Live Healthy MD Blog

Giving You the Tools to Change Your Life.

Written by Connie Stapleton, Ph.D
on December 13, 2018

“Hi, I’m Connie and I truly am a grateful, recovering addict.” When I first attended 12-Step meetings and heard people saying they were “grateful recovering” addicts, I thought to myself, “Why in the world are they grateful for being an addict?” Twenty-nine years into my own recovery, I can tell you why people who are in a full program of recovery from addiction are grateful.

addictionWhen a person is active in an addiction, it is like being in a prison, shackled by an unwanted behavior or substance. Addiction happens when a person wants to stop something that is causing problems in their life, but they can’t do it – at least not for very long.

Food, alcohol, pills, internet pornography, shopping, gambling, online gaming—just about anything can become addictive. Some of it is likely biological, some of it environmental, but all addiction gets to a point where it is miserable.

You know you can’t go on with your addiction causing so many problems in your life—interfering with your health, relationships, finances, and more. But you don’t know how to live without the food or the gambling or the shopping or the alcohol…

How to Break from Addiction

What DO you do when you have come to realize you have an addiction but don’t know where to turn? I’ll tell you, but if you want the help, YOU have to do the work! No matter what you are addicted to, in order to break free from the chains of addiction, you need to take the following steps:

1. Get help.

You can’t recover from addiction by yourself. Even if you stop engaging in whatever your addictive substance or behavior is, you need the help of a professional and others who understand your struggle. You can get help from professionals or support groups for others suffering from addiction. Or you can get both professional and peer help.

support hands2. Everyone trying to overcome addiction needs support.

You need encouragement from people who love you. Giving up an addictive substance or behavior can be extremely difficult. Let people who love you know what you are doing. Let them know specifically how they can help you. And reach out to them for help when you are struggling.

3. You need to be patient with yourself.

The road to remaining abstinent is often a difficult one. Don’t expect yourself to find the journey one of smooth sailing. Be patient as you go through the frustrations, fears, irritations and pain of giving up an addictive behavior.

4. Remind yourself that you are in this just for the day, or the hour or the minute.

You make the choice to abstain from your unhealthy behavior or substance just for the moment, not for tomorrow or for the rest of your life. Stay in the day. Stay present in the moment.

5. Find gratitude for the many positive things in your life.

Celebrate the moments when you successfully maintain your resolve to live in recovery. Be grateful for the help and support that is available to you. And USE it.

Every time you talk back to your addiction and choose to move forward in recovery, you develop gratitude for your hard work, for the people in your life who help you, and for the self-esteem you gain. Most importantly, as you leave your addictive lifestyle behind you, you begin to live healthy and live fully. There’s so much to be grateful for as a recovering addict. Find out for yourself!

Join our 10-week webinar series that focuses on freeing yourself from addictive behaviors. 

Click me

Let Us Know What You Thought about this Post.

Put your Comment Below.

You may also like:

Behavioral Health

How a Positive Mindset Can Affect Your Weight

Self talk is a powerful tool you can incorporate into your plan for losing weight and for keeping it off. Positive self ...

Behavioral Health

Self Esteem for the Soul

You’ve been working on improving your self-esteem by engaging in positive self-talk and by treating your body to healthy...

Behavioral Health

Self Esteem for the Body

You know the importance of talking to yourself with compassion and kindness when it comes to improving your self-esteem....