Often, it takes several weeks, months or up to a year of abstinence before your sleep, physical health, emotions, and thinking return to a state of balance or normalcy for you. When your thinking is clear enough, you can rationally assess how much damage the abuse of drugs or alcohol did to your life and if it is worth testing to see if limited use will be possible for you. Learn by your past experience. A person in control of their life learns from past experiences, both positive and negative. You have already tried unsuccessfully to reduce use. For some people experimental use led to moderate use, which led to problem use, then abuse, and finally addiction. There is no road back.
Test your rational thinking. Take ten minutes and write down your reasons for attempting moderate use again. Write down your reasons for not attempting moderate use again.
You may find your reasons for not attempting moderate use again are the same as the reasons you wrote in your “Craving Management Plan.” They are your reasons for not using at all.
Remember, abstinence is not a goal. Abstinence is a requirement for you to achieve your real life goals in physical and mental health, school and work, recreation, relationships, home and community life, and communications. For you, abstinence is a state of being you have achieved because you are already there. You are clean. You just need to maintain it, enjoy it, and eventually, just like when you became as experienced driver, it will become second nature. You won’t even think about it, except when the driving conditions are difficult. And then, you will take extra care and caution to adjust your driving to the conditions of the road. You will be able to keep yourself safe.