Learning New Habits
Let’s face it, quitting alcohol and drugs is very hard or everyone would be doing it. To kick a habit, a person goes through withdrawals, suffers depression, and has severe mood changes. What you do during these times is critical to your health and recovery. Knowing the habits that caused addiction will help, and learning new healthy habits is the best way to say goodbye to drugs and/or alcohol for good.
Some people keep a diary of how they are feeling with times and dates when the worst urges come and go so they can track their behavior and find other things to do during these difficult times. This is called journaling. Some activities that become new habits include taking walks, riding bikes, or even swimming down at you favorite swimming hole. Whatever you do, you must not fall prey to the urges and fall back into the pitfall that is drugs and alcohol, such as pouring a drink to calm yourself instead take that walk in the fresh air until the urge subsides. Instead, take a long bike ride with your kids and have some fun exploring the neighborhood again.
Journaling is a way to discover what works and what doesn’t, how long it took before your urge left your mind, and what makes you go back to your happy place. Everyone must find out what works for them, as each addict has unique triggers and habits. By not giving up and experimenting with other options, rather than drugs and alcohol, you will be on your way to staying drug- and alcohol-free.
Make a List of Reasons to Quit
Another way of learning new habits is making a list for yourself of reasons you are quitting drugs and alcohol. Make goals for yourself that you can accomplish and place this list somewhere you can see it, such in your wallet or on your nightstand to view when you wake up in the first thing that morning. When you get those urges to use drugs and/or alcohol, read the list and give your mind the positive reasons you are doing this and exchange the bad habits with good ones. Experts advise us that it takes the mind 21 days of repetitive positive change before it becomes a new habit. Don’t worry, those urges will fade with time, and you will be one step closer to your goals.
Remember to celebrate your daily recovery, as there will be good days as well as the bad ones. There are going to be days when life is good, and there will be those days when everything reminds you of your old habits. This is perfectly normal as, of course, we are all only human. You must realize both types of days are quite dangerous, so don’t get overly confident that you have the beast under control. Always know addiction is deep inside of you waiting for a reason to jump out and take back control over you. Understanding that you are a recovering addict for life and living each day away from you drug or alcohol addictions brings you closer to a full and productive recovery.