Quitting meth is hard as hell. I won’t sugar coat it and I won’t lie to you. The path to becoming “normal” once again will be a battle fought moment by moment; especially in the beginning. However, if I could sum up the process of kicking meth according to the steps involved to help you see the process as a roadmap, I would sum it up in 5 steps:
Make up your mind
Making up your mind to be done for good is quite likely the most important step towards being clean. Without your mind’s full commitment to being clean you will find yourself making excuses and your sick brain will undermine your efforts in the long run. Your desire to quit has to be stronger than your want to be high and that’s eff’in hard. You have to be 100% done with the hell that existing while using meth is causing you. You have to keep your focus on the other side of this hell – and it will come. It will.
Find things that you can focus on and write them down in a journal or even on a piece of paper that you can keep close. You will need this to remind yourself why you are going through this. I suggest starting with these two ideas:
First: Write down how you feel right this minute and don’t spare any feelings or thoughts. No one will see this but you, so be real and completely candid.
Second: Write down a list of reasons for becoming clean and be specific. List each of your kids by name, your spouse, your health — everything that is important to you and at the top add your name – because you are loved despite the lies you’ve let meth tell you. Without you, the people on the list would be devastated. You have to care about you first so that you can be a better spouse, parent, friend, sibling — person.
You can’t do this alone; well maybe you can, but it’s going to add 1000% to the difficulty of quitting. I would highly recommend finding a local Narcotics Anonymous (NA) group at a minimum and/or find a rehab facility that supports your beliefs and get in touch with them. Do this now, before you have a chance to lie to yourself again about not being able to do this.
Having someone(s) to lean on is very important. If you decide to utilize N/A or an outpatient rehab program, get the phone number of your sponsor or counselor and use it! Don’t be afraid to call on them for help – that’s what they’re there for. You will need support during the hard times — sometimes you may just need someone to talk to and other times you might be really going through it and need to fully lean on them for strength. They have seen it all before and in many cases they (especially NA sponsors) have been through it themselves.
Fight the cravings
Cravings SUCK (to put it mildly), but they do fade. Most cravings last around five minutes and if you can get past those five minutes without calling a dealer or making plans to hook up – you’ve won a battle. It’s a battle you will fight over and over, but the time between cravings do grow further and further apart with time. Some ex-meth-addicts say they don’t have cravings any longer while others say they never fade – either way, you have to use your coping skills to get past them when they come on.
Change your surroundings
Get the hell away from those that enable your habit. This may mean that you have to write-off damn near everyone in your life, but you MUST do this – I can’t stress the importance of this. You can’t half-ass it either, because as soon as you let that friend back into your life you will find yourself sitting on the couch with a pipe in your hand wondering how in the hell you let this happen again.
The people in your life that are using or helping you use right now, WILL 100% cause you to relapse – There is no grey area here. You have to walk away. Don’t take their calls, don’t visit, don’t go down streets you used to go down or even tempt yourself with ideas to do so. Put the word out that you’re done and mean it. Word will travel and they will get the hint. Hell, yes this sounds mean, but remember what I said above about doing this for you? You must be selfish right now and care more about your sobriety than their hurt feelings.
Make new habits
You’ve left most everything you know behind by this point. You’ve stopped doing what’s familiar, you’ve got no “friends” and nothing seems familiar or comfortable – this is normal, at least at first. It’s normal to reminisce about the “fun” you had while high or how much energy you had, etc. — This is when you do two things: Pull out your journal or list that should be tattered and wrinkled by now and read it – all.
Find new things to occupy your time and your mind. It doesn’t matter if it’s as simple as going for a walk or chewing gum when a craving sets in, you will need to retrain yourself and shift your focus towards positive changes. Start exercising and/or throw yourself into something you love and you will find that as you become more involved in these things, you will make new friends and become surrounded by people that are interested in things you love to do that are healthy.
Now, that’s the gyst of it – and it’s much easier on paper than in practice, but quitting meth really does boil down to these crucial steps. There is no one-size-fits all manual to help you get sober. You will face challenges that are unique to your situation in the process, but know that you aren’t alone. Many, many people have fought their own battles and are able to not only live to tell the story, but are here to help you. Find support and lean on it – don’t try to go it alone.
Much love and God bless you in your journey. <3