OVERCOMING YOUR ADDICTIONS
Acknowledge the purpose.
Ask yourself, "Why do I do it?". You have to be able to answer that question. Do you do it to help you deal with anxiety and stress? It may be hard for you to admit that you have a drinking or smoking habit, but you can’t change something that you don’t acknowledge exists. Ask yourself this question, and be truthful with yourself. "What purpose does this behavior serve for
me?" If you’re an alcoholic, you’re not just drinking because you’re thirsty. Admit to yourself that "I’m medicating myself for
anxiety, depression, and pain. It numbs me to life."
2.Think rational thoughts instead of living in denial.
You understand at a conscious, intellectual level that your addiction is unhealthy, yet you continue with it and this perplexes you.
If you’re in denial about it, if you’re minimizing it, if you’re trivializing it, if you’re conning yourself about it, then you’ll never
get where you need to be. If you can’t get through the day without a shot of vodka, you may be medicating yourself for anxiety,
depression, or pain. You may need to count on others to help you think rationally.
3.Use alternative coping skills.
People don’t break bad habits; they replace them with new ones. Recognize that you get a reward from smoking or drinking.
Ask yourself, "What does this do for me?" It calms you, takes your anxiety away, lifts your spirits, and numbs you to the pain
of your life. If someone were to take that away from you and didn’t put anything in its place, you would just be there, stripped
of your coping mechanisms. You’ll then go right back to what you were doing before. Some alternative techniques you might
consider to replace your addiction are breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, exercise, prayer, and/or meditation. When
you read the Bible, you find that many people suffered from depression and anxiety. Scriptures are wonderful to read and
meditate on when you are looking for ways to replace negative behaviors. This will help you shift the way you react to any
type of stressful circumstance in your life. You have the ability to quiet yourself and reduce stress levels in your body in a
healthier way than smoking, drinking, or whatever addiction you have does for you now.
4.Identify your danger zones.
Your danger zone may be a particular time of day or your reaction to a particular circumstance. There are times that you’re
more prone to indulge in your habit than others. Recognize what those times are and do something that is incompatible with
the addiction you’re trying to break. For example, if you have the urge to light up during your 2 P.M. break, take that time to
do your breathing or relaxation exercises instead. If you get through those two or three moments of impulse, it will go away.
You don’t have to be strong and powerful all day long every day.
5.Make lifestyle changes.
It’s not willpower – it’s programming. Set your life up for success if you’re going to break your addiction. If you’re trying to
stop smoking or drinking, try simple things like not carrying money for cigarettes or cleaning your cupboards of alcoholic
beverages. You may have to change the places you frequent, what you do for fun, and who you hang out with. The best way
to stop an addiction is to not have access to it.
6.Be accountable and have a support system.
Being accountable to someone will help you be able to discuss your feelings and not revert to old tactics that led to faulty
coping skills. Get your family and friends involved in your efforts to kick your habit. You need to find a community that
supports you during this time and embraces your decision to be healthier. You may also need to seek treatment or check into
a rehabilitative program.
Overcoming an addiction can be very difficult, but it can be done. When you see yourself making progress, even baby steps,
you have to motivate yourself to keep going. Give yourself credit. Reward yourself for every step you make, starting with
admitting that you have a problem and asking for help.
8.Scripture and prayer.
In all things, pray and read the Word of God, and it will give you the results you are looking for. Getting involved in a good
Bible-based church and support group and finding a therapist will be effective in your staying free.
Adult Children of Alcoholics
Focus Adolescent Services
Mental Help Net
National Association for Children of Alcoholics
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD)
(800)-NCA-CALL or (800)-622-2255
If you believe you need immediate assistance, please call your local emergency number or the mental health crisis hotline listed in your local phone book's government pages.