What’s Your Anti-Drug?
We’re all familiar with those super-corny Public Service Announcements of the 1990s and early 2000s that hold thing up as “my anti-drug.” They were corny, as all government PSAs tend to be, but the essential point was that in order to avoid falling into an addictive relationship with substance abuse, it’s important to have a passion and focus in your life that is more important to you than the addictive substance.
If you’re in a recovery period from an addiction, it’s more important than ever to identify and maintain a close relationship with something that truly matters to you. It must be important and it must be good for you, in order for it to keep you on the path of sobriety and away from relapsing.
Cigarette smokers are familiar with the need to have some kind of oral replacement to mitigate the habitual act of smoking, which is often chewing gum or a tooth pick. Similarly, a mental and emotional focus for your life and energy serves to re-route your cravings and triggers toward something that is as strong as or stronger than the old substance habit.
Some people rely on loved ones to be a reason for staying clean. Your own children are the most powerful motivator to live a better life but if you don’t have kids, perhaps nieces or nephews are close enough for you to love and inspire. Other family members or friends, or especially a lover or spouse, can be the catalyst to maintaining a healthy sober life.
If there isn’t a specific person in your life that inspires you toward recovery, then find your greatest passion and pursue it beyond all belief. Art, business, music, community action… any of these pursuits can be strong enough to motivate you and serve as your focus or “anti-drug.”
When you find it, hold onto it and maintain an emotional focus on the thing that inspires you because it will likely be a lifeline during the difficult times in recovery.