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All Starts With a Question

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Addiction is a funny thing. Rarely does one wake up one morning with the stunning realization that they are addicted. Instead, the doubts and questions creep up slowly. We push them down, ignore them and yet there they sit – nagging at the back of our minds. We can’t bring ourselves to say we are addicted but we are definitely questioning if our relationship with alcohol (in my case) or other substances is really “normal” or “healthy”. So – it all starts with a question.

The other interesting phenomenon that seems to accompany this is that once we begin to explore that question and our relationship with drugs, alcohol and even friends – those around us take notice. What can you do to encourage friends and family when they come to you for advice or insight into their own possible addictions? How can you be helpful without being a zealot? It all starts with a question.

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Ask them if they can do 30 days. 30 days without drugs or alcohol. (Obviously, this should be discussed and supervised by a medical professional for those who might require a medical detox.) 30 days tends to be a reasonable number. It also takes the pressure of forever off. You aren’t being told never again – it’s a break to clear your mind, your body and determine if in fact you do have an unhealthy relationship on your hands. 30 days is long enough to separate yourself from the unhealthy habits and see how great life can be unaltered.

Rather than approaching the break as quitting. it can be looked at as an experiment. An experiment is just a simple test. There is no commitment and no pressure. You’re simply testing something. In this case it’s 30 days – substance free. Is life better unaltered? Can you lose weight? Sleep better? Save money? Once you change the cornerstone habit of your addiction you’ll experience the trickle down effect of everything in your life improving.

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It all starts with a question. The first question is the one your friends pose to you. The next is the one they ask themselves. 30 days to try on a new life. One without blinders. One with feelings and emotions that we’ve suppressed for so long. Ask your friends if they miss having their own memories rather than relying on what others told them happened. When is the last time they got to watch the sunrise while sipping on a cup of coffee and feeling refreshed? Most take these moments for granted but once you’ve lived through addiction, you appreciate the other side!

One simple question. That’s how this whole process begins for all of us. It’s that moment we start wondering if maybe, just maybe, we aren’t okay after all. We also aren’t alone though. We get through this connecting with one another so it starts with asking yourself a question. That one question is the connection – if you made it 30 days, you inspire someone else to challenge themselves to try 30 days. From there anything is possible.

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