Life is full of ups and downs, and we face obstacles every day. It’s normal for us to have periods of time when we feel like giving up, especially those of us in recovery from addiction. The road to recovery from a life of substance abuse is difficult. Recovery is difficult. Maybe you are dealing with health issues or have a close family member that’s sick. You may be caring for an elderly parent, recently experienced the loss of someone close to you, or maybe you are just having a day where nothing seems to be going right. This could be causing you to experience intense cravings.
Pushing Through Drug Addiction Cravings
Cravings are a normal part of recovery from addiction. It doesn’t matter if you are new to recovery or have been in recovery for years, we all experience them. Having urges can be relentless. They come at your weakest point and try to convince you that it will help with what you are going through and feeling, but we all know it just makes things worse. Just remember that cravings and urges are temporary. “I can get through this”, “I can do this”, or “This too shall pass” are all good positive affirmations to use during tough times.
Techniques to Overcome Cravings & Obstacles in Recovery
Overcoming cravings and obstacles in recovery can be hard. Fortunately, we have tools we can use to help us when life gets overwhelming and things seem to be going wrong in every aspect. When you feel overwhelmed, anxious, agitated, or have a craving coming on, try these techniques to keep from acting on an urge.
- Focus on controlling you – Reciting the “Serenity Prayer” is a great tool for preventing relapse. There are a lot of things we can’t control that we spend time worrying about. “God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; And wisdom to know the difference.” Also, remember that we can’t control what other people around us do or say. We can control how we react, however. Try to stay calm instead of getting upset and yelling.
- Self-talk – Use logic and reason to talk yourself out of a craving. Make a list of the reasons you chose to commit to recovery and use that list when things get difficult and you want to use it.
- Stay in the present and practice mindfulness – Do not focus on the past or future. It can create too much unnecessary anxiety. We cannot change the past, and we don’t know what the future holds. We aren’t guaranteed another day on this earth! Stay in the present and try mindfulness techniques.
- Act with your wise mind – We have an emotional mind and a rational mind. Your emotional mind might be telling you to give up, you can’t do this anymore. Pull yourself together and act with your rational mind. Tell yourself you know where using leads you and you don’t want to go back there.
- Lean on your support system – Your support system is extremely important in recovery. Surrounding yourself with good, positive, supportive, and loving people can help us get through some of the most difficult times. Ask for help if you need it.
- Try a physical activity or get a hobby – If you need an instant distraction, exercise is good. Go out for a walk or jog. You can also get a hobby. Hobbies build character and encourage joy. A lot of times cravings come out of being bored, so having something you enjoy doing is a great distraction as well.
Other ways to get through difficult times are to make sure you are practicing good self-care and know your triggers. We have to take good care of ourselves in recovery. Keeping regularly scheduled doctor’s appointments, eating healthy, getting exercise, and taking care of our emotional needs. Knowing what triggers you is also important so you can stay away from them. If you are in early recovery you may still be learning things that trigger you. Make a list of your triggers so you are prepared and can avoid them.
Do You or a Loved One Need Help With Addiction?
EVOKE Coconut Creek offers evidence-based treatment programs to cater to the individual needs of each patient. We offer a personalized treatment experience for each of our clients. Evoke Wellness in Coconut Creek, Florida, provides comprehensive, integrated care for men, women, and families. Our solution-focused addiction treatment will lead you on a road to long-lasting recovery. At Evoke Wellness, our team of compassionate and understanding addiction specialists is available 24/7 to assist you with your treatment needs. Choose recovery over substance abuse.