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Changing Environment

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Friend' started by Zyni, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. Zyni

    Zyni Community Champion

    It's often said that people need to avoid people, things, and places that can be triggers to their addictions, which makes perfect sense. So, how do you help someone change their environment, when they can't afford to move and some of the the culprits are within their own home?
  2. rainbowguard

    rainbowguard Senior Contributor

    I agree with you that changing their environments is a great first step towards recovery. I can think of two things that can change their environments: giving them new hobbies or interests, and changing the atmosphere of their places.

    By asking them to find new hobbies or interests, even if those new things are not completely good by themselves (like video games or shopping), you help him push away those old thoughts with new ones. By changing the atmosphere of their places, you are also introducing new things to them. This can be accomplished by simple things such as changing the rooms' layout, switching furniture, etc.
    Zyni likes this.
  3. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    You need to rethink a little. If you want to move somewhere else to get onto the straight and narrow, you don't really need all that much. I left everything behind and set up my tent in a camping ground. It felt like holidays to me. All the burdens and obligations connected with my apartment suddenly dissolved. I felt absolutely great going to work every morning. I had everything I needed. Of course, it took a bit of organisation beforehand, but breaking away from all the things that I was used to really changed my life forever.
    pandabear1991 and Zyni like this.
  4. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    That's a tough one. The only thing I think that person can do is lock himself/herself in their rooms when they are at home to avoid interacting with family members who might be using some substance. Not that original but I think it might help just a little bit.
  5. bombshell

    bombshell Member

    These are awesome ideas! Changing environments does not have to mean physically moving. Find a support group and friends from that group who can help you on your journey to sobriety. Find new places to hang out. Maybe the beach, mountains a lake or whatever you have in your area. New habits like swimming, fishing, hiking or gaming.

    You can't be in the same place mentally and physically and expect things to just change by themselves. Get a game plan together to change the way you see things around you. It's not always about what your environment is, it's how you see your environment.
    MrsJones likes this.
  6. pandabear1991

    pandabear1991 Active Contributor

    Honestly, I had to leave behind EVERYTHING I had in order to fully recover. Even though my problem was a bad chemical imbalance, I couldn't handle the memories and lifestyle of my previous life once I came home from the hospital (still going through major withdrawals). I re-homed all of my animals, I sold some of my furniture, donated what I couldn't sell, sold 2 of my cars, and just left with my husband to live in a new state. My best friend understood--but everyone else had already stopped talking to me before my hospitalization so its not like I was leaving anything behind. Just a fresh start to look ahead to.
    Zyni likes this.
  7. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I think when this is the case, it would be good to consider giving the person some books to read because it would offer them some form of escape and it's also a hobby thT can potentially keep their minds stimulated enough that they would have a better chance at ignoring their cravings.
  8. Zyni

    Zyni Community Champion

    Thank you for sharing. I would think a clean break would be the best way to get a fresh start. I'm glad you have a supportive friend and husband, and I hope starting over turns out to be a great, new life for you. I'm sorry things have been so hard. I wish you all the best.
    pandabear1991 likes this.
  9. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    It is really hard since it is not easy to just change place especially if you cannot afford it. I think better if one can just stay at home often and have a strong self control over those bad influences that might knock on the door. Or go outside do more useful things like sports, relax in the park or visit those friends that are good influences.
  10. jeremy2

    jeremy2 Community Champion

    Some things are easier said than done. Changing our environment may sound easy on paper but when it comes to the actual movement, things take a different dimension. Though the intentions may be noble, you have to exhaust all avenues before you resort to going to a different location and starting all over again. It's a daunting task.
    pandabear1991 likes this.
  11. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    Definitely right. As I have said, it is really hard to change place since lots of things to consider. One should also make sure that the place where to transfer is going to be a better place compared to the old one.
  12. ReadmeByAmy

    ReadmeByAmy Community Champion

    When we say that we want a change of home and other things because we want a change of environment to forget the past for our recovery is something that is not easy to do. If you have positive thoughts in your mind and strong determination within yourself that you can change for the better then there is no need for this kind of change of place to live. A change in doing interesting things that will make you busy and productive is the kind of change that you need.
  13. pandabear1991

    pandabear1991 Active Contributor

    Thanks! It was very hard to do emotionally--after all we were so well off with what we had considering I was a Mom of 22 and he was taking care of me and another man's child at 23. We still have not fully re-established ourselves like we were, but we know what is true: Home is where the heart is. We are still learning and there is always room for progress. We'll be better than where we were someday, even if it takes longer to get there. I do catch myself regretting those hard decisions occasionally, but I really feel my animals are the biggest reason for this. The facts are I am healthier and so is my family, and I did what I had to do.

    Honestly, I even had a friend who just started walking one day after High School graduation. As in, he was depressed, he was sick of all the medications, and just wanted a fresh start. He took a back pack with a few things and money, just walked and bounced around freely for almost a year. We recently reconnected and he is doing better than ever. Happy with himself, and also drug/medication free. I just don't feel that anything is impossible anymore, it's all about the opportunities you choose to make and how you resource yourself.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
  14. trilunar

    trilunar Member

    Changing the environment, starting a new hobby, and avoiding "old friends" are all strong suggestions. In those instances where literally changing the environment is difficult, maybe advancing to a new life phase can be helpful. Since that sounds a little vague, some examples are: becoming a student, taking a position at work with more responsibility, or stepping into a family role for a younger relative. Basically, placing your focus on something outside yourself and striving to contribute to a goal or cause can be great ways to grow.

    Another option is to relearn the simple pleasures in life. Cooking and enjoying a meal or immersing yourself in music are a couple of ways to nurture yourself and establish new, healthy habits.
  15. sazzydan

    sazzydan Active Contributor

    I do not really agree with this in a sense, because having a challenging environment is part of the fight. Moving away from a situation to quit is good yes, but what happens when you go back to a situation where you are tempted a few months down the line?

    I think that moving away from the environment in the first instance can help, but not all the time as it could become more a problem than a solution.
  16. 6up

    6up Community Champion

    It is sometimes difficult to change an environment, but when one has set his mind, a forward route is possible. One can change his schedules so that he will not get the time to be with an unwanted group. One must know that they have to make life decisions that affect their future.