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In the midst of addiction, even on our worst days, we know what we should and shouldn’t do. Whether it’s a full epiphany or a quick burst of conscience, deep down, we know the behaviors we are enacting aim to harm us and keep us in a state of struggle. But somewhere inside of our heads and hearts, we know we need to make a change.

Making changes can feel easy. We take one or two steps in the right direction, and we feel empowered, but change extends far beyond the idea of getting clean and even a trip to a treatment center. Change means following through time and time again until the behaviors shift away from addictive patterns to healthy choices and a revised lifestyle.

What It Means to Follow Through

Following through means not only thinking about the best choice to make for ourselves in the moment, but it means actually doing the thing we said we were going to do. It may look like leaving an environment when we start to feel addiction’s urge, walking home another way to avoid the liquor store, or no longer maintaining a friendship with someone that you once used with because they are continuing to use or drink. Following through means making a healthy choice and enacting it in the moment.

This may seem like a simplistic concept, but thinking about change is only one step on the journey. And even some of the actual steps we take will only get us halfway there. We can go to rehab, we can attend group sessions, and we can even see a therapist once a week but following through means making an in-the-moment decision to better your life and leading your body in the right direction away from harm. The difficulties stem from the fact that in these moments, even if you’re with a friend or support system, you’re on your own. The choice is always yours to make.

Think about it this way. Remember when you were a little kid and all the adults in your life would tell you what to do and not do? Your caretakers would say things like, “don’t talk to strangers,” “be nice to others,” and even what it means to be a team player during an activity. But those words like all forms of advice are meaningless unless we can apply the ideas in a real-life situation. Addiction is the same way. We know all the information that will help us stay clean and keep us grounded, but we have to make those choices in the moment to ensure we stay on track. We have to do the thing we promised ourselves we would do to stay free from addiction’s grasp. And at the end of the day, we have to make the choice and follow through for no one else but ourselves. We have to apply what we learn because we know it will help change our lives for the better.

How Following Through Translates to Self-Love

Every time we put down the substance, walk away from a precarious situation, or even stop a negative thought that could lead to a negative choice, we are enacting self-love. This is what it means to follow through. It means making the right choice for your future in the moment because you are worth it. Your future is worth it. Your life is worth it. Following through isn’t based on following the steps of a program just because it keeps you clean or sober; following through is a courageous act of self-care that shows your body, mind, and soul that you care about what happens to it in the moment and in the future.

The people in your life can help you detox, they can teach you about boundaries, and they can help support you in difficult moments, but following through means doing the self-work and realizing you care. It means turning inside and acknowledging that you’ve abandoned yourself and your dreams because of substance. And that’s okay! You are here now, ready to do the work because you’ve found self-love beginning to burn again. Following through means keeping that flame burning bright, and if it gets extinguished, lighting it again and again and again. Following through means you love yourself so much that you will do anything to keep yourself safe, healthy, and happy.

Following through is one of the hardest parts of the recovery process because it means not only making difficult choices, it means enacting them every moment of every day. If you or someone you know is struggling to follow through, know you are not alone. The Summer House Detox Center has decades of experience helping people recover from their addictions by finding the path to self-love. We will get you clean, we will keep you safe, and we will teach you what it means to follow through. Call (800) 719-1090 today to learn about your treatment options. You can also visit our addiction treatment center in Miami at 13550 Memorial Highway Miami, FL 33161. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.