Breaking the cycle of addiction and effectively returning to society doesn’t come without challenges, but that doesn’t mean you or your loved one’s efforts will be in vain. The key to effectively overcoming hurdles is to have a thorough understanding of what they are. Whether you’re dealing with addiction yourself or attempting to support a loved one, let’s take a look at the six biggest hurdles.
Denial is one of the largest hurdles to breaking addiction, and it’s one that must be overcome before the healing process can begin. Addicts in denial struggle to grasp the reality of their problems and avoid facing the consequences of substance abuse, which often involves shifting blame to other people. Truly welcoming transformation after addiction involves taking on this responsibility and accepting there’s a problem to fix.
Repairing and Building Relationships
Addicts need a solid support system to make it through the healing process without relapsing, but destructive behaviors tend to burn bridges in relationships. Successful addiction recovery involves repairing positive relationships and building new ones, whether that’s with family members or a new group of friends.
Dealing with Shame
Shame is a powerful mechanism, and it’s often the driving force that fuels addiction. When an addict goes to rehab, they learn to deal with shame without the help of harmful substances, which is not an easy process. Tackling emotional issues requires a brave mindset and a lot of time, as many of the underlying issues have their claws dug deep into the mind. A great way to deal with shame beyond attending rehab is to keep regular appointments with a therapist.
Having a sense of purpose in life can be challenging while breaking addiction because the reality that substance abuse was life’s purpose begins to set in. To steer clear of relapse, it’s important to find a new purpose in life, which can be anything from volunteering to exploring exciting hobbies.
Rehabilitation treatments are built around a full schedule made up of activities, exercise, mealtimes, group meetings, leisure, and reflection time. This system doesn’t allow for boredom to set in, but this can all change once an addict returns home because there’s no automatic schedule to follow.
To avoid allowing boredom to destroy addiction recovery progress, it’s essential to come up with constructive ways to fill the time including:
- Playing sports
- Enrolling on a course
- Taking up a hobby
After starting to break an addiction, there will be times when the cravings become overwhelming. When you mix craving with anxiety, stress, and mixing with old “friends”, it can be a disastrous recipe for relapse. This is an unfortunate part of many recovering addicts’ journeys, but it doesn’t mean that beating addiction will never happen. Instead, it becomes a learning opportunity, where you can turn to a support network and come up with new treatment options to explore.
Addiction recovery will never be an easy ride but knowing the hurdles outlined above, along with having a solid support system, will make taking back control feel that little bit easier.