I opened my email this morning to read the daily questions I get from my Tribe (ahem, YOU).
This morning, there were two back-to-back emails asking about how to quit an addiction.
One was smoking. The other was drinking.
I’ve had my own battle with addiction: cocaine, sugar, codependency, etc. Addiction almost killed me.
There are so many things you and I could be addicted to, like: Distraction, sex, drugs, alcohol, shopping, social media, drama, technology, etc., etc., etc. The list goes on and on.
The question becomes…. how in the WORLD do you, and I break an addiction?
First, we must define addiction.
Perhaps the best definition I know is from my friend Tommy Rosen, who writes:
“I define addiction as any behavior, substance-related or not, that is socially creating and temporarily pleasurable but has long-term negative consequences and the inability to give it up. So basically it’s pleasure-creating negative consequences and loss of control. That’s what an addiction is.”
So, addiction is a short-term payoff that produces a long-term net negative.
Through that lens, we can see that our definition of addiction was widened.
So, through that lens..
What do you see in your own life? What are you addicted to?
One of the best ways to stop addiction is first to admit that you have an addiction.
If you are in denial, then you can’t change anything.
If you can admit that there is in fact something or someone that you are addicted to, then we can work to make it better.
So, how do you “cure” an addiction?
Well, I won’t go so far as to say that it can be 1000% cured, but we can help you achieve full recovery.
1. Admit It
You have to admit that you have an addiction first and foremost. Once you admit it, things start to move.
2. Be Willing To Change
You don’t have to actually change just yet, but simply the willingness to try is what counts. Great things are possible for those who are willing.
3. Find Support From A Sober Mentor and Soul Tribe
You see, many times healthy habits aren’t “taught” they are “caught.” Just hanging around with sober people has a positive effect because they are demonstrating for you what success looks like.
4. Find A Healthier Substitute For Your Addictive Cravings
I’ve found it best to work with cravings than against them. Yesterday I wrote about how to change your habits around to satisfy your addictive craving in a healthier way. For me, Friday and Saturday night’s are the hardest nights of the week for my sugar cravings. So I get out in front of them and book a massage, a yoga class or go to an Escape Room. The other activity helps to soothe the craving instead of just white knuckling it at home trying to resist the craving without helping it get soothed.
5. Take A Holistic Approach To Your Heath
Addiction is not just about the substance or object of your addiction. There’s a lot more to it.
Addiction impacts the brain.
Addiction impacts the gut.
Addiction impacts your nervous system.
Addiction impacts your mindset and psychology.
Addiction impacts your personal relationships.
Addiction impacts the environment that you’re in.
Addiction impacts your hormones.
Addiction impacts your Spirit.
Addiction is covering up unhealed trauma from your past.
So, when getting clean – you must address these issue, here’s how:
– Make sure you get your brain healthy. The Amen Clinics is the best brain health center in the world, get there.
– Make sure you have a healthy gut. Go see a functional medicine doctor, do a microbiome test. Work with the doctor to make your gut better.
– Make sure you have a healthy nervous system. Exercise is key. Kundalini Yoga is massive. Daily movement.
– Make sure you have a good mindset. Get into therapy or hire a life coach. Fill your mind with inspirational material. Get your mind right. Find a sponsor and hang out. Go to 40 meetings in 40 days.
– Make sure you have good relationships. You must separate from people who enable your addiction. Hang with sober folks. Hang with positive people. Also, make amends to your friends and family.
– Make sure you are in a clean environment, a sober environment. Don’t have anything in your home that triggers you.
–Make sure that you have a Soul Tribe. Get positive people around you, ASAP.
– Make sure you have balanced hormones. Your functional medicine doctor can help. Also, your diet has a MASSIVE influence on your hormones. Find a nutritionist who can help you figure out the right foods for you; your functional doctor will know one for sure.
– Make sure to get your Spirit right. This means to connect to a Power Greater than you. And it also means help others. Addiction makes us focus on ourselves, being of service to others can help us stay sober. When we make a positive impact on others, we feel better.
– Make sure you are aware that addiction is covering up past trauma. Get trauma support from a life coach, therapist or someone who specializes in healing trauma. This also means be kind to those wounded parts of you. We all have ’em.
Addiction is a killer. It’s complicated. It takes time. Be patient with yourself and the process.
I wish I had had the information I just shared with you when I was first getting sober; it would have saved me years of time.
You don’t need to have a perfect plan. You just need to get started.
And, the most powerful quality that can help you get and stay sober and thrive in your life is the power of being willing to change.
If you are willing, God can work miracles in your life.
Remember to get out there, take action and make it real!