Getting yourself sober and back to the person you used to be before an addiction is no small task. Addiction is a disease that cannot be cured easily. With that knowledge, here are some helpful tips on how to manage your recovery and best avoid a relapse.
A Stumble is Not a Fall
The goal is not to relapse and, if all goes well, you won’t. Not all addicts make it through their relapse alive, that’s the unfortunate truth. However, an addict who has relapsed may wrongly think themselves a failure. This just isn’t true. A relapse is not the end. If you managed to get sober once then you already know it’s an attainable goal. Look at it as a reminder to yourself as to why you chose the path to recovery in the first place.
If you are on the road to recovery, then you need to avoid any situation that could trigger a relapse. Your first responsibility is to yourself; if you find yourself in a compromising situation, know that it’s okay to leave. It is also important to remember that not all triggers are physical, some are emotional so be sure to avoid location or events you have previously used around as they may serve as a trigger for a relapse.
Keep Yourself Occupied
Finding a hobby or occupying yourself with positive social activities is a good way to avoid relapse. Involving yourself in new activities keeps your mind off the idea of using by focusing on new experiences. Hobbies and exercise are a perfect stress outlet, which has the positive effect of lowering one’s chances for a relapse.
Find a Support Group
The path to recovery isn’t one you have to take alone. There are programs and group meetings that exist to act as a support system and safety net on your road to recovery. Having a healthy environment in which to discuss your concerns or learn to combat any problems you may be dealing with is important to make sure you stay on the right road to recovery.
Patience is Key
Recovery takes time. This is important to note for the recovering addict as well as those in their support system. The term “slowbriety” comes to mind. Don not rush your recovery, take all the time that you need. Learn what works for and what doesn’t and don’t get stuck on any setbacks.
Learn What Normal Looks Like
The path to sobriety isn’t easy. At times you will be emotionally vulnerable, easily angered, or even have bouts of depression. This is normal for recovering addicts. Don’t look at the feels as setbacks. Don’t wrongly assume that those negative emotions cannot be a part of a healthy movement towards your better self. The better you are at recognizing that you are still on the right path to sobriety, the less likely you are to relapse
The idea of a relapse is the worst fear for a recovering addict, as well as their entire support system. That is why it’s important to be realistic with your expectations and become familiar with warning signs, as well as the physical and emotional that might lead to relapse. For more information or if you or your loved one are suffering from addiction contact South Coast Counseling to help start the road to recovery.