Addiction is as complex as the humans it embodies. Because of this, beating addiction can be quite challenging.
And, there is no one size fits all solution. Each person that is in recovery overcoming addiction will need to develop their own individual plan to beat addiction. We call this plan the Recovery Blueprint. This plan is what the addict turns to when the challenges begin to mount. It’s what makes beating addiction possible for the long-term.
So, can you really expect to beat addiction alone?
Addiction thrives in isolation. Going it alone might not be the best approach. Still, there are lots of ways to find support for overcoming addiction. It is a little known truth that most people beat addiction without AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) or any other formal treatment.
Wait a minute that’s not what you’ve been told before about beating addiction correct?
Consider this. A study conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism interviewed 42,000 Americans about their lifetime drug and alcohol use. Over 3,000 respondents had been dependent on alcohol but never had any formal treatment. Seventy-five percent of these respondents beat alcohol addiction without treatment!
Now, we don’t want to mislead you. Beating alcohol addiction is tricky. And, while thousands of people have beat addiction on their own, it hasn’t happened without making significant changes in their lives. For most humans, making any kind of change can be a challenge.
So, we’ve provided some tips that will make addiction recovery much easier. Beating addiction happens through a process of self-discovery. Every addict has the power to recover.
Tip 1 – Beat Addiction by Reframing Powerlessness
You may have heard the term powerlessness and wondered how it relates to overcoming addiction. Addicts are pretty resilient and powerful. They have proven to themselves over and over that they can find a way to get high even when it appears that there is no way. So, it’s challenging to accept the concept of powerlessness. Addicts must reframe this idea. They are powerless over the addiction and by accepting that, from a place of powerlessness, comes incredible personal power.
Tip 2 – Beating Addiction with a Beginner’s Mind
There is discomfort that is experienced as the beginner. The addict has become accustomed to treating discomfort with their addiction. This is just one of many changes that will be necessary to beat addiction. It is critical to recovery that the addict approaches recovery with child-like curiosity and fearlessness. When discomfort sets in, rather than reaching for the quick fix, the addict must be prepared to try a new approach with the mind of a beginner.
Tip 3 – Define Sobriety to Beat Addiction
It is important for an addict to create their own definition of sobriety. Just about any behavior can become an addiction. A quick search on the internet will provide plenty of examples. Some addictions may require the need to moderate rather than abstain.
For example, beating alcohol addiction might require completely eliminating alcohol consumption. The alcoholic has no compelling reason to drink other than the addictive craving. The definition of sobriety in this case would be total abstinence.
But, beating internet addiction will probably require a bit more creativity. We use the internet in too many aspects of our lives to completely restrict access to it. So, overcoming internet addiction can be even more challenging than beating alcohol addiction. Sobriety related to internet addiction might limit internet access to certain web sites and times of day.
Here’s where beating addiction alone can present problems. The addict will need help staying accountable to the sobriety definition.
Tip 4 – Eliminate Cross Addictions to Beat Addiction
It is common for the recovering addict to trade one addiction for another, never allowing the brain to heal. This is called cross addiction. It is important to recognize that ANY addictive behavior is getting in the way of recovery and healing.
A great example of this is alcoholism and cigarette smoking. Eighty-five percent of alcoholics also smoke. Most alcoholics are reluctant to quit smoking while they are trying to beat alcohol addiction, believing that it will be too overwhelming.
The research on this issue is clear, however. Alcoholics who quit smoking while in treatment relapse significantly less frequently than those who do not.
Ironically, more alcoholics will die of smoking-related illnesses than from the effects of drinking. The belief is that smoking consequences are relatively benign compared to the consequences of drinking. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Cross addiction appears in countless forms. It is one of many pitfalls that must be faced when overcoming addiction.
Tip 5 – Make Wholesale Life Changes to Beat Addiction
It’s not possible to beat addiction without making significant lifestyle changes. These changes need to be made gradually, with the willingness to modify any situation in life that is producing unhealthy consequences.
For example, those who are working to beat alcohol addiction will need to refuse the invitation to go out with the boys after work for a few drinks. To eliminate cross addiction, there can be no more de-stressing from work with a cigarette. Even letting family members cause emotional chaos is a form of addiction – codependence. These unhealthy activities and relationships are what keep people trapped in the addictive cycle.
Tip 6 – Beating Addiction by Anticipating Chaos
The destruction that accompanies addiction can be quite chaotic. So, it’s often surprising when chaos survives recovery. To beat addiction, addicts must become comfortable with discomfort and chaos. By anticipating it, chaos will have much less of a negative impact.
As a person starts to recover and begins to cherish the relative calm of the recovery journey, they are often bombarded with the results of past actions. A partner may decide that it is time to pursue divorce. Success at work may not be supportive of recovery. The physical impact of addictive behavior may be evident in some illness to be faced.
At this point, it is common to question the promises of recovery. When doing the right thing, isn’t life supposed to get better and better? If sober, isn’t life supposed to support the rebuilding of a person’s life? Yet this period of time can feel more unmanageable than the familiar chaos that results from acting out.
It is all part of the plan!
A Russian scientist named Ilya Prigogine predicted this chaos. He also demonstrated how it appears in all open systems. As addicts increase their threshold for managing life, life seems to give them more to manage. Moreover, while it may seem overwhelming in the moment, it is this feeling of overwhelm that leads to the breakthrough.
According to Prigogine, we must go through this state of chaos and disorder before reorganizing to a new, more highly ordered system. This is designed to prepare us to take on and manage much more stress and energy. Of course, some systems do not survive the chaos, but our human system has a failsafe mechanism. We have an inner healer connected to spirit or to the energy that orders the universe. We have a built-in process for reordering and evolving if we are just willing to endure the chaos.
In times like these, a few inspirational words can be the difference between sticking to the plan and relapse. This beating addiction quote reminds us that good can come out of any situation.
Life is very interesting… in the end, some of your greatest pains, become your greatest strengths.- Drew Barrymore, actress and former addict
These tips provide the insight necessary to beat addiction. Keep them handy for those times when beating addiction seems like an impossible goal.
If you’ve tried just about everything…including what we’ve suggested here and you sense there’s still something missing, you need to get to the root cause of the problem. Do you know the Top 3 Causes of Addiction? Dealing with #1 can take care of all 3! Get instant access to our Top 3 Causes of Addiction Video HERE.