Many of us are struggling with addictions of all types on a daily basis whether it be drugs, alcohol, food, gambling, porn or any compulsive activity that takes us away from who we truly are. After working hard at getting yourself back on track and feeling positive about life again, you somehow find yourself slipping back in your old patterns and behaviour and feeling terrible about it! First thing I want you to know is, its OK! Don’t panic.
I have listed a few very practical steps you can begin to implement right now, so lets begin..
1. Be kind to yourself – remember life was never meant to be about perfection, it’s about finding a way of living that truly supports YOU and then simply living that way. It’s not about adhering to some external plan or idea someone else has fed you. It’s very personal and unique to you. It’s basically about being honest and true to yourself. So be gentle, this is not a time to start beating yourself up and being hard on you, he or she needs help right now not self condemnation!
There is always a reason behind why we slip back, we may be stressed, overwhelmed, having relationship difficulties, starting a new job or it could even be that we are trying to live up to some ideal we think we should be living up to, very toxic! As I said now is not the time to start beating yourself up. Just recognise and be honest that you have slipped back – that is, nominate your current state and then begin to work from there- objectively not emotionally.
2. Seek Help. It’s ok to ask for support if we need it. It takes courage and strength to be honest and open about what has happened. Its great to discuss this with another to feel their love and support. There are many amazing, loving people in this world willing to be there for another, one of them may even be you! So don’t be afraid open up and let people in, you don’t need to do this alone.
3. Be Honest. By being really honest with yourself and using tools of self-reflection like journaling or talking with a friend, you can begin to realise what is going on at a deeper, subconscious level. You may be scared of failing at something, or you may be afraid of losing something or someone, or you may have gone into self doubt or perhaps deeper, unresolved issues may be popping up to be healed. Whatever it is for you its OK! By realising what it is we can begin to move forward with a deeper understanding of ourselves.
4. One step at a time. I know it’s an old saying but I believe a very wise one – just take one day at a time. Break it down to even smaller chunks if that works for you. It always amazes me how quickly we can come back when we work in this way.
5. Regroup & Plan – Next step is about finding your way back to choosing a way of being and living that really supports you again. You know how to do this because you have done it before but this time we are going to refine the plan further, make it more specific to you. And that is the key, its needs to come from inside of you, not from me or anything outside of yourself. If you take time to be honest with yourself, you know what choices support you and which ones do not. A new day is a great place to begin again. Write down how an amazing day would look if you were living in a way that would make you feel really yourself again one that you could feel really good about.
· How much sleep would you get, what time would you go to bed and wake up?
· Would you enjoy having some gentle ‘wind down’ activities before bed such as a lovely bath, peaceful environment and some candles, fresh sheets? Much more appealing than being stressed and disorganised!
· How would you prepare for the following day, what will you wear, etc? How would you like your room to feel like when you wake up the next day? Lovely, fresh, clean and organised feels good to me.
· What will you eat? What and how much we eat has a huge impact on how we feel. Discover what truly feels right for your body and shop, prepare and cook the foods your body needs. Eating less can be more supportive also.
· Incorporate some gentle movement, a lovely walk in the early morning helps you really start to re-connect back and support yourself again.
· How would you be in relationship to others, what would that look like for you? When we support ourselves lovingly we are having a direct effect on those around us. We all have a responsibility to really care for ourselves, imagine if the whole world did this? What would life look and feel like, very awesome I say! Ok so that’s a way off at the moment but if we do it in our little corner of the world it does make a difference.
Kate Chorley is an experienced psychotherapist and couples counsellor. To find out more, contact here or call 0402134097