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How do I overcome addictive behavior and hold myself accountable?

I’ve been struggling with addictive behavior for many years. It involves substance abuse (no hard drugs) and harmful behaviors. I am aware of why it came into my life and that I currently use it as a coping mechanism for basically everything. It’s also become kind of a habit.

I think that I am not aware of what I am doing to myself and how harmful that is for my physical and mental health. I think I am in denial that I am addicted.

When I try not to engage in these behaviors, the urge builds up. I can only delay this from happening until the next day and then it’s even more extreme. It’s not like I decide on one day that I won’t engage in those behaviors, but I have to make this decision every single minute. It’s torturing me so much that I am really scared to feel that way. So I usually plan ahead and execute that plan mostly every day.

I keep thinking it doesn’t matter. I am not even sure whether I’m aware that there is a problem of this extent. I think that I could just stop if I was disciplined enough and if I wanted to.

I don’t know how to overcome this. I don’t know how to become aware that there is a problem, how to motivate myself to stop engaging in those behaviors, and how to hold myself accountable. I don’t even manage to make the decision that I want to overcome this. Why? For how many more years do I have to go down this path?

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hey, im a recovering addict myself from weed and xanax. it really does such trying to get off of it, and i mean that, your going to have highs and lows and urges but you need to have a motivator to have you quit. im right now around 4 months clean from weed but still struggle with x´s and lean. the biggest thing keeping me from going back to some of the substances is remembering how much i had to rely on them, and how much it is going to suck to get off of them, and maybe even you get off of it a little bit by bit thats what i have to do with xans. ive been going bit by bit trying my hardest but when i do setting a limit that grows smaller and smaller everytime. like i said, if you can try to find a motivator, but make sure that it is going to have a POSITIVE affect on your life.

i hope this helps! sorry if it didnt, im not the greatest but im trying.

jj he/him

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Hey, thank you for your reply. And great that you’ve made it through these 4 months, that’s big. Congrats on this achievement! :hrtlegolove:

I struggle to find anything that I consider worth living for. There isn’t anything in my life right now, only problems (no job, no family, socially isolated, don’t even have health insurance). And there is depression, which is really not helping cause I just don’t care. So the addiction basically is the only thing that I have.

How did you take your first step? I guess you knew that there would be a rough time ahead with resisting these urges. What was it that made you take the decision one day not only that you have to or should but that you really want to get off of it?

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i took my first steps after some people at school had found out i was doing it, and i was constantly made fun of because its not normal for you small town american kid to be smoking weed. so i decided i wanted to stop and i also had a motivator because i want to play basketball with my school so, if i were to keep doing weed i wouldnt be a good player on the team and i knew that so i had to stop, now with xanax its been harder but something that really motivated me to stop was lill peeps overdose, but i still ocasionally do xanax because it makes me feel relaxed and shit ( i deal with a lot of anxiety to the point where i cant go to my school with like 120 kids ) but i am very scared of finding fent in my xans because i dont wanna feel that overdosing pain cause ive already been through it and i hated every moment of it. cause i can promise you in the long run this will not be worth it, and i would say if you can try to find a therapist in your area because that is so worth it, one thing ive ahd to realize over a period of time is that your addiction and urges wont go away over night and will constantly come back for a lng time, but you have to find coping mechanisms to help you not indulge whether thats working out, listening to music, ect or even coming here and writing about how you urges are, because it is good to let those kinds of things out. for me i go and skate or play basketball by myself but rn im grounded from doing both so inside if you dont want to leave your house is maybe watch a show, one of my favorites rn is bojack horseman and big mouth, both r very funny and interesting shows. another piece of advice for ur depression is to know it might worsen while your trying to stop doing these substances, but it wont always be like that if you can find a coping mechanism to it like any of the ones ive given earlier or soemthing that makes you feel comfortable and calm where u can just sit down and do it.

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Thanks a lot for taking the time and sharing your experiences and what has helped you. It’s quite a long way to go, especially when you don’t how long it’ll last and for how long it’ll keep coming back. It’s been very helpful to read from someone who knows what it’s like and to know I’m not the only one in this. I should definitely find a support group (like a 12 steps program) at some point. I’m still struggling with getting started.

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From: ᏒᎧᏕᎥᏋ

Hi @blini I think you are very aware of this already and it sounds like you want help. That’s an awesome start right there. I’ve struggled with addiction for a huge part of my life from drugs to worse things and I still do to this day, this second. I wish I could give you some magical answer to fix it all, but I don’t even have one for myself. I can suggest finding support groups for your addiction, chances are someone else out there struggles with the same thing. Finding private therapy could help you too. I hope you find your answers and peace ~Mystrose

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From: micronious

I really wish the best for you friend. I have been down this path in my past. It shaped me into the person I am today and I am thankful for it. You seem honestly to already have a wonderful grasp of what is going on inside of you, and solutions on how to fix it… basically you are already over half way there! You should seriously be VERY proud ! It takes a hard look at yourself to realize these things. The time this is going to take to feel free from it finally is truly up to you, and this can vary I believe on your mindset. Understand you are trying to get better and to do that you cannot allow these negative thoughts of future paths lead you down a spiral. Focus instead on what it will feel like to be free of this. Imagine that feeling in your body, your mind. How freeing you will truly feel ! How powering it is to be in control! I know this is going to happen for you friend, I already sense it. Just start welcoming it into your thoughts … I’m so proud of you !!

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From: SuchBlue

Hi blini,

I am glad to are trying your best to overcome it. I’m not sure where you’re from, but here we have a few groups that help with these kinds of addictions. You are aware that there is a problem of that extent, otherwise you wouldn’t be mentioning in this post. All there is is just that temptation that still wants you to keep going, but it is good that you are aware and you’ve already overcame that :clap:

If you want to follow up with this situation, feel free to do so and I wish you all the best :pray: :hrtlegolove:

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From: Lisalovesfeathers

Hi Friend, Thank you for posting, I want to say that I am really proud of you for taking the step to put down how you are feeling about this addiction and the changes that you feel need to be made in order to make improvements both mentally and physically in your life. I am not overly knowledgeable of drug addiction but I do know that any addiction is very difficult to combat and one thing I think you have most certainly done that you don’t seem to have realised is that you are not in denial, you seem very aware that there is some kind of problem so that’s a massive first step, I guess the next thing would be If you think you can get through the next succession of steps on your own or if you want to ask for help from someone more professional who could assist in helping to make you more accountable which is your concern. These are just ideas that you could consider, it depends how strong you feel right now, no one is here to judge your ability, I think you are amazing for even posting this. I would love to know how you get on. Whatever you decide, I wish you well and of course we are always here to support you at any time. Much Love Lisa. x

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From: Micro

Hey @blini,

Thank you so much for reaching out here. If there is something that is strongly conveyed through your post, it is that you are not in denial regarding your addiction. You name it, you face it, you acknowledge it - this is an essential step in your recovery, the very first one, and you can be proud of yourself for it. There might have been times in your life when coming to the point of saying “I have an addiction” was not as obvious as it is now.

It is understandable though that you feel like not completely admitting your struggles. First off, maybe because there is a need to think about your next step? Making decisions that would involve you more directly into a process of recovery. Another reason might be simply because when we are addicted to something, we are subjected to the roller-coaster of emotions it creates. One day, one hour, one moment we are feeling a certain way. Then a trigger, an event, a habit comes in the way and we find ourselves battling with an urge to use. It’s like having two voices in your mind fighting constantly - both feeling very real and like they each hold the truth whenever they are there. I’ve personally experienced that at my own scale through more than a decade of eating disorders. Now recovered - although it is a fragility that remains -, I can’t count the amount of times I have felt divided in two, between urges that I knew were going to harm me in the long run but a relief at the moment, and a deep knowledge/intuition of what would be actually healthy and healing.

Feeling divided and conflicted as you do right now is a tough experience, but it’s also a good sign. There is a something within you that manifests a need to change what is not serving you anymore. You know rationally and with your guts what healing means, but it also seems out of reach for now - which is okay. Recovery is like this intimidating mountain that feels Very often discouraging and depressing. But there’s actually a lot of very small steps to take in order to walk around it.

You have mentioned a 12-steps program/community type of support in one of your posts, and I would like to really encourage you in this way. Your intuition is at play there, your survival instincts too. It is very positive that this thought comes from you, and it’s not there by mistake either. I think you know what would help, but it is also scary, and you are definitely not to blame for eventually feeling that.

Rest assured that, no matter what your next step is, this community will be here for you. We will support you and encourage you as much as we can. Addictions are strong and recovery might be a long road ahead. But it is worth it. Because YOU are worth the efforts it would take to live a peaceful life. One in which you would cope in ways that remain healthy for you, and wouldn’t feel trapped by something that doesn’t deserve to control you. I believe in you. We all do. :hrtlegolove:

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