Advice from a Recovering Addict

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Photo by KieferPix/Shutterstock.com
 

As a person who beat addiction and is now living drug free, I would like to give advice to anyone trying to quit using drugs or drinking alcohol.

If you are suffering from addiction at this moment, you most likely think the idea of sobering up is far from your reality. Maybe to you, living a life free from using is something far from possible. Life is closing in on you little by little, you are isolated from family and friends, and most likely, your friends now share the same addiction as you. It’s hard for you to keep a job or save any money, and you probably love staying up all night and sleeping all day if you can. You don’t want to hear anyone’s advice about your addiction, and you have no patience at all. I’ve been there—you are not alone in this.

That is not life, and it’s not how we should live our lives. I’m here to let you know that there are thousands of people in your shoes, that you need to be strong and confront your addiction, that help is possible and that you are not alone.

I never thought that sobriety was possible. I thought that every person on this planet was using drugs, that everyone was popping pills or drinking at night when no one was looking, but that is not the case at all. Most of the thoughts I had about people using or drinking were wrong and I see this now that I am around people who don’t drink or use.

Life is beautiful and sober people tend to enjoy it to the fullest. This idea that everyone uses is a lie we tell ourselves to justify our actions. No one likes to be an addict and no one is enjoying the process of dealing with all the problems that come from addiction. No one likes the idea of having his life revolving around drugs, the hassle of looking for the drug and finding money to pay for it. This consumes so much energy. Off drugs and alcohol, you can put all this energy into something positive and build a better life for yourself and your family.

In my case, I tried to quit many times on my own, and it didn’t work. Sometimes it worked for a few days, but the fact that I didn’t correct the main reason for my addiction made it impossible to stay clean and live a drug-free life. We carry something specific from our past, and we use it as an excuse for our addiction. We carry that memory everywhere we go. We go to sleep with it, we go to work with it, and we use while thinking about it. This one thing can stay with us for years, which is why, when we are trying to get clean, we need to handle this issue.

I am sorry that bad things happened to you before that are affecting you right now, but it’s time to handle it and move on. It is time to smile again and enjoy life, to confront the problem and beat it. It’s not okay to be sad and depressed all day long. It’s not okay to be a victim and not stand up and achieve your dreams.

My advice for anyone suffering from addiction is to talk to your family first. Be honest about your struggle and share what you are going through with them. Share with them how you feel when you wake up, be honest about what kind of withdrawal symptoms you have when you are not using, and talk about the physical and emotional struggle you are going through and how much you would love to be clean and live a sober life. Even if you don’t know what you want to talk about first, start by telling your family about your struggle and see where it goes.

Not facing the fact that you can’t stop using is very dangerous to you and the people around you; you don’t want to end up in a situation where you are in prison or in a hospital, and it’s too late to get help. Remember that if you don’t get help, there is a big chance that you will end up dead or in prison because that is what usually happens. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, you still might end up in a situation where you find yourself alone.

“Recovery is very possible. You might not see it now, but many people are living drug free lives after asking for help, and many of them are giving back and helping addicts recover.”

Recovery is very possible. You might not see it now, but many people are living drug-free lives after asking for help, and many of them are giving back and helping addicts recover.

I know deep inside that every addict would like to get clean, but it all starts with the person himself—you have to want it first. Life is too beautiful to be wasted like that. You have a life to fill with great memories, you have dreams to achieve, and you have places to see. Make the change right now: get yourself clean and then be the reason someone else gets clean. Don’t waste another minute!


AUTHOR

Heni Azzam

Heni earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Video Production from the Art Institute of Houston and went on to work in the media for 16 years, eventually becoming an Operations Manager for a television station. Having witnessed the harm that drugs and alcohol wreak on people’s lives, he is now utilizing his skills to spread awareness about drug and alcohol addiction and to bring hope to families and individuals who are battling addiction.

NARCONON ARROWHEAD

DRUG EDUCATION AND REHABILITATION