Not Just Stopping, but Starting Over

Abandoning your addiction is really only half the story.  As important as it is to terminate a self-destructive behavior, more is necessary.  An example may help to clarify this point.  If you want to live a healthier lifestyle, for example, you have to do more than just spend less time sitting around or cut back on the amount of sweets that you eat.  You also have to starting getting more exercise and adopt a healthier diet.  Similarly, if you want to become a better student, you have to do more than just cut down on the amount of time you spend watching television.  You also have to spend more time studying.  Recovery from addiction, in the same way, requires more than just terminating your use of drugs.  You also have to spend more time engaged in healthy behaviors.

If you are able to stop using drugs, that’s a great step in the right direction.  You also have to find healthy ways to spend the time that you used to spend on drugs.  Recovery is more than just stopping one behavior.  It is also learning a new behavior.  In fact, it is learning a new way to live your life, a set of priorities, a new way to handle the challenges and stresses of life.  Abusing alcohol or other drugs is sometimes a way to cope with the problems that are a part of our lives.  Sometimes, we use alcohol or other drugs to fit in with our friends.  Overall, addiction can become a way handle all of the stress and suffering that can be a part of life.

What this means is that we have to learn new ways to deal with the stresses and sufferings of life, ways that do not rely upon drug use.  We must learn new ways to cope with the problems that are a part of our lives.  Formerly, we used alcohol or other drugs as a kind of crutch to help us handle our problems.  Terminating our drug use means surrendering that crutch and relying on ourselves, instead of relying on drugs.  We must learn new techniques for handling whatever comes our way.

We all have problems in our lives, and we have to learn healthy ways to deal with those problems, ways that do not involve using drugs as a crutch.  You can always rely on God.  You can trust Him to help you when you are struggling.  He’s much more reliable than the crutch of drug use.

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