Our lives are a series of events that, even if we want them to or not, cause us to learn, change and grow. The journey through the recovery of the bad events is the best way to learn about ourselves. Is the glass half full or half empty? Our own philosophy on this rhetorical question can be best answered when we are faced with a negative bump in the road. It is all about how we handle recovery when given lemons, especially for those who are burdened with substance abuse and addiction. Here are some critical factors when trying to recover from substance abuse.
Understand That Addiction Is a Disease
The abuse of drugs stimulates the pleasure centers of our brains. Once addicts find that the drug is the best masking agent for anything destructively affecting their lives, they seek it as a self-medicating agent. The more the drug is taken, the more the brain is rewired to think it needs the drug to function mentally and physically. Both substance abusers and those attempting to help them must understand the basic chemical function of substances in order to best understand how to approach the problem. They must approach both the physical components of drug addiction as well as the psychological factors that drive people to abuse.
What Others Can Do for You
The most important part of recovering from an addiction is a support system. It is imperative that others understand addiction, especially the realization that the brain has been rewired and the person has lost most, if not all, of their self-control. Opening up to others can do wonders for an addict when he or she is talking to someone who comprehends the sensitivity of the condition enough to take off their judgment hat. Message boards are a great way to speak anonymously, but almost nothing can replace the support of individuals close to the person.
Research, Research, Research
Most addicts choose not to quit because of their fear of what they will have to endure mentally and physically. While some internet sources offer credible advice, there are other sites that can contain posts from any old Joe, and addicts do not want to play around with crazy home remedies that could make matters worse. Researching books and credible websites can be therapeutic as it sheds light at the end of the tunnel. Investigating professional treatment is a great option.
Take a Mental Vacation and Stay Busy
When cravings become a constant battle, finding something else to occupy the mind is beneficial. One should go outside and breathe the fresh air and listen to the tranquil sounds of the outdoors. A park will likely be the most peaceful environment without the noises of lawn mowers and garbage trucks. Lay in the grass and people watch, enjoy the animals and shut off the brain. And it can’t be forgotten to exercise to replace those endorphins.
Replace a Bad Perspective with a Good One
Adopt a pet, volunteer and find other things that bring. The feeling of accomplishment is the best emotion one can ever experience. Developing a clear vision of a new life is pivotal to overcoming the giant obstacle of addiction. The addicted person must be able to imagine and pursue a life different and better than their current one. Without this vision and mental map, the journey may seem endless and purposeless. They must find a purpose and reason to chose a different path.
We are all trying to find ways to feel happiness. Having to face something so terrible can make people see their glass as half empty. But, proving to oneself that they do have the willpower to recover from addiction will give them the power to make lemonade and fill that glass half full.
About the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here
. This article was cowritten by the addiction rehab specialists at Ascend Recovery. Visit our website to find out more about our services.