdhouse for the backyard. You could learn a new language online, take up mountain biking, or get back to the gym and get back in shape. Addicts often find that when they stop drinking or using, there is nothing else that feels worthwhile. Yet there are countless ways to use your time productively. You might even find you have a hidden talent or a passion for something you never knew was there!
After a battle with overcoming addiction, Tidying up your life is like building a house from the ground up. It seems almost impossible if you look at it as one giant task to be accomplished. It would be best if you started with the blueprints, gather the right tools for the job, and work on it piece by piece. And of course, you must have the desire and the drive to get the job done. Recovery is a journey that requires change, but the improvements to your life will ultimately be worthwhile. If you are ready to start your recovery journey, this is the first step. Call us today, and we can help you take the first needed step. Taking the first step is the start of your recovery. Start your new healthy and happy life today.