If you are recovering from addiction, then you may have been told to approach your struggle one day at a time. While this advice is helpful when you feel the initial urge to engage in your addictive behavior, it will not help you break or manage your addiction. In order to maintain your sobriety, you must plan ahead rather than waiting for your next temptation to appear before you act.
Why Plan Ahead?
Addictions arise from compulsive behaviors that occur repeatedly. Whether you are trying to overcome your addiction to alcohol or drugs, you must identify the patterns in which you are tempted to indulge. For example, your urge to drink alcohol may come at the same time every day or after a particular circumstance that you face regularly. To truly overcome your addiction, you will need to make a plan to conquer your addictive urges the next time you face them, which will allow you to master your addiction for a lifetime rather than on a daily basis.
Breaking an Addiction vs. Managing an Addiction
Addictions often occur when people are trying to overcome a feeling of hopelessness when they are faced with something that is very important to them. They try to displace their negative feelings by using drugs or alcohol to assert their power. In order to break your addiction, you will need to identify the underlying issues that have led to your feelings of helplessness and try to find ways to work through them. By breaking your addiction, you will be able to ascertain the reasons behind your addiction while also finding ways to overcome it. You can take your recovery to the next level by learning to manage your addiction. In order to manage your addiction, you will need to plan ahead by determining when you may face your urges and how you will cope with them.
When you look ahead and imagine circumstances in which you might be tempted to indulge your addictive behaviors, you may feel a slight urge to turn to drugs or alcohol. You can use this opportunity to identify and understand exactly what you are feeling, and you can then come up with a plan that will help you manage your addictive impulses. When you make plans that will help you stay sober, you will have a sense of self-awareness that will allow you to maintain your sobriety over the course of your life.
If you have been facing sobriety on a daily basis, try extending your outlook. By looking ahead to the future, you may be able to identify the situations that will tempt you to drink or use drugs, which will empower you so that your sobriety is permanent.