Monday, January 21, 2019

Culling an Addiction Before It Takes Over Your Life.

February 9, 2018 by  
Filed under Health, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.comAddictive personalities are easy to adopt, especially when there are other factors involved such as depression or if you develop a dependency for something. Whether it’s an addiction to drugs, certain foods or even video games, they’re usually always disruptive to our lives and can do serious damage to our health. Beating addictions can be incredibly difficult without the right moral support and guidance, and this guide will hopefully give you some useful advice and become a solid starting point on your road to recovery.

Mustering up the courage to take action

Every journey must start somewhere. It’s important to decide to take action so that you can finally beat your addictions, but where do you find the courage and motivation to do so? This is one of the most important steps to take because it solidifies the reasoning behind your motivation. At this stage, it’s best to get a pen and a piece of paper to write down a few things to help you acknowledge your own problems. In fact, we’d recommend purchasing a notebook that you’ll treat as a diary to record all of your thoughts and feelings during your recovery so that you can look back on it in the future for inspiration, motivation or just to remind yourself how far you’ve come. Here are a couple of things to write down in your notebook to help kickstart your recovery:

  • Speak freely about what your addiction is doing to you. Write about the relationships it has trouble, the way it’s affecting your physical health or even how it’s eating into your savings.
  • Write down your mental troubles. Is it causing you to be embarrassed when you’re out with your friends, or is it causing you to be stressed and anxious?
  • Create a list of all of your fears. Are you worried that your habits are going to increase your risk of cancer? Do you feel like your relationships are hanging by a thread because of your addictions?
  • What problems do you encounter on a daily basis due to your addiction? Do you feel like it’s harder to be around your children because you smoke? Do you find that you’re creating a lot of clutter in your home due to a hoarding problem?
  • Now let’s list some positive things. What outcome do you want from beating your addiction? What are the benefits of you fixing your ways? This is perhaps one of the most important parts to consider writing because it’s what you should be looking forward to the most!

If you’re finding it hard to write up things about yourself then don’t worry–this is normal. Feeling the shame and writing about yourself can take its toll on you which is why it’s incredibly important to focus on mustering up the courage to take action. Once you’ve passed this hurdle, we can finally move on to beating your addiction.

Identifying the pitfalls of beating an addiction

Once you’ve got the motivation sorted, it’s time to think about practical ways of beating your addiction. There are many incorrect ways to go about it, and here are some of the common mistakes that you need to avoid.

  • Completely removing the “source” of the addiction. It’s virtually impossible to overcome an addiction by going cold turkey. Instead of completely cutting out the addiction, look for healthier alternatives first. For instance, you can use vaping to assist beating your smoking habit. A vape shop will be a great place to start looking if you want a healthier alternative to smoking. Yes, you’re replacing one habit with another, but healthier addictions are easier to overcome than damaging ones.
  • Trying to beat an addiction alone and ignoring support. It can be incredibly difficult to overcome an addiction on your own. There are many support groups out there that can connect you with people in similar situations and this can greatly improve your chances of beating an addiction. Remember that you also have support in the form of friends and family members.
  • Becoming complacent and adding cheat days. We’ve heard of cheat days being used in fitness and weight loss, but you can’t use them when trying to beat an addiction because it starts to become a reward more than anything. For example, if you tell yourself that Saturday is a cheat day where you can smoke again or indulge in your bad habits, then you’ll treat it as a reward for getting to the end of the week and it will make things worse for you in the long-run. If you’re going to cut your addiction, don’t give yourself cheat days!
  • Getting discouraged because you failed once or twice in the past. It takes people multiple attempts to fully quit smoking. People are likely to relapse, but this is actually normal. Recovering from an addiction is a long process, so don’t assume it’s something that can be done in just a week or month or else you’ll feel discouraged that you haven’t made much progress.

With this in mind, you can now create a plan of action that you can follow an add it to your notebook diary.

Creating an effective plan of action

Now we can focus on building a solid plan of action to help you overcome your addictive personality. Here are the following steps that we would recommend for overcoming your addiction:

  • Seek professional assistance and support groups. The first thing to focus on is looking for support groups and professional assistance. You’d be surprised at how many groups there are that are made for the sole purpose of helping people overcome even the most uncommon addictions. You’ll also want to find a professional to help you. This is easier when you have a common addiction such as smoking or drinking because your healthcare service can usually assist you.
  • Finding what triggers your addiction. What causes your addiction to surface? Do you feel like there is an emotional trigger? Perhaps there’s an environmental factor that causes it, or maybe you’re giving in to peer pressure. Finding your trigger will take some trial and error, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t locate it at first.
  • Looking for healthier replacements. As mentioned briefly before, replacing your habits with healthier or less-damaging alternatives can be a great way to start out.
  • Slowly cut down on your addictive habit. This is the hard bit. Armed with a healthier alternative and motivation from your peers, you should aim to slowly cut down on your addictive habit.
  • Find distractions to fill the time. Don’t underestimate the power of a distraction. If you find that boredom causes you to think about smoking, try and distract yourself with a good book or some television instead.
  • Celebrate your recovery with friends and family. Each small victory, even if it’s just a day where you successfully overcome your addiction, should be celebrated. Whether you do it alone and give yourself a pat on the back or show up to your support group meeting with good news, remember to embrace your victories as well as your failures.

Hopefully, this article has given you a good starting point to help you overcome your addictions. It’s not an easy task and it’s certainly not straightforward considering all the different types of addictions out there in the world and the differences in addictive personalities. However, by writing down everything and keeping a record of how you feel and your progress, it becomes a much easier task especially when you start letting people into your life to help you.

Staff Writer; Derek Reid


One Response to “Culling an Addiction Before It Takes Over Your Life.”
  1. Your Assertion: “It’s virtually impossible to overcome an addiction by going cold

    Reality & Truth: Each and every year more nicotine addicts arrest their chemical dependence by going cold turkey than by all other methods combined. A 2006 Australian study published in Addictive Behaviors Vol. 31 Pages 758-766 analyzed the smoking patients of 1,000 family practice physicians. It found that a whopping 88% of all successful long-term quitters quit smoking cold turkey. Aside from almost all quitting nicotine cold, it found that cold turkey quitters experienced success rates twice as high as achieved by those using the nicotine patch, nicotine gum, nicotine inhaler, all nicotine weaning schemes.

    A July 2013 U.S. Gallup Poll asked successful ex-smokers how they’d quit. Eighty-nine percent quit without resort to the nicotine patch, gum, prescription medications or e-cigs. Most shocking, after 30 years on the market and billions spent on advertising, nicotine gum, the ultimate weaning scheme, was credited by just 1% of successful ex-smokers.

    Contrary to this article’s assertion, at least for smoking and nicotine cessation, cold turkey is free, fast, safe, effective and highly productive.

    John R. Polito
    Nicotine Cessation Educator

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