The brutal truth about addiction is that it creates a duality within you that seems impossible to control. One side of you wants to break free and the other side of you says: “It’s not that bad” or “I can quit whenever I want.” Addiction makes you gaslight yourself.
However, addiction is trickier than it seems. It’s a mental, emotional, and physical attack on your free will. You can quit for one month, or 1 year and find yourself again trapped in the seduction games of addiction.
You have the right to feel in charge of yourself, so why give that privilege away? The most honored privilege mentioned even in the Bible is the privilege of free will. Therefore, how to take your free will back?
- Start slow
The first step in quitting any type of addiction is to start slow. Yes, start slow! Starting slow will make you feel less guilty and will adapt you more easily with the absence of the addiction.
Quitting immediately will put you in a state of shock and you’ll be more likely to start again. Start again, quit again, start again, a ROLLERCOASTER OF NOTHING. Also, the withdrawal symptoms won’t be that terrible. Therefore, educate yourself on the different withdrawal symptoms that every addiction gives and find ways to soothe the symptoms.
For example, if you are addicted to caffeine, drinking a lot of juices and staying more in nature may help. However, detailed research should be done before quitting the addiction. This way you will be more prepared and overcome the unpleasant discomforts.
- Change your routine.
Addiction becomes a very “vital” element in people’s daily routines. Maintaining the same routine after quitting the addiction is like breaking up with your ex and still watching his/her socials. It will constantly influence you and prevent you to move on. Same thing with addiction.
Therefore, change your routine a little bit. Wake up at a different hour and start doing something different. For example, when I quit coffee I started to wake up at 5 am and read for my exams. During the day I felt very relieved and productive since I knew I couldn’t perform the same without coffee during my usual schedule.
Sometimes you have to treat yourself as an experiment because what works for others may not work for you. Explore and find out, how long your withdrawal symptoms last, is it easier for you to quit the addiction, how can you benefit from it, how it affects you?
- Track your progress
Tracking your progress is one of the best ways to push yourself to keep going. Keep track of the days you have been sober but not only.
I would suggest even tracking your mood and withdrawal symptoms during this period. This way you will be aware of how much progress you are making and the strength you have to overcome this, even when withdrawal symptoms feel like hell itself.
Cheer yourself up for every little win because they are bringing you closer to the bigger goal.
Fasting is one of the best ways to quit addiction and heal since it helps with the regeneration of cells. It’s like an update to yourself.
Fasting makes wonders to your body, mind, and soul. Used by Pythagoras to increase mental perception and creativity, used in ancient Greece by athletes before the Olympic games, used by multiple religions to bring them closer to their God, etc.
The question lies in what kind of fasting should you do.
One that your body can tolerate. I would recommend religious fasting or intermittent fasting.
- Find a healthy replacement
Addicted to food? Replace it with exercise. Addicted to drugs? Replace it with meditation. Addicted to coffee? Replace it with tea/juices. Addicted to porn? Replace it with stoicism and self-control. Addicted to social media? Replace it with nature and real-life socialization. Addicted to me? Block me and get addicted to yourself. (I know you aren’t… yet 🙂
The point is to find a replacement that won’t harm your health. What you choose depends on you.
However, if the addiction is not that harmful, you can leave yourself some cheat days. No need to quit forever if you learn to control yourself and not over-abuse.
In conclusion, addiction is sneaky but with the right tricks, you can outsmart it.
If you are struggling with any kind of addiction, I encourage you to be patient and to have love for yourself because I am sure you will find the strength to overcome it and set yourself free.
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