In one of my previous posts, I listed out steps we can follow to break free from our addictions. If you’ve been following up keenly, we looked into what addiction is, and I said addiction is a psychological and physical disease, with a strong, persistent, compulsive and harmful need to regularly have or do something or use a substance known by the user to be physically, psychologically and socially harmful.
Addiction is basically anything you do, always want to do, and can’t stop doing it even if it has a known negative effect on you.
How then can we become free from such seemingly irresistible, unbreakable, mind controlling strong hold that had taken our emotions and senses into a deep captivity, with a mission to destroy and truncate our lives, destinies and potentials? This remains the big question, some feel this question have no answer due to a wrong belief in the mythology that “addiction is for life” which is false.
Well, in my series Breaking the Monster: Addictions, we’re going to be dealing with the step by step approach to overcoming this menace and breaking free from the jail of addiction.
Acknowledge Your Addiction
Acknowledging your addiction does not in any way mean you should applaud yourself for being addicted or for being an addict as the case may be, or perhaps, throw a bash with invited friends and family to celebrate a great day of addiction, far from it.
Acknowledging your addiction rather mean you must consciously agree that you’re an addict having at the back of your mind that it is not a fate for life but a process and stage in your life where you’re facing challenges, and as such you need help. Don’t accept to be an addict, don’t become an owner of addiction so you don’t develop a sense of belonging and inheritance which may affect you greatly. Rather, realize and agree within yourself that something is wrong, that there is a problem so you can have a strong urge and zeal to look for solution. Unless you have such mindset, every approach to finding solution will appear irrelevant to you.
A problem known they say, is a problem half-way solved. Even an examiner advice that we attempt questions from the known to the unknown, because a known problem is in itself a provided solution. Knowing that I am an a smoker and my problem is smoking is enough information for me to have a motivation to try to stop, there are people who are into one substance use or the other or who are addicted to one behavior or the other, unknown to them that they are addicts already because addiction does not ring an alarm, it is a secret disease, before most people realize they might have gone far deep into it. The line of difference between an addicted zone and a safety zone in a substance use or behavior is very thin, most people have crossed it unknown to them, and unfortunately, there is no standard level of use of a chemical or indulgence in an act or behavior laid down by either man or an organization before one gets addicted.
Mr. A can get addicted to sugar after taking a total of 500 grams whereas Mr. B may not even take up to a 100 grams and oops! He’s addicted, because despite the fact that we’re all humans alike, our physiology and tolerance differs, hence addiction is both personal and collective, it operates with you based on who you are and it is a monster with such high level of patience to follow up its victims collectively and individually.
There is a common saying that ‘’when there are rumors of an impending war or prior information about a war coming, then the number of losses and casualties are reduced because people will be on the watch and at alert”. One addiction births another and like that it continues, hence knowing your addiction beforehand will help prevent the onset and birth of another because you’ll be on the watch. Ignorance they say, births fear of the unknown.
You must acknowledge that you’re struggling with a behavior or substance, and that you need help out of it as fast as you can get by asking some practical and evaluative questions like;
- What is my addiction?
- What exactly I’m I addicted to?
- How does this affect my life?
- Can I still control or is it getting out of hand?
- What is my role in this?
- I’m I a problem or solution to this? How? Why?
Knowing for sure what you’re specifically addicted to is very paramount, you do not start off a journey with no inking or knowledge of your destination, which would be the wildest adventure and guess of life. You must know your type of addiction, the behavior or substance you’re addicted to, and the patterns to it.
Also, be sure to identify the effects of these addictions in your life, how it has affected you, this will enable you to draw out a risk-benefit ratio and evaluation, discovering the negative effects of your addiction in your life in all ramifications will spur a positive motivation to quit. Have enough convincing reasons to start a journey to quit, the strength of your reasons will determine the extent of your push to destination.
Be able to draw a line of difference and separation between you being in charge or in control and your substance or behavior being in control. Make sure to be able to tell apart whether you’re still in control or your addiction is. If you develop a mindset of control when you’re actually not, this will give you reasons to remain addicted because you’ve not yet known you are, therefore, make sure you’re fully in charge and convinced as well and not an assumption that you are no longer in charge.
Try also to evaluate and access ways you contribute or feed your addictions, you probably are feeding your addiction to grow stronger, knowingly or unknowingly, this will give you a clue to triggers and potential causes, and how to avoid such. Your role in your habit is very vital because you alone can make the decisions to quit or to continue. Addicts are never made sober by a push or pull, as a matter of fact, if an addict is forced into recovery, frequent relapses are bound to occur because the motivation to change was not a decision by the person involved but rather a push from an external source. Remember, it is very possible to force a horse to the stream, but also very impossible to force the horse to drink, let all your motivations to change therefore be personal and deliberate not persuasive.
These evaluations on the long run, builds enough reasons and positive motivations to choose to quit. Make sure your journey to recovery is not birthed by an external force because when such force relapses, you will also relapse as well, and at such a point, getting courage to start all over again may be very hard. Your motivations and reasons to quit affect your motivations to recover from relapse, so be very careful.
Checkout the step two in my next post.
You can send in your questions to me @admin
Let me know how this blessed you on the comment box.