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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Rivera

Breaking Free: Overcoming Addiction and Rebuilding Your Life

Updated: Sep 28, 2023

Addiction, the persistent, compulsive dependence on a behaviour or substance, is a challenge that many face.

It's a complex issue that has evolved over time, extending its reach to various aspects of our lives. In this article, we'll explore addiction, its different forms, and how to break free from its grasp.

Understanding the Two Faces of Addiction

Addiction can be divided into two categories: substance addictions and process addictions. Substance addictions encompass alcoholism, drug abuse, and smoking, while process addictions involve behaviours like gambling, spending, shopping, eating, and sexual activity. Recognising these distinctions is crucial as they require different approaches to support and recovery.

Finding the Right Support

When tackling addiction, having the right support is essential. Various professionals, such as counsellors, therapists, and wellbeing coaches, offer their expertise. Some focus on emotional and self-esteem aspects, while others specialise in detox and rehabilitation.

A wellbeing coach, for instance, emphasises goals and strategies, helping individuals identify the resources needed for positive change. This approach often includes psychoeducation, visual tools, and evidence-based practices while promoting healthy self-esteem and habit replacement.

The Stages of Recovery

Overcoming addiction involves several stages, and each one is a critical part of the journey.

1. Admitting the Problem

The first step is acknowledging that a problem exists. It's an invisible platform from which recovery can begin. Admitting this to yourself sets the stage for change.

2. Recognizing the Challenge

Addiction's power can be overwhelming. Recognising the challenge is the next hurdle, moving beyond justifying the addiction. Without proper support, the cycle of addiction can persist.

3. Taking Tough Love

After admitting the problem, it's time for tough love. Continued substance abuse can severely impact your health, toxifying your body and leading to various diseases.

4. Breaking the Silence

Many individuals keep their addiction a secret for extended periods, leading to emotional distress. Breaking the silence by confiding in someone takes courage but is crucial for getting support.

5. Seeking Support

Accepting where you are and seeking support without shame is vital. A strong support network is key to recovery, including a local GP, a counsellor, therapist, or coach, trusted friends or family, and a collection of helpful resources.

Understanding Triggers

Understanding what triggers addictive behaviour is essential. Triggers can range from stress and loneliness to self-pity and exhaustion. A good therapist or coach can help develop self-awareness and healthier coping mechanisms.

Changing Habits for a Healthier Life

Working with a therapist or addiction coach is essential for lasting change. It's about finding purpose in life, managing stress, building confidence, and changing from within. While the journey may be challenging, with the right mindset and support, it can be enriching.

A Word of Caution!

For those struggling with severe, long-term addiction, always consult a doctor before attempting detox on your own. Certain addictions may require medical assistance due to potentially life-threatening physiological changes during abrupt discontinuation.


Breaking free from addiction is a challenging but rewarding journey. By recognising the problem, seeking the right support, understanding triggers, and changing habits, you can regain control of your life. Remember that you don't have to face addiction alone—there is help and support available to guide you towards recovery.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, valuable resources can be found at:

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