STEP #1: Admit You Have A Problem
Many people with addictions try to hide their addictions from others. However, the longer they try to hide their addictions the longer they hurt. The first step to being set free from an addiction is to no longer keep it a secret. Part of the power of an addiction is keeping it private. By admitting to ourselves, God, and others our problem, the power of the addiction begins to be broken.
STEP #2: Understand God's Grace
Our struggle with addictions makes us feel worthless. We carry so much shame and guilt around. Addictions will use our shame and guilt to keep us enslaved. However, by understanding and experiencing God's grace, shame begins to fade. God's grace begins to replace our shame. Because of God's grace, we are forgiven of our sin. Sin is really what an addiction is. We become enslaved to a certain sin and it gains power over us. It controls us. Yet, as we begin to experience God's grace or his unconditional love and unlimited forgiveness sin will begin to lose its power in our lives. Grace is everything God has done for each of us through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Through the grace given us in Jesus, we are forgiven and declared to be not guilty before God when we place our faith in Jesus. We are then able to have grace on ourselves by forgiving ourselves. As a result, we are able to be released from shame.
STEP #3: Seek Professional Help
There are people who are trained to help those who struggle with addictions. Find those who specialize in helping people break free from addictions. More than likely, your community has an outpatient or inpatient program available.
STEP #4: Find A Recovery and Support Group
Finding a recovery and support group is essential to breaking free from addictions. Recovery and support groups bring us into transparent relationships with others. We are able to share our struggles as well as find tools to help us. Through recovery and support groups, we can find mentors who will be there for us and help us through a process they have already been through. One of the best recovery programs available is called Celebrate Recovery. Many churches provide Celebrate Recovery groups. See if there is one in your community by searching Celebrate Recovery on the internet.
Once you find a group, go every time the group meets. Eventually, you will become a mentor to someone.
If you need more than a support and recovery group, find a treatment center to go to such as The Home of Grace in Vancleave, Mississippi.
STEP #5: Call Your Recovery Partner Daily (Sponsor)
After you get involved in a recovery group, be sure to find a mentor or sponsor in your group. Call your sponsor everyday for encouragement. Whenever you feel tempted, call your sponsor. One phone call can stop the temptation.
STEP #6: Focus On Growing
So often we focus on overcoming an addiction. So much so that it consumes our thoughts and conversations. We get focused on saying no to the addiction. The more we focus on it and try to say no to it, the more it sometimes stays with us. One solution to this is focusing on growing. Find a good Christian book to read. Listen to good CD's of biblical teachings. Listen to leadership CD's such as John Maxwell. Purchase good Christian music to listen to. Find a good church to attend. Begin to expose your heart and mind to good things.
STEP #7: Exercise Daily
Addictions destroy the body. Our bodies are God's temple. By the Spirit of Jesus, God indwells those who have come to faith in Jesus. God wants us to care for our bodies. Exercising is one way we can begin taking care of our bodies and reversing the affect of the addiction. Exercise brings healing not only to the body, but also to the mind. You will feel so good physically and mentally by exercising. Find a local fitness center to attend. Ask the fitness trainer to help you with a fitness plan.
STEP #8: Place A Rubber Band On Your Wrist
Our bodies become addicted to the high of the addition. Our bodies associate the addiction with pleasure. By popping our wrist with the rubber band each time we are tempted, our brain begins to associate the addiction with pain rather than pleasure. As you pop your wrist over and over each time you are tempted, your brain will begin to send out messages telling your body that the addiction is painful. Your cravings will begin to decrease over the course of time. This may sound crazy, but it works!
STEP #9: Embrace God's Vision For Your Life
Your life has purpose. God knit you together with gifts, talents, and abilities that Satan has tried to steal through the deception of your addiction. The addiction that once promised great pleasure has produced great pain. Be encouraged! Because of God's grace, your life is not over. You have not ruined your life. God wants you to enjoy life again and experience that abundant life that is your through Jesus. God says in the Bible that he (God) knows the plans he has for you. Plans to give you a hope and a future if you will call upon him and seek him. There are God-given talents, abilities, and dreams in your heart waiting to be unleashed. Through his power, God will fulfill his plan for your life. Give yourself completely to God and embrace his vision for your life. Do not let Satan's addiction in your life rob you of one more second of the plan God has for you. Live the life you were created to live! One way to learn more about this is by reading Rick Warrens book The Purpose Driven Life.
STEP #10: Spend Time With God Daily
Now that you have decided to embrace God's vision for your life, spend some time getting to know him. One of the ways you can do this is by spending time with God daily through prayer and reading a daily devotional book. I would recommend Joel Osteen's Your Best Life Now, Max Lucado's Grace For The Moment, and Charles Stanley's A Touch of His Peace, A Touch of His Love, and A Touch of His Freedom. By spending time with God daily, you will see your relationship with him begin to grow.