Matt: What’s up everybody? This is Matt and Greg with Project Unbroken. Real quick, hit that subscribe button and please share this video with anybody that you know that might benefit from hearing a little bit about our experiences with addiction. Today we wanted to talk about our number one tip for getting sober. Quitting heroin, whatever you’re addicted to, when you kind of make that decision you’re done, what do you think that the number one thing is, the most important thing, to kind of starting that path to sobriety?
Greg: For sure, no doubt about it, the number one thing for me was separating from everyone that used, getting rid of all my numbers, getting rid of my Facebook, my social media, just kind of getting rid of everything connected to drugs. I mean, even if you talk about rehab, like, people who go to rehab, the people who are effective coming out of rehab are the people that come home and they stay away from everyone that’s around them. A lot of people think, like, rehab is some magic tool. Rehab does a lot of good things for you, but I think the biggest thing it does for you is it gets you away from your normal life. You know? A lot of people who fail, they come out of rehab and then they go back around the same group of friends thinking they’re cured, and bam, they’re right back in that addiction.
Matt: Oh, yeah.
Greg: I think I realized that you were able to separate from me, and that’s kind of where you got sober. You got a new girlfriend, she didn’t use, so your new group of people, they weren’t around drugs, so it made it a lot easier for you. I think I started realizing that and I was like, “You know what?” After you separate, I still hung around people that were using so I kept using, and then eventually I got to the point where I realized what I was doing. I’m like, “I can’t be around people who use. I get what Matt did.” I separated from those people, I got rid of all my contacts, no dealers, nothing, completely cleared my phone, even changed my number. Then from that point on, getting sober was a whole lot easier because it almost wasn’t an option at that point. I couldn’t reach people. I had nowhere to get it, and I just didn’t hang around people who were a bad influence on me.
Matt: Yeah, it’s one of those things. That’s a really … It’s a great example of when you need to burn bridges. Like, that’s what they say. That’s where the term stems from. Those are bridges you have to burn if you don’t want to kind of stay in that continuous cycle of addiction. We have spoken about this before, but if you’re around somebody that’s like, even hints at the idea of using, it’s like, “Eh.” You’re right, rehab is awesome, but one of the things it does is it just breaks the cycle. It kind of gets you away from that, whatever your daily ritual is; the people you’re around, the things you do day to day, that’s what, in my eyes, is the biggest benefit of rehab.
Greg: 100% agree.
Matt: Is getting away from the people, away from the triggers that cause you to want to use, but you can’t go right back to them.
Greg: Yeah, and we’ll talk more about rehab. I mean, there’s good things rehab can do, you know, with like therapy and all that, but I agree with you. The biggest thing is just that it takes you away from your normal day of life.
Greg: I know that’s a big one, maybe the number one thing in general. If that’s not your number one, what would be the next thing for you, just to give you a number one?
Matt: I was thinking about it a little bit and I think, at least the biggest thing that helped me getting sober and kind of breaking that cycle was to add, like, forced accountability to myself. I told my support system; my family, people who were close to me who knew me, I was like, “If you see me acting up or acting bizarre or strange behavior, up and down, stuff like that, throw me a drug test. I’m not going to fight it.”
Greg: Yeah, I really like that. Basically, you put all your cards on the table.
Matt: Yeah, and if you’re open and if you tell somebody at the beginning, and if you do really want to get clean, you have to. If not, as addicts we find a way to manipulate our way out of stuff, be like, “No, no, no, I’m good,” you don’t want to talk about it. If you say, “Throw this at me,” it keeps you accountable because you know that could be coming at any minute.
Greg: Now, when you put that accountability on the table, I’m throwing this out there for people who are thinking of this, like, did you know, if you didn’t stick with it there would be consequences at that point? Did you talk to your support system about, if I don’t, there’s going to be consequences? Did you just kind of know that, or how did that work?
Matt: I knew there would be consequences. I think I saw the damage that heroin was doing, not just to me, but to my family. I knew, I was like, “If you keep this up, you’re going to destroy everything.” I knew in my head, like, I was … There was a little bit of accountability from myself, because I kind of started to see what was going on. Having other people involved and enforcing that accountability really helped. I did, they every once in a while … I remember my mom found something, she didn’t know what it was. She’s ignorant to what heroin was. She had no idea what any of this stuff was.
Greg: Most people don’t.
Matt: Yeah, and you shouldn’t, but she found something that she was uncomfortable with. I explained to her, I’m like, “That’s nothing, I don’t know what that is.” She was like, “We talked about this, you told me to do this, take this drug test.”
Greg: That’s great, because you were the one that told her, so you can’t really be like, “Ugh.” I mean, you set it up.
Matt: Yeah. I didn’t argue it. Honestly and admittedly I was a little bit like, “You don’t trust me?” But, I knew, I was like, you can’t. First of all, when you’re in the process of getting off of heroin or breaking any addiction, you can’t trust yourself, let alone, you can’t expect other people to trust you. This is a long process of kind of building that trust with others, but probably most importantly with yourself. I mean, that’s huge. It was nice to have somebody say like, “No bullshit. You got to do this. It’s part of the whole program.”
Greg: Yeah, I think one thing that might tie both of those together is committing. Like, a full commitment to, I’m going to get sober.
Greg: I mean, when you break off those people that you’ve been hanging out with, that’s a commitment, I’m committing to this. When you put your cards on the table and you’re like, “This shit is doing. I’m telling them what’s going on,” you’ve just committed. There’s not really any turning back from there.
Matt: If you don’t have 100% commitment to getting clean and you have a place that you want to get, which is away from addiction, if you’re not fully committed to that, it will absolutely never happen.
Greg: I agree.
Matt: You cannot leave any, “Oh, you know, maybe special occasions,” you’re done. Like, it’s no longer an option. That has to be it. To your point, those are some of the things that really solidify that commitment. The burning of the bridges with everybody you used to hang around with, anybody who ever messed with heroin or whatever your struggle with, has to be gone, at least for the next couple years at least. I mean, that’s what you and I did. That’s a part of it. Then, you know, putting that forced accountability on top of it was a big help as well.
Greg: Awesome. All right, so there is our number one tip for getting out of an addiction. You got to separate yourself from everyone. You got to maybe get some accountability, put your cards on the table, you got to make that full commitment. You know, I think those are the biggest things you can do to get out of addiction. I hope you guys liked this video. Please make sure you subscribe below. Share it if you can. We’re trying to get the word about Project Unbroken. We’ll see you all in the next video.
Matt: See you guys.