Louis Gossett Jr. is an Oscar-winning actor who battled drug addiction at the height of his career in the 1980’s. Now clean and sober, Louie opened up to me in my book, Believable Hope, about how the people in his life during his drug abuse only egged on bad habits and fueled his addictions – and this is very common.
Essential Element #3 to beating any addiction is “Surround yourself with winners.” Surrounding yourself with positive influences is vital to beating addiction, and for those in recovery. Why?
Because we become like the people with whom we most frequently associate. This is true whether those people with whom we enjoy time are positive and productive people, or individuals burdened down by addictions and or other life controlling issues.
The saying, “Misery loves company” is certainly true. Not only does positive thinking contribute to lowered stress and an overall boost in health, but positive influences – people who lift you up, encourage healthy lifestyles and stay away from destructive habits themselves – can make the difference between sustained recovery and regular relapse. In other words, if you struggle with drug abuse and surround yourself with friends who abuse drugs, chances are you will continue to abuse drugs or return to old behaviors.
Here’s what it all comes down to:
If you want to get free from addictive behaviors, you must think differently and act differently.
- If you want a life in recovery, don’t surround yourself with people who drink or do drugs. Similarly, if you want to lose weight, spend your time with people who overeat or regularly indulge in destructive behaviors.
- Go to meetings where other people are fighting similar battles as you.
- Find a sponsor, a mentor, someone who will share insights with you and be a role model for you, and hopefully help keep you accountable by encouraging you to stay on the right track.
Who are the ‘winners’ in your life?