One of the most challenging aspects of addiction is how prevalent and widespread drugs and alcohol are in our everyday culture. Current songs, TV shows, movies and video games are inundated with them. Young people are specifically targeted with intentional marketing geared towards getting them to start using and drinking at an early age, so that the markets can be guaranteed lifelong, addicted consumers. When we are in recovery, we can be very easily triggered by all the images and lyrics. They can be hard to avoid. How do we withstand this societal pressure?
One way is to remind ourselves that we are being triggered by marketing ploys designed to create an artificial reality that we can become convinced we want to live in. We can choose to bring ourselves back to our own reality and reject the propaganda. We can decide to shed ourselves of the brainwashing. We can remind ourselves that in our reality, our addictions threaten to destroy our lives. They ruin our relationships, hurt our careers, and chip away at our sense of self-worth. Many of us in recovery very nearly lost everything to our addictions, and we got to the place we’re in now after hitting rock bottom. Remind yourself of this reality, and it will help you to remember that the way drugs and alcohol are portrayed in the media, as fun, exciting and glamorous, are not real.
Sometimes in recovery we have to distance ourselves from the people and things that trigger us and contribute to our addictive patterns. Perhaps you have a friend or family member who can’t help but use in your presence. Perhaps they themselves are struggling with addiction. If you feel that being around certain people is likely to tempt you to use, it is perfectly reasonable to avoid them if they might hinder your progress. We have to monitor the energy around us, and sometimes that means separating ourselves from anything that doesn’t help us with our recovery goals.
Recovery often means making changes to our lifestyle and environment. If your group of friends meets regularly at a bar, or makes drinking and using its go-to forms of fun, talk to your friends about doing something different together, like seeing a movie, playing games, or trying a new restaurant. It can also help us to limit our exposure to the music, TV shows and movies that romanticize and glorify drugs and alcohol.
We understand the challenges that come with recovery. Call 888-570-7154 for information on how we can help you.