Have you quit drinking, smoking or binge-eating and then fallen “off the wagon?” Maybe it’s because you haven’t had the kind of support system you need after you quit?

I quit drinking over 21 years ago now. A friend of mine just asked me the other day if I ever think of drinking anymore. So I gave her my honest answer. “No, I never think about drinking again and I know I’ll never drink again.” Then she asked the same about smoking since I smoked for 28 years and quit almost 8 years ago. Same answer: “No. I don’t miss it and I know I’ll never smoke.”

She said, “That’s great. Not many people could honestly say that, I don’t think.”

Maybe that’s true, but I really don’t know. I told her it was so long ago that I don’t think about it. It’s almost as if I never even smoked or drank. I have a much different life now. Why is it possible that I don’t miss smoking and drinking (and I used to be fat, too, from eating compulsively)? Three reasons, I believe:

One, I had great support from my family and close friends. Two, I got lots of support from my faith in God. Three, I started changing my habits to support the life I wanted to have—a life without the addictions. I couldn’t keep doing the same thing every day as I had before because I needed to form new habits.

Do you have the support you need from family and friends? Maybe you need to rethink your social environment or pay more attention to your spiritual side.

Here are six things you can do to gain the support you need and stay strong your resolve to quit whatever addiction you’ve struggled with:

1. Stop seeing friends who aren’t supportive of your decision or positive in nature. If you think everyone will be happy that you’re quitting your addiction, you may be surprised that people will try to undermine you and get you to take up your addiction again. Some people don’t want to be alone with their addiction. They want company. If this is the case, you should think about not spending time with them for now, even if they are family members.

2. Stay away from any environment that might draw you in to your old ways. If you’re an alcoholic and have quit, it’s best to stay away from bars in the beginning of your sobriety. As time goes on and you become stronger and don’t feel tempted by alcohol, you could go to a restaurant that has a bar. I still don’t suggest going to regular bars because you’ll be in a type of environment that you really don’t want to be in anymore. You’re going through some wonderful changes and don’t need to be pulled back into the bar scene.

3. Take nature walks and bring along a Walkman with a spiritual tape to listen to. Being in nature is a great way to become calm. I know that when I quit drinking my mind had been racing for about 12 years while I was drinking so much. It was new for me to quiet my mind. But it was nice! I loved going to the beach and walking after work with a spiritual tape to further help me calm down my mind. It may be a new experience for you but it’s one of the most important steps you can take to guarantee you’ll stay off whatever you were addicted to.

4. Take up a hobby that you’ve been putting off. You have the time now to pursue hobbies you’ve been putting off. So many times our lives revolve around our addiction. It’s not the case anymore. Take the time to figure out a hobby that you like and can stick with. Have fun. It will help you to get used to your “new life.”

5. Join a group, church, volunteer or take classes that interest you. Getting your mind off of yourself is huge! When you’re addicted, life is all about you, isn’t it? Now you want to get out of yourself and be involved with people who are doing something positive with their lives. With volunteering, you are helping people who need you. They’re there, in front of you and they need you now. It’s one of the best ways to help you retrain yourself to think of others first.

6. Decide to do one new thing a week. So often life becomes stagnant when one is addicted, especially to a substance. In the beginning you may almost have to force yourself to try one new thing a week. It might be scary to step out and try new things. So start small. It could be driving to a mall out of town, going for a two-mile walk, or going out for coffee by yourself. It’s important to start doing constructive things that keep your mind and thoughts uplifted. When I was drinking I never did new things. It was the same old thing, day in and day out. It’s also important to start taking new steps and making changes in your life.

Author's Bio: 

I wrote a book titled "I Quit!" It's my story of being addicted to alcohol, cigarettes and junk food (I was fat) and overcoming each addiction. Please stop by my website and sign up for my tip of the week @ www.dovelinpublishing.com.