Am I Substituting For My Addiction?

4 tips to stay sober during the holidays

When people struggling with a substance addiction first decide to get sober, there are general overall concerns by all who care. They might be asking am I substituting for my addiction? Even though they might be succeeding at remaining abstinent from substances, there can be a tendency by some to replace the time spent previously dedicated to misuse of alcohol or drugs with different compulsive or otherwise problematic behaviors in another area of their life. For example, excessive exercising, compulsive gambling, or perhaps even a shopping addiction, to name just a few. To others, these behavioral substitutions may not always seem as serious or immediately debilitating when compared to substance addiction and the problems it brought on. The concern is that, by replacing behaviors, the individual struggling may neglect to get the help they need. Continuing this behavior of not treating the root of the issue may also lead back to drug or alcohol use, creating a continuous cycle of addiction.

San Diego Sober Living is an all woman’s sober living centered in San Diego, California. We offer a safe and clean sober living environment where those in recovery can live and work in a structured facility surrounded by others who are seeking the same goal of sobriety. If you, or a loved one, need help in recovery today, please call us!

Addictions, Treatments, & Substitutions

Addicts, by nature, are compulsive creatures. They tend to lean more toward being “all in” on something. This “all in” mentality can lead to many bad choices and an unbalanced life. In recovery, addicts are encouraged to focus on making healthy and productive life choices. And although what’s considered healthy and productive is also referred to as a balanced lifestyle, there are times when activities can evolve into compulsive behaviors.

Stressed out man sitting in front of the laptop rubbing his eyelids and holding his eye glasses in the other hand because he substituted an addiction of work instead of substance addiction.

Let’s look at some examples. Having the responsibility of a full-time job is productive and allows individuals to support themselves and their families. Becoming obsessed with overworking to the point of it interfering with personal friendships, relationships, and any other areas of their life may be a cause for concern. Likewise, exercising, or working out at the gym, 3-5 times a week for an hour or so can be healthy and can contribute to a balanced lifestyle. However, working out for hours multiple times a week and allowing the activity to interfere with the stability of a job, school, or family activities may be troublesome.

Additionally, while these behaviors might seem harmless, even productive, in the beginning, those in recovery must always be mindful of their motives. Why am I working out 7 days a week? Am I allowing time for my recovery program? Am I building relationships? Or am I compulsively working out because I don’t want to be alone or don’t like the way I look. This is where a sponsor, or other mentor, can help the addict understand their behavior and provide some accountability towards a more balanced life.

There are several types of addictions or behaviors that aren’t necessarily recognized by healthcare professionals as addiction, but they can become compulsive behaviors that can cause people to neglect a balanced lifestyle.

The majority of the following behaviors are not recognized by the DSM-5, but doesn’t make them any less real to those battling the addictions:

  • Video game addiction.
  • Exercise addiction.
  • Tattoo addiction.
  • Work addiction.
  • Sex addiction.
  • Internet addiction.
  • Food addiction.
  • Gambling addiction.
  • Porn addiction.
  • Shopping addiction.
  • Love addiction.

The line between seeking out healthy goals and participating in addictive behaviors is sometimes a fine line. Those in recovery, and their families, should seek open and honest communication with themselves and each other to determine if a behavior has replaced an old addiction or if it is simply a change for the better.

If you’re battling an addiction to substances and are experiencing any behaviors that you feel are compulsive and unhealthy, San Diego Sober Living is here to help you to achieve long-term sobriety and to live a productive, balanced, and healthy life . If you’re struggling, please reach out for the hehttps://sandiegosoberliving.comlp that you need today.

San Diego Sober Living

Your New Life Awaits

At San Diego Sober Living we want to be a part of your recovery and new life. Our program offers proven treatment methods to help a person recover mentally, physically and spiritually. 

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