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Have you ever tried to quit an addiction, only to be back on that wagon a month later? perhaps a week? did you tell anyone you were doing it? did you do anything to stop yourself from backpedaling?
Something I find so important in the early stages of quitting booze, drugs, or any sort of addiction, is drastically reducing our risk of opting out. I like to call this act burning one’s bridges, and there are many variations of this saying, but it essentially means, the point of no return.
In this article, we will discuss what this phrase actually means in a little bit more detail, and how important burning one’s bridges is towards breaking the loop in an addiction-filled life.
Burning The Bridges in Addiction
The classic example of this term dates back to 1519 where commander Hernan Cortes landed in hostile territory and proceeded to burn his ships, sending a message to his men that there was no turning back. This gave his men no option to backpedal, and it was either conquer or be defeated.
This is what we must do when we look to live a live addiction-free, and the ships or bridges are the pathways we constantly leave open, allowing relapse to reach over and yank us back. If we really want to be committed to putting addiction behind us, we must ensure that the way back is not so easy, and we do this by burning down the path back to our past.
How do we burn our metaphorical bridge?
We take a leap of faith and make our addiction public, we seek close friends and tell our family of the situation. Stepping out is scary, embarrassing, shameful, and makes you feel like an utter failure, but I can tell you, you most certainly are not.
Stepping out is in fact the most courageous, bold, and most important thing you can do towards creating a permanently severing the link between you and your addiction. You are the opposite of failure, and more so a superhero, and on your way to gaining the best superpower on earth, and that’s sobriety.
Why are burning the bridges so important?
Because it reduces our risk of ever turning back, and if we ever feel like we’re failing, we have someone to lean on. Burning the bridges creates an immense amount of accountability, which is one of the most important elements to implement in long-lasting sobriety.
Burning the bridges also tells you that when times get tough, you have people to support you. It even opens up a new world of support groups and communities that constantly remind you that you’re not alone, and you don’t have to do it alone from day dot.
When we burn the bridges and create a point of no return, we create longer-lasting sobriety and a greater level of accountability and support. These are key foundational steps in early sobriety, so if you’re not going them and you find yourself constantly falling off the wagon, burn them bridges.
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All the best in health,
Former Drinker & Clinical Nutritionist
Former drinker, Nutritionist, Biohacking enthusiast, self-experimenter, research fanatic, and self-taught writer, Stephen immerses himself deep into the literature of human optimisation and better understand the nature of addiction. His goal is to help people take control of their addiction, reset their cravings, unscramble their broken brain circuitry and use actionable strategies that work ten times better than anything else.