One of the most common themes you’ll hear about in treatment for drug or alcohol addiction is the importance of finding an outlet. This could be anything from painting to yoga to running marathons or even gardening or cooking. Anything that you can express yourself through or work through what you’re feeling is a good thing, but why does it really matter for a lasting recovery?
Think of it this way: your outlet, whatever it is for you, can make the difference between overcoming triggers and cravings on a bad day and relapsing back into addiction. Having some way to express how you feel or do something productive that you enjoy can literally help you let out what you’re dragging you downward or what’s affecting your mood. If you don’t have something that you can turn to that has this benefit for you, you’re going to be far more likely to turn back to drugs or alcohol, or even other substances than your original addiction in order to cope with it. It doesn’t have to mean hitting the gym for two hours if you had a bad day at work to keep yourself from thinking about using. It could mean doodling on a notepad while you’re snuggled up on the couch with your loved one watching a movie, or cooking a really delicious dinner, or anything you enjoy. While it’s important not to replace one addiction with another, having your outlet gives you the opportunity to do something positive with potentially negative emotions.
And on the days where those triggers and cravings are overwhelming you, having an activity you already know you enjoy and that has helped before on the back burner can be a lifesaver you can throw yourself. In general, cravings brought on by most triggers usually only last 15-25 minutes, so if nothing else, tell yourself you’re going to do whatever this outlet activity is for half an hour. Turn your phone down and focus on your outlet, and it may surprise you how much it helps you.
If you’re struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol right now, your life doesn’t have to be controlled by your addiction anymore. At The Springboard Center, the inpatient and outpatient treatment programs are tailored to give you the help and tools you need to succeed, including finding an outlet that’s beneficial and enjoyable to you. It’s never too late to get help, no matter what’s happened in your past or where you are now. The time to get help is today. Don’t wait, the staff at The Springboard Center is available 24/7. Call now: 432-620-0255.