Not everyone is going to beat addiction in the same way. What keeps you addicted to a substance or a behavior may be different from someone else.
So, when you attempt to get treated for your addiction, you may not make the progress that someone else with a similar addiction is making. That can be frustrating, but it can help to look at what may be holding you back. If you want to beat addiction in Harlem or wherever you go, you need to identify the things in your life that are keeping you down and feeding your addiction.
Probably the biggest factor keeping you from beating your addiction is the stress you deal with on a daily basis. You may be emotionally up one day and doing well and then feel like you are overwhelmed the next day with all of the stressors in your life.
Stress can prevent you from achieving victory over your addiction because of how it affects your mood. It also makes people feel like they can excuse their addiction like they deserve to give in because of all they are dealing with.
The first step in dealing with stress is to prevent it as much as possible. Identify those things that cause you to feel stressed and try to eliminate them. If you feel stressed about your workload, try to ease back on your work. If you feel stressed about housework, try hiring an excellent company sometimes so that you don’t have as much housework to do. If you are stressed about bills, talk to a financial counselor and get a plan in place to deal with your money stress.
The second step is to learn how to cope with stress without resorting to your addiction. Find other ways to calm yourself and talk to an addiction counselor about things you can do to stop stress as it happens. Your counselor may recommend breathing exercises, meditation, moving away from the situation, or taking up a hobby as a stress reliever.
The number two reason why people give into their addiction when they are working to beat it is because of the harmful influences in their lives. These will typically be people who they associate with that addiction and who encourage them to partake in that substance or behavior they are trying to quit. But negative influences can come from forms of media, from social media, and from anything that sends us messages that tell us that our addiction is acceptable or normal. If you are dealing with negative influences in your life, it is important to separate from them, whether that be friends or simply different forms of entertainment that pull you back toward feeding that addiction.
The third factor we want to look at is your addiction triggers. These are things that make you think about feeding your addiction, and they don’t even have to be obviously related to the addiction. They can simply be anything that you associate with that lifestyle and that behavior.
Some of these are obvious, and a major example would be bars for alcoholics. A bar is an obvious trigger for someone who is trying to beat alcohol addiction. When they walk by a bar, they may smell beer or they may think about taking a drink. If someone is a sex addict, they may be triggered by going to the beach and seeing all of that partial nudity.
Whatever your triggers are for your addiction, you have to identify those. Some will be less obvious. An alcoholic may be triggered by going by the old spot they used to hang with their friends, even though most people might not associate that place with drinking. Triggers are personal and can be different for each person. Know what your triggers are and try to avoid them as much as possible.
If you are struggling with addiction, please get help. There are ways to beat any kind of addiction you may be facing, and knowing what is holding you back is part of the battle.