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Dealing with addiction: One step at a time Addiction can creep up on you in very sneaky ways. It starts with a particular fondness for a harmful substance, becomes a habit, and then grows into an over-powering need which eclipses other considerations such as health-well being, finances, family and friends. It slowly becomes a vortex which people keep spiraling into, but with a conscious effort, one can rise above and beyond addiction. No matter what the substance is, one can always find ways to come out of it, with steadfast dedication, and with help from family and friends.
The first step, and the most important step to come out of addiction, is to recognize the fact that you have a problem.Very often, when someone is addicted to a substance, the person tends to get very defensive about the addiction.And slowly,the person refuses to admit,even to himself/herself,that there is a problem which needs to be solved.Recognizing that there is a problem, and recognizing the fact that you need help is the first step which will help you deal with addiction.
One day at a time is the way to go, while dealing with addiction. All support groups stress upon the fact that when recovering, you should always focus on being substance-free one day at a time, instead of aiming for a month or a year. These goals, though lofty, will only overwhelm you, because the thought of being without the substance for so many days will make you nervous, and this nervousness will push you right back into addiction. If you go one day at a time, diligently, you will realize that you have passed not just days and months, but also years without it. But being sober and substance free for the day is the most important goal which you have to work towards.
If you have friends and social circles who indulge in the substance which you are addicted to, then it’s a very good idea to remove yourself from their company. If they are good friends or family members, they will understand your struggle, and they will make efforts to keep you away from the substance, but if they are not, then, it’s best that you find other people to hang out with.
Get external help, because often, it is harder to communicate with people who have not faced addiction like you have. Go to a support group, or to a rehab centre if you think the situation is dire. If you need psychological help, then you should approach a counselor with whom you can talk honestly and openly about these problems. It is very important to share certain things, and often, sharing with strangers, helps more than sharing with family and friends. But do not keep them out of it either. Tell them honestly about the problem, and if you need space away from them and then make it clear that you need it.
Take up a hobby which is time consuming. This will make you miss your addiction less, and will make you productive as well. Take up gardening, or take up bird-watching, or any hobby which you might be inclined towards. This will help you grow as a person too, and a busy mind will make you feel happier, and more accomplished at the end of the day which will also increase your self-esteem.
Make sure you promise yourself that you will grow into a better person, day by day, and hour by hour.If not for your friends and family, then just for yourself. Your life deserves more respect than substance abuse. Make sure you give it more meaning, make sure you feel like a better person with each passing day.
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