Staying alive will never be a piece of cake. It might seem like one because lots of people grow old and appear happy with the lives they have led, but to get to that point, they had to face lots of mundane battles. Childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age—all these life phases come with their own challenges.
At a young age, children are already faced with the pressures to succeed and dream big. This is further enforced in adolescence when teenagers are pressured to get good grades and enter renowned universities for their future. It can also be around this time when they have their first taste of romance and heartbreak.
Then comes adulthood and the pressures to be responsible. Adults need to get a good job, buy a big house, start their own family, and earn enough salary. All these internal and external pressures to compete with time can be enough to push anyone towards their breaking point.
Stress, trauma, and early exposure to substance abuse are some of the most common factors that lead to addiction. This may be because addicts see alcohol or drug use as a form of escape from their hard lives. When they are under the influence, their problems begin to disappear, and they no longer have to face them.
But despite the stigma revolving around addiction, it’s important to note that it is a chronic disease and it can be managed. Like other chronic diseases such as diabetes or asthma, it won’t go away just because one person decides to do it. Addicts can choose sobriety, but they have to put in the work to make it happen.
Seek Professional Help
In the same manner that diabetics consult doctors to find out the best way to manage their condition, addicts can seek help from medical professionals to treat their disease. There is no end-all-be-all cure for addiction, but there are ways to treat and control the compulsive desire to feel high.
For instance, an addict has decided to start receiving treatment for their addiction, so they enter a drug rehab and recovery program. Such programs usually have four phases—intake, detox, rehabilitation, and ongoing recovery—done over an indefinite period.
Recovery is a lifetime commitment and relapses are always possible. This is because the same factors that pushed you to become addicted to drug use can still be present after you leave the rehab facility. These pressures won’t magically go away just because you decided to choose sobriety.
Make Lifestyle Changes
Addiction can be a result of genetic, environmental, and developmental factors. That’s why recovering addicts will need to make a lot of changes to their lifestyles and perspectives. The last step of the recovery program is aftercare, which involves creating a solid plan on how recovering addicts can move forward with their lives.
Changes aren’t limited to how you think and behave; these changes should also manifest in your habits and routines. For instance, you can adapt a healthier lifestyle by staying active and maintaining a proper diet. You can also take on new hobbies to fill your time and lessen the chances of relapsing.
It can be easy to fall back into your old habits when you’re stuck in the dark and muddled with negative thoughts, which is why it’s important to surround yourself with people who can help you recover. You might also benefit greatly by only taking what you think you can handle so that you’re not overwhelmed with pressure.
Build a Strong Support System
The road to sobriety is long and winding. That’s why you must carefully choose the people you allow into your life because one bad influence can be enough to set you back. Having a strong support system will give you enough freedom to converse with people without tempting you to relapse.
One of the best ways to recover is by joining support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous. Such groups can give you an avenue to relate to the people who are dealing with the same problems that you are struggling with. This means that you won’t have to battle your demons alone because they are people who understand you.
It can also do you well to proactively manage your sobriety. For example, you can commit to a regular post-rehab individual or group therapy so that you can let your negative thoughts out. Your counselor can help you devise more efficient ways to combat the temptations and risks of addiction.
Life is too short to let societal pressures get to your head and consume you completely. It can be difficult to look at the bright side of things when there’s a dark cloud looming over your head. But with professional help and the desire to get better, you can take back the control you lost over your life due to addiction.