People suffering from addiction never set out to become addicts. Addiction is a process that happens over time, without a person’s conscious awareness. An individual doesn’t realize how many drinks they are having, cigarettes they are smoking, or drugs they are buying. By the time an individual starts questioning if they may be addicted, the question typically answers itself. It happens quickly, often before the individual realizes what had transpired.
Addiction can creep behind the scenes, wanting to stay out of the spotlight until it knows it has a solid grasp on a person. Visualizing it and forcing it into view, then, can be the first step in addressing it. So write it down. Get it on paper, or a document on the computer. Text thoughts of using to yourself, so these thoughts can gain a physical, quantifiable form.
This strategy is useful for identifying the intensity of addiction but also holds a second purpose -creating a running list of successes and rewards. Each time a thought hits the list, it grows, and you may be surprised by how quickly that list reaches down the length of a page. But what if it wasn’t a list of each time someone failed, but instead of each time they denied these urges and earned a reward?
Each time a note hits the list is an obstacle, each urge its own unique challenge. Still, that running list can become a list of rewards. Each time you write down an urge but do not succumb to it, reward yourself with something else.
This can be monetary, in that you can treat yourself to a gift, or go out to lunch. It can also be an activity. Even using negative reinforcement here is useful, as it’s possible to eliminate a chore for the day and watch a movie instead – all are options. It can be anything because using the list to then track rewards begins the process of rewiring the mind while experiencing positivity outside of drugs, alcohol, or any addiction.
At Alta Loma Transformational Living, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms. Alta Loma uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, where you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan. We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 866-457-3843.