Being sober is bliss. What wouldn’t an addict give for staying that way all the time! Addiction is not known for losing its grasp over its subjects. Many keep trying and failing. That doesn’t mean you can’t fight and win your freedom forever. You can, only if you take the right approach instead of sticking to the tried and tested (and failed) methods.
On the path to sobriety, you have to be your own guide, mentor, and caretaker. It’s not easy, but it’s also not as difficult as it seems. Ready for a change? Let’s begin.
Lose the clutches
People often do certain things to us for which we are unable to forgive them. Then, at times, we hurt people in ways for which we can’t forgive ourselves. The grievances and the guilt – these clutches cause pain and keep us trapped in our past. A missed opportunity, a betrayal, and a few terrible losses – all contribute to our inner turmoil. Alcohol, tobacco, and drugs do offer relief, but at great costs and for a very small duration. The easiest thing to do would be forgiving everyone, including you. Learn to let go.
Meditate and visualize the painful incidents of the past. And as you pass through them once again, smile and say, ‘Things happen with others all the time, and some stuff happened with me too. No big deal.’ Repeat this for each instance that caused you pain.
To lose the clutches, you have to SINCERELY forgive. Hold no grudges. If you still feel anger and remorse, then keep practicing this activity more and more. In time, you will lighten up and get over the troubles of the past.
Accept and welcome all sorts of emotions
All emotions are a part of life. You can’t like a selective few and try to avoid the rest. You can try, but you won’t succeed. If you don’t allow a certain emotion to flow through your mind freely, it becomes toxic. An unhealthy mind doesn’t allow the body to stay healthy. So to survive, we take the help of artificial stress relievers, which are substances that create more damage. Anger, anxiety, sorrow, and depression – they have to be vented out. You can’t just drink, smoke, or sniff them out. You have to indulge in activities like physical workout, creative hobbies, and pursuing your passions in life. No other friend or loved one can do this for you. They can help but only if you are determined to work on things.
The strategy called ‘Distraction’
Think for a moment, what does substance abuse actually do? It keeps you distracted for a while. So you have to look for other sources of distraction. Going for long walks or long drives can be one of the distractions for fighting the urge of addiction. Staying occupied most of the time can also do the trick. Learning a new language, understanding photography, or trying some geeky stuff would be a great idea. You can also spend time with friends, but remember, relying on people is not a good option. People have their own lives, so they might not be available all the time for you. It’s not their fault. The best option is to find and select distractions which you can manage on your own.
Accept the problems that come in your way. There’s no one who has never met a difficult challenge. Life is unfair, and that is applicable to all (which actually makes life quite fair). Even the world’s richest and most famous have a fair share of problems. We assume they are happy all the time, just because they don’t face the same problems that we face.
Everyone faces problems in life, including our friends, colleagues, and family. So if everyone else is standing up to their situation without going in for any harmful addiction, why do you expect a different treatment?
Keep working on these approaches repeatedly and consistently. And soon, you’ll be a fine example of recovering and being sober.