What? Are YOU ready for a new HABIT? You might be thinking that the point of our little get-togethers was to break a habit. Absolutely – the unhealthy ones, of course! May I present to you this fact – one sure way of giving up a habit is by replacing it with another. NO, I’m not talking about smoking pot, drinking, or prescription drugs. I’m talking about replacing a bad habit with a good habit. The last thing you do when you quit is taking up another habit you’ll need to quit. Oh great, a good habit sounds fun. Okay, it might not be a habit that gives you same high, but a habit that is GOOD for you, that OCCUPIES your time in an enjoyable way, and that can done WITH or WITHOUT someone.
When you quit meth, one of the serious triggers that spawn relapse is occupying your time. Meth takes up so much time! I understand, it gives you ‘alone’ time, it gives you something to do with your meth friends, and it’s your companion late at night.
Part of the habit is that you literally can’t do anything without taking a hit. Need to go shopping? Run to the bathroom as soon as you get there to take a snort before running (literally) up and down the aisles not able to remember why you are there. Need to go to work? Smoke a bowl. Need to drive? Smoke a bowl.
Meth is a habit beyond the high it gives you. Sure, you do it to get high but it weaves itself into everything you do – yeah, I know.
Okay, you need some suggestions?
I have some serious recommendations!!!
Remember, I’m not a doctor, but speaking to you purely as a peer mentor and I’ve made these habits my own.
Make your HEALTH your new habit. You’ve been abusing your body long enough and there could be some long-term damage done, but so much ill can be replaced by health if you focus on making some lifestyle changes. Quitting meth is definitely a start in lifestyle change but you need to take it further to reap the benefits and reverse some of the damage done by meth.
Eating healthy: Look, we are hardly eating at all when on meth and when we do, it’s unusually unhealthy. I know when I was on meth, I was THRILLED that I could eat ANYTHING and still lose weight. HOWEVER, this is seriously messing with your body, your metabolism, and sets you up for diseases experienced later in life. I KNOW that when you first come down, you are going to want to eat ANYTHING and EVERYTHING – and then after you re-join the world; it’s hard to break that habit. Food becomes comfort rather than sustaining, and before you know it the weight can really start adding on. Which then food becomes a trigger because you KNOW one sure way of losing the weight, right? It’s called R-E-L-A-P-S-E, and you are back where you started.
So, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, start thinking about what you eat as soon as you can get the cement out of your eyes and can walk down the hall to the kitchen. It’s even better if your sober support is on board with this and can have healthy meals prepared for you so that when you do start eating, it’s not all macaroni and cheese and hamburgers.
I’m vegetarian which doesn’t mean that I can’t be unhealthy. A vegetarian can be very unhealthy. I’m not telling you to become vegetarian, but I am suggesting to you to make healthy eating one of your new habits. It will get your metabolism balanced, it will help you gain HEALTHY and manageable weight, and reverse some of the adverse effects of meth for long-term longevity. Start taking as much interest in food as you did in your meth sack. There are so many resources on the internet about healthy eating but one I recommend that I KNOW will turn your health around is http://www.chiphealth.com/. CHIP health promotes a lifestyle change toward overall healthy living and has A LOT of information. Do your own research. There are plenty of healthy recipes on Pinterest.
Exercise. I’ll tell you right now I hate to exercise. I don’t do gyms. I don’t do exercise DVD’s. I don’t do groups. SO MY ATTITUDE NEEDED ADJUSTING. First, I had to find what I like to do that fit into my new normal life – and it took me awhile to start working on it. After I quit, the eating increased and the weight started adding on. My self-image was going straight down and I’ll admit to wishing for a manageable hit to help with my weight issues (HINT, THERE ARE NO MANAGEABLE HITS OF METH – that’s not the way meth works). Weighed kept adding on and I went from a size 0 to about a size 10. I was struggling with dieting, trying to motivate myself to exercise (so that never happened) and hating buying bigger cloths. Then I got pregnant with my first son. YAY, back to eating everything and anything I wanted, right!?! Finally, I was ALLOWED to gain weight! I added on about 20lbs with my son and just accepted it as normal. After he was born, and I experienced a couple of major life changes, I suddenly found myself in a new life position; I had a baby that needed to get outside, I lived in a place where I needed to get out of the house to maintain my sanity, and the weight wasn’t feeling good anymore. SO, I started walking. Every day. Walking faster. Pushing myself. Enjoying the cool morning air! Enjoying the time with my son! Enjoy feeling my cloths loosen up on my frame.
Then my son got old enough to stop at the park on my walk. While he played, I started using the playground as an exercise gym. I had a whole routine using the play equipment that I did every day and WOW, the results were amazing. The weight fell off and I was back down to a size 4 and very happy with the results! For the first time in my life I was happy with my body.
Then I went back to work. Gone were my long walks with my son and our daily park time together. I was back to eating out for lunch and sitting behind a desk. I felt the weight starting to come back on so I buckled down and started waking up extra early to walk again. It was nice being bundled up in the early morning hours and it was good to put a stop to the onslaught of weight.
GOOD GRIEF, why am I telling you all of this?? WELL, in short, it is really important to find an exercise that works for you in the time that you have. However, as a minimum, just walking 30 minutes a day as a fast as you can to get your heart rate up will do wonders for your mental and physical health, it will occupy your time (as long as you aren’t walking 30 minutes as fast as you can to your drug dealers house and back), and it will balance out any weight issues.
ONLY IF YOU ARE IN A POSITION TO, I would recommend getting a dog – one that needs to be walked. The companionship and responsibility could really help get you through the rough times and give you enjoyment in your new, beautiful, normal life.
Drinking water. I know this might sound crazy but I totally believe in water being the cure for just about everything. It does wonders for your innards, your skin, and helps balance you. Just try it! As soon as you can lift your head off the pillow, start drinking water! Just for an experiment (and to help you establish self-will in your new life), for a month, ONLY drink water. See if you can’t see the difference in your skin and how you feel overall.
Look, if you aren’t careful, you can swing this way too much and become a total health freak – granted, which is a lot better for you and the people around you instead of you doing meth, but it can become unhealthy as well. Friend, remember the key to life is balance!
There are other habits that I will address in future blogs that are as important as healthy habits but you’ll have to check back!
Do you want to look like an old, used meth addict? Then friend, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT or you will!!! Start a new habit! Just make it a healthy one!
I end with a promise text. It is found in Jeremiah 30:17a, ‘”For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds,” says the Lord.’ This is a beautiful promise you can claim. Once the meth chain that your body is trapped in is broken, God is there to restore your health! Isn’t that good news?
Till next time, peace.