How do I cope/deal with addictions?

Some background, some drama

Compulsive addictions can interfere with your daily routine and mess up your relationships. Whether you are dealing with an addiction to porn, drugs, alcohol, tobacco or sex admitting that you have a problem is the first step to overcoming it. It’s important to learn how to kick that habit and start living life to the fullest.

Do’s and Don’ts

It’s important to make a plan for quitting, seek help and prepare yourself for obstacles you will encounter. The “How Do I" series tries to list down a few Do’s and don’ts to guide and help you cope with addiction: porn, drugs, tobacco or sex.

Do’s

  • Write down and analyse the harmful effects of your addiction.
  • Next make a list of the positive changes that you want in your life.
  • Write down your quitting commitment. Solid reasons to quit will help you stick to your plan.
  • Seek personal and professional help.
  • Learn to manage stress, which is often the trigger for all kinds of addictions.
  • Take tiny, gradual steps toward your goal to make it easier to reach it.
  • Get someone to help you and make sure you don't cheat and do more.
  • Resist the temptation. No, it's not right to cheat at any time. Be strict with yourself.
  • Busy yourself, so you don't think about whatever the addiction is.
  • Encourage yourself. It may be hard, even painful at times, but keep reminding yourself why you're doing this. You can get through!
  • Get your environment ready to help you quit.
  • Use distractions, such as exercise, new hobbies, etc. to help you focus on your goal.
  • Celebrate your accomplishments.
  • Keep your mind occupied with positive thoughts.

Dont’s

  • Do not obsess over it.
  • Don’t expect magic in one day. Instead of quitting immediately, start by decreasing your use.
  • Don’t give in to rationalisation. The pain of addiction withdrawal is real, but don’t give in to a defeatist attitude.
  • Don’t give up on yourself when the going gets tough.
  • Don’t let a relapse be the end of your journey.
  • Don’t let guilt and shame take over if you slip up. Believe in yourself.
  • Don’t stop fighting for yourself.

Last words

Overcoming an addiction takes time, it is war within ourselves and we have to be brave. Think of all the troubles your addictions have/will cause you! More importantly, do not judge the addiction as bad, sinful, time-waster, etc. It is what it is, just an action; judgment makes you feel guilty about your past and reinforces the addiction. Every addiction has a root cause, take a moment to think what yours could be. Believe in yourself. You can do it.

Sources and citations