Buzzfeed News recently asked members of its community to provide advice on how to beat addiction. The results, published as 18 Stories of Addiction, could just as rightly be entitled "18 Ways to Beat Addiction." They're simple. But they’re not always easy. Call ‘em the common sense antidote to the disease. Like many medicines, they may at first be hard to swallow. Yet, taken regularly, the combination will provide a cure. How do we know this? Because many of the following medicines are just what we prescribe at Recovery Boot Camp. That's how.
18 Ways to Beat Addiction
1. Do everything you can to the best of your abilities.
"It's been two and a half years since I stopped using meth. What's kept me sober is knowing that if I do everything I can to the best of my abilities, I will end up where I need to be.”
2. Forgive yourself.
"I’m just leaving a rehab facility. I graduated today after using drugs for seven years! The greatest lesson I’ve learned is that you have to forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for the guilt you carry for hurting your family and friends. Forgive yourself of the guilt you carry for hurting yourself. Once you forgive and let go, you can start to heal."
3. Lean on your family for support.
"If it wasn't for my family, I wouldn't still be here today."
4. Create a calendar of things to do for yourself and others every day.
"During my senior year of college, I began experiencing the severity of my alcoholism while trying to cope with my anxiety. One morning after a blackout, I called my mother and told her I needed to come home. She and my family began to think of ways to help me change my habits and get me clean. We created a calendar for every day of the year detailing four different things I would do. This may not seem like much, but writing down these four things and changing them daily kept me on track and taught me to love myself. I could rip off that day at the end of the night proud. I got myself out of my hole, and not only helped myself, but helped other people. I’ve been doing this for 498 days now and have never once wanted another drink."
5. Get sober for yourself.
"I finally realized that I had to get sober for myself. Not for my boyfriend or for my parents. Not for my job. And not for anyone else. But for me. I had to love myself just enough to believe that I was worth getting clean, and that life was worth living. Today I have managed to string together almost five years of continuous sobriety."
6. Be present.
"When I finally got put on medication for my depression and anxiety, my doctor told me I needed to quit drinking that day. I quit cold turkey and I haven’t looked back. I used to use alcohol as a crutch in social or stressful situations, but now I feel like I can actually be present."
7. Get involved on your campus and/or in your community.
"I started going to one of the Christian organizations on campus and I'm about to start counseling for all the underlying issues [that drove me to drink excessively]. God is good, y'all!"
8. Listen to other recovering addicts' stories and advice.
"I found myself at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and heard the same story — my story — just with little twists here and there. I sobered up, broke off from another toxic relationship and surrounded myself with support. Now, I'm engaged to a wonderful man who supports my continued recovery, healthier and happier than I ever was when I was drinking, and I'll have three years of sobriety in June."
9. Consider medication and therapy.
"Suboxone saved my life. It’s only about 10% of the reason I got clean though, as the groups and individual therapy are what really helped me. I will have five years clean in August."
10. Find a support system within the recovery community.
"I jumped into recovery with both feet and did everything people told me: I got a sponsor, completed my steps, and found ways to serve in the recovery community. I had honestly never felt so at home as I did when I was around other people in recovery. Now 17 years sober, I work as a drug and alcohol counselor in the homeless community. I'm so grateful that I was willing to seek and accept the help I needed. I love my life today, and I'm glad I didn't have to die young and become a statistic.”
11. Find hobbies and activities that are fun to do sober.
"I have been in recovery for almost seven years. A lot of AA areas have young people's groups. I got in with the people my age, started doing fun sober things, and made long lasting connections with real people.Getting sober is a struggle, but you're worth it.”
12. Get rid of negative influences.
"You have to get rid of negative influences — whether they're people, places, what have you — and be prepared to analyze some difficult parts of yourself."
13. Attend meetings and bond with your sponsor.
"Attending AA meetings, getting a sponsor, and doing the steps have helped keep me sober for over 18 years now. While I don’t go to meetings anymore, my sobriety is still incredibly important to me. I know I am powerless over alcohol and my addiction, but I’m open about my recovery with friends and colleagues and I share my experience, strength, and hope."
14. Take up a new physical activity.
"Competitive outrigger canoe paddling saved my life. I knew I couldn't do it drunk or hungover with the sport being so physically demanding and having a crew of people relying on you to give your best. So, I paddled and stayed sober. I made a lot of friends and learned a lot about myself. It was a wonderful feeling to not be sick, frequently embarrassed, or constantly irate. I liked those feelings more than I ever liked being drunk.”
15. Hang on to the friends who are supportive of your recovery.
"What I think really saved me was making the hard decision to cut out toxic friends.I changed my phone number, deleted my contacts, and never looked back. The few friends I've kept are an amazing support system. I’ve been clean almost seven years now and don’t regret a thing.”
16. Revamp your lifestyle.
"Treatment gave me the important foundation that a young person like me with zero life skills needed. It also introduced me to Alcoholics Anonymous, where I was able to find a supportive recovery community. Those 12-steps transformed my character. Not only did they keep be abstinent from drugs and alcohol, but they gave me a design for living. Because of AA, I've found my greater purpose of service. I know that whatever I have been through in my life has placed me in a position to uniquely help the next person who suffers. I will not continue to watch people dying from this disease."
17. Take it one day at a time.
“I’m currently a little more than six months sober. I attend Crystal Meth Anonymous meetings several times a week, I have a sponsor I work with and a support group that understands ME. In my recovery process, I've been able to truly rediscover myself, how to love myself, and that life is amazing once you live it right. As the cliché as it sounds, 'one day at a time' really is best motto for any addict."
18. Remember that you're not alone.
“To everyone out there struggling, you are not alone. Find your people, love yourself, you are worth it!"
Yes, you ARE worth it! Call Recovery Boot Camp today and find out how to live the fulfilling life you deserve!