21 Oct 19
man jumping into river

Do you ever feel stuck in the same cycle, repeating over and over again? Asking yourself, “Will this cycle ever end? If so, when?” 

The truth is, you decide when the cycle ends.

Choice

It may sound simple, but often we underestimate the power of choice. On a daily basis, we are able to make choices both big and small, such as what our plans are for the day, what restaurant we’d like to visit, what career we want to pursue, how we treat others and most importantly how we treat ourselves.

Often, when we are faced with making a big choice we can feel quite stuck in this position. We might ponder and imagine what life would be like if we chose another path. It’s natural to feel that way, but fear or uncertainty can cloud our ability to take action. Is this helpful or productive? People who struggle with alcohol and other drugs can often find themselves stuck in this back and forth battle where it feels like there’s no end to the cycle.

Chance

In the process of making a choice, we must also take a chance to believe in ourselves, and to prove to ourselves that we can tackle the drug and/or alcohol issue. Give yourself credit for being brave and courageous. Reading this now means you are doing just that. Yes, it is scary. It can be stressful and overwhelming. Just by reading this you have gained the ability to take a step towards change and another step towards reaching that goal.

Change

Every day, you can make a choice to take a chance on making a step towards change. Here are some small changes you can make to get started: 

  • Call the National Alcohol and other Drug Helpline on 1800 250 015 for counselling, referral and information regarding what assistance is available in your area.
  • Write a list of the desired outcomes of what life would look like if you stop using a substance: What positive changes would you recognise? 
  • Create realistic short term and long term goals. Try to avoid setting high expectations for yourself in a small time frame as this can be quite overwhelming and can have an impact on your level of motivation to change. 
  • Acknowledge your fears around making a change. Feelings of fear are completely valid and normal especially when making drastic changes to our lives; however they only become invasive to the process of change if we allow them to.
  • Some people find it helpful to educate themselves about addiction. Do some research to help gain further knowledge and understanding. 

Many members of our peer support forums have chosen to maintain change in their drug and alcohol use. Join them to discuss what has worked for them, or have a chat to a trained counsellor.