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The Road To Fort Worth

Read » Chapter 8: Danville

How Can I Convince Myself To Stop Taking Drugs Forever?

There are two key words that you must change before making an attempt to quit using any drug. The first word is convince. The second word is forever.

The first word, convince, implies to overcome all objections and/or denial you may have about your use of drugs. It also suggests that quitting will be possible only if you know that you can quit. But you can't possibly know if you can quit until you actually do quit. For years, I believed that if I could change my thinking, then I could change my behavior. In actuality, it works in the opposite way. First, I had to change my behavior, then my mind eventually caught up with my new behavior, and my attitudes and beliefs started to change.

You can prepare yourself for the time when you quit by learning about any withdrawal symptoms that may occur. Find a reliable source, like a medical website or a professional in your community, but don't expect that you'll experience any or all of the symptoms. But if you do recognize a symptom or two when you quit, you'll know that it's a normal physiological or emotional reaction which will pass in time.

The second word to avoid is the word forever. The only time span that anyone has for certain is today (if you live til midnight!). Everyone who is successful at quitting anything, does it a day at a time. In a way, this perception makes quitting easier. Anyone can make it through the span of sixteen hours without using a drug. If you had to do so, you could live through that period of time without eating or drinking water, too.

So how do you start day one of your new life?

1. The day before you quit, throw away any drugs and paraphernalia you have in your house, car, at work, stashed in the barn, or left inadvertently in your clothes pockets.

2. Upon awakening, make a firm commitment not to use for one day. By doing so, you will eliminate the chance to draw back from your resolve not to use that day. If you have a relationship with someone who you trust implicitly (a non user), tell them about your decision. Ask them if you can call if the going gets tough.

3. Eat well balanced meals, avoid sweets, and drink plenty of juices.

4. Do not call or visit anyone who uses drugs and avoid visiting haunts where you've used in the past.

5. Deep breathing and relaxation will help reduce any tension that you may feel. When you have thoughts of using, take a deep breath and let the thoughts fade away. After all, you only have to make it until bedtime.

Self help groups like Narcotics Anonymous or other 12 step groups can help tremendously in your recovery.

If you do backslide and use, don't beat yourself up. Look at the experience as a slip, then recommit yourself to your recovery. As time goes on, your obession to use will begin to disappear, and you'll feel more healthy. You'll learn how to experience the joy and fulfillment of life without the haze of a drug, and any paranoia or fear of the law will disappear.

At the end of the day, pat yourself on the back. Congratulations. You made it through day one.

Day Two thru forever! Rinse and repeat!

Copyright ©2012 Michael Jackson Smith

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