Life under the influence of opioid addiction is not only exhausting, it’s unhealthy and all-encompassing. It bleeds into other parts of life until everything – money, time, personal schedules, brainpower, willpower – is looped into the addiction’s vice grip. Just because addiction grabbed hold of your life at one point doesn’t mean it deserves that control for the rest of your life. In fact, there are numerous simple and small ways in which you can begin to address opioid addiction and take control of your life once more.
Consider your friends
Peer pressure is a very real thing. The kind of people you spend the majority of your time around, whether you notice it or not, begin to have an influence. This stands true in all friendships, not just unhealthy ones.
Sadly it is true for unhealthy ones and therefore makes it important to consider the people you spend time with. Are they part of the reason you began experimenting with opioids? Do they view addiction as merely a way of life rather than a concern needing to be addressed? Is there mutual encouraging of drug usage, or an enabling attitude among the friend group?
These are important topics to consider. If you see unhealthy habits among your friends, it might be time to gracefully bow out of the group and instead seek to surround yourself with supportive family members and grounded friends. If an addiction-free lifestyle is your goal, these people can be the support on which you rely through the recovery journey.
Stick to a healthy schedule
Boredom and too much free time are the ultimate breeding ground for bad habits, addiction included. One of the first steps in opioid addiction treatment is designing and assigning a structured schedule to each patient. This could be an important task for you to assign yourself no matter where you are on the path to recovery.
A daily schedule holds you accountable, reminds you of the important priorities you want to accomplish in your day and keeps you motivated to work towards your goal. By keeping your days full with productive tasks like exercising, meal prepping, time dedicated to your hobbies or dates with your friends, you’ll find over time your brain begins to focus more heavily on these tasks and less and less on the addiction.
Evaluate your values
Evaluating your values – the things which mean the most to you in this world, the person you want to become, the way in which you want to live your life – can help you understand how living alongside addiction keeps you from living in accordance with your values. By taking the time to reevaluate the things which are important to you, you will be able to find the places in your life which are contradictory to those values and subsequently rid your life of those behaviors, habits, etc.
Visualize your motivations
Your motivations are beneficial to keep in mind, but they can be even more helpful when you take the time to write them down. If you write them down, you can see them plain and simple. You are more likely to remember them and, on the hardest days, you can return to the list and remember why you’re working to address the opioid addiction. Whether it’s to further your career, improve your health or strengthen your relationships, visualizing your motivations can make all the difference in the continuation of your recovery.
This might sound like an odd suggestion, but volunteering gets the focus off yourself and onto others, promoting a healthy mindset of selflessness and servitude which can be immensely freeing during a recovery journey. Before volunteering at the first place which pops into mind, consider the things you enjoy and perhaps center your volunteering activities around that so the time you spend is lifegiving. Contact the city zoo or humane society, a nursing home, the library, the local elementary school, your neighborhood church or even the town’s parks and recreation department. \
Be stubborn, be compassionate
Battling addiction is difficult, exhausting and overwhelming, no one will deny it. There will be days when you complete everything on your schedule, live according to your values and keep your motivations at the forefront of your mind, thereby actively avoiding and saying no to temptation. There will be days when you find the struggle harder than ever when all motivation seems to be gone and all your efforts seem to be getting you nowhere.
On the toughest days, be gentle with yourself. Don’t let yourself fall into temptation, but do let yourself understand that some days will be harder than others. On those days, lean more heavily on your support system, or spend a little more time contemplating your motivations. Be gentle with yourself, but remain persistent and persevering even so.
Battling an opioid addiction does not have to be done alone. In fact, having a solid support system is one of the most beneficial tools in overcoming an addiction. While this includes family and friends, it also includes the professional counseling of a therapist or the structured living environment of a treatment center. If you believe opioid addiction treatment is the best route for your recovery, contact Pyramid Walden today at 301-997-1300.