By Victoria Awuni
There are times addiction takes you to a point where you are so broken to the extent of visiting a rehab or meeting with a counselor. The addiction has reached a point where people are extremely affected both emotionally and physically. Functioning as normal human beings also become a problem due to the extent of their addiction. There are times even when addicts do not know they have a problem that is affecting them or the people around them.
For an addict, given up cravings doesn’t seem like an option. They can’t cope with the idea. They don’t believe they are addicts and most think that they can easily quit when they choose to. Until they reach a peak of the effects of their addiction, such as losing a job, a spouse, or a child, they will never accept their condition.
After a while people who suffer from addiction may think they have overcome when their cravings reduce hence, wanting to quit counseling. They turn to accept their addiction only when they feel powerless over their situation. This is called the stage of ‘denial’. Denial is an important part of addiction. It goes much deeper- when you actually believe that you don’t have a problem but actually, there is.
To move past the stage of denial, one must admit to himself that there is a problem. When one decides to quit, they begin to feel bad about their actions. Shame brings up anxiety and reticence. Sometimes this drives them into more addictive behavior if care is not taken.
For an addict, the early days of recovery are likely to be filled with a mixture of emotions. They are likely to feel better and life turns to be normal with them. They are able to live a simpler life without thinking about their addiction. There is a likelihood of experiencing mood swings of which you may not know the source.
The next thing is the temptation to go back and there is a danger of relapse. It is possible to control it by seeking out new ways to cope with the uneasiness. The best way is seeking help from others such as a counselor or a group to help cope with potential relapse. This is one of the main things needed when you are in the early stages of recovery. In your journey of quitting its practical to be aware of your triggers and work on them as well. Find out the situations that push you to crave for your behavior and try to control them.
Learning to cope is important to avoid relapse on your addiction. The more you can avoid triggers the more you will have control over your quitting process. Keeping focused on your recovery rather than thinking about the past and addictive actions is an important coping mechanism. It is a form of ‘mindfulness’ that will allow your surroundings and yourself to focus on what you are currently doing rather than what you are not doing. Planning your life activities and following it strictly will help in the recovery process as well. It takes your mind off your cravings and put you in the focus of your life.
After putting everything together to successfully recover from your addiction, there is going to be a sense of comfort and contentment in a manner that is sober and clean. Looking ahead in your dreams and aspirations for the future can incredibly be helpful.
So, there is no harm in starting the journey to quitting an addiction. It is worth it.