Mental health issues, substance and behavioural addictions and its impact on the human psyche is one of my deep, personal interests. Its root cause and potential solutions interest me even more.
Homelessness to me at least, seem to be a symptom of one of those things and I'm equally passionate about trying to figure out the answer to homelessness - but I'll save this topic for another post later.
Getting sober doesn't happen overnight. You really need to want it, and not just in the moment. You need to plan for the long term and start building the tools that can help you identify triggers and tools that you can use when you are triggered.
I'll say starting to build good habits is definitely one tool that can help you become sober and exercising would definitely be on the top of the list for most people. For some people, a big change of environment by moving to a different city or country might definitely work really well.
Getting to know yourself really, really well - in an objective manner is also very important. You'll need to be able to observe yourself in the moment, and if you become better at this, you will be able to catch yourself thinking about your addiction or acting on it.
Let's use a less serious example - let's say you are overweight but cannot overcome the urge to open the fridge and stuff yourself with whatever fatty or sweet food you have available, like a cake. If you are able to catch yourself in the act, then you need to get your critical thinking hat on and really start thinking about how you are feeling in that moment. I'd say it's even better to write it down.
Reddit is an amazing platform for finding peers that are going through similar addictions in life. Let me list a few here but you'll be able to find your own subreddit quite quickly by using its own search and / or searching on Google.
Most people for obvious reasons decide to stay anonymous on Reddit, particularly on the subreddits I mention above. Being part of a supportive social group anonymously is definitely awesome. You can share your progress, get tips, or let out your raw emotions and thoughts - and people will read it and respond. I can't speak highly enough of Reddit.
Anyway, I don't like to keep my posts too long so let me end this one with a few points:
- Find yourself a community - find a subreddit
- Build good habits - exercise, do 1 nice thing for your loved ones daily / weekly
- Observe yourself - find triggers, document how you're feeling daily (write, record voice or video)
- Move to a different city or country if you need to
- Maybe start with cutting down - it's how I quit smoking
- Start a sobriety calendar - put days sober into your calendar as all-day events like Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 - Google Calendar work fine
Good luck and remember, someone loves you!