It’s always a mystery how personal change takes place. One thing I’ve learned as a therapist is that for many people stop a habit when they realize that they can only keep going down. They may have gotten lots of lectures from family members, tried rehabs and gone to meeting already. But, it’s often a new level of motivation that helps someone to turn the corner and stop.
A number of my clients mentioned that is was due to hearing someone’s personal account that a new intent arose inside. One of my clients who was 17 years old and already experimenting with a number of drugs felt his inner change happened when an ex-addict gave a talk at his high school. The former addict showed pictures of his face and body deteriorating over the years. He also spoke about his loss of family and support from friends due to his destructive habits. My client saw that he was going down the same path and made a resolution to change that night.
Another client of mine was inspired by watching a TV documentary of someone who used to use cocaine to enhance her real estate business. My client was doing a similar thing for her own career as a financial manager. Hearing how someone so similar to her had been slowly ruining her life gave my client a lot of insight.
Try to read some memoirs of people who have already been through your path. Use the power of your mind to project where you will be in one year, five years and ten years from now if you continue along this path. Think about what happened to Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston.
Make a list of what is most important to you. You probably have people that you deeply care about, even if right now they are not in contact with you. Do you want to lose them forever? Think about your own potential. What were your dreams when you were sixteen years old? That person still is inside of you and can emerge again with some love, nurturance and self-care. Feed your deepest dreams again.
Don’t let past disappointments ruin your life. Remember that many people start over and get past obstacles. If your addiction began due to family problems, relationship issues or financial difficulties, remember that this was the past. Your life can start now.