There’s a cliché that the first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem, and it became a cliché for a reason. It’s true, or at least partly.
Many addicts do struggle with admitting they have a problem, and many still struggle with figuring out what to do once they admit it. Addiction can ruin relationships, cause you to lose your job, and even get you in trouble with the law. All of these things can lead one to what’s popularly called “rock-bottom.” But in reality, rock-bottom is a myth.
You can want to recover from addiction long before it makes you lose control of your life. Conversely, some people who do have their lives overtaken by addiction fail to take the steps necessary to recover. People also have different standards on what “rock-bottom” could even mean.
If you’re wondering whether you have a serious addiction, then chances are you’ve already acknowledged it’s causing some problems in your life. Wanting to fix those problems today is the best first step you can take. Here are some ways to make it happen.
There are plenty of reasons why a person struggling with addiction may not be thrilled at the idea of treatment, with the stigma surrounding programs likely being at the top. They may be ashamed of themselves or believe that addiction is a moral problem, or they may fear that others will lump them into a “certain group” of people. Criminalization and the language surrounding drugs and addiction feed into this harmful stigmatization, but no one should feel ashamed about seeking help. The cost of treatment programs may keep some away as well, but there are several options for treatment, with varying costs.
There are residential treatment programs that are both short-term and long-term that help individuals overcome withdrawals and other obstacles based on their needs and help prepare them to return to the outside world. There are also outpatient treatment programs as well as individualized and group drug counseling sessions to help individuals through recovery. Overcoming addiction by yourself, while not impossible, is incredibly difficult and often leads to relapse, so having specialists to help is recommended.
Of course, finishing a treatment program doesn’t mean that you’ll never be troubled by your addiction again. Stressful events may make it hard to cope, and cravings may return. This is why services like aftercare in Toronto are important to the healing process. These services are meant to support alumni and help them stay sober after finishing their treatment programs. They offer in-person appointments or teleconference meetings, so you can connect with your support network when needed.
Some addicts find it difficult to alter their behavior because those around them use drugs, and they don’t want to be different. As difficult as it may be, after becoming sober, it’s generally not a good idea to hang out with people who may encourage you to use. Try to find sober people to connect with during your support sessions, so you can have sober friends when you need them. At the least, getting a sponsor to help you stay strong is a good idea once you’re ready to go out again.
One of the best things you can do following treatment is to set new goals for yourself. They don’t have to be extravagant goals like landing your dream job or anything. It can be as simple as trying one new activity every week to keep your mind off alcohol or drugs and see if you can find a new hobby. If you live near an ocean, consider bodyboarding lessons. Go for a hike. Try creative writing. Even trying new kinds of food at restaurants can be a great first step. If you were using drugs to fill a hole in your life, finding something to replace them is one of the best things you can do. Your future is in your control, and you’ll need to keep it that way.