It’s tough to own up to an alcohol or drug relapse after you’ve been enjoying sobriety for some time. It is so challenging for some people that they keep it a secret for a while. Eventually, however, pressure builds up on the inside and the truth comes out. Or, they gather enough courage, to be honest with themselves and others.
The reality is that sometimes relapse happens when you’re in recovery for alcoholism or drug addiction, but the chances of it happening decrease significantly when you get familiar with relapse prevention.
Are you on the road of addiction recovery? If so, take some time to learn about addiction treatment. Learn about triggers and how to combat them. Create a relapse prevention plan for yourself, so you can continue to live your life free from addiction.
The following are six keys to help you out:
Make a list of the places, people, and things (triggers) that may tempt you to drink or use drugs. Then, do your best at staying away from such, as the temptation may be too much.
Sure, maybe you can walk into your favourite bar and refrain from drinking, but when you’re old drinking buddy comes in offering to buy you a drink, you might not be able to resist.
Also, avoid hanging out with your old party friends, as again, the temptation may be too much. They may not love the idea of you shying away from them, but your sobriety is important. It’s alright to distance yourself from anyone who may trigger you – at least for now.
Furthermore, you may want to limit time with those that emotionally drain you or upset you, as negative emotions can be a trigger for drinking or drug use.
As you distance yourself from unhealthy influences, begin to surround yourself with positive, supportive people. Hang out with those that will add value to your life instead of tempting you to party.
You can find supportive people in lots of places. 12 Step meetings are a great start. You may also find supportive people in various community activities like religious or spiritual centres, fitness centres, recreational sports leagues, and more.
Cut ties with those who bring you down or taunt you to carry on with your drinking or drugging. Don’t be afraid to be honest with them as to why you don’t want to spend time with them right now.
There are various 12 Step groups and programs that you can attend regularly to learn, grow, and be accountable. There is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) for those recovering from alcoholism, Narcotics Anonymous (NA) for those recovering from drug addiction, SMART Recovery meetings, and support groups.
Though you can stay free from addiction without attending such groups, if you find yourself struggling, consider trying out meetings to see if they help you out. Working through the 12 Steps with a sponsor may indeed help you learn a lot about yourself, grow in various ways, and help you live life sober and free.
Chances are you’re left with some time on your hands now that you’re not drinking or using drugs. This is a perfect time to pick up a new hobby or two. Perhaps you’ve put off fishing for years now or maybe you’ve wanted to play recreational softball for some time now.
Make a list of potential hobbies and go ahead and try them out to see which ones you want to incorporate into your life. This is likely to bring some excitement and joy to your life, and decrease the frequency of any cravings.
Often, underneath alcoholism and drug addiction are some emotional issues that have not been dealt with. Maybe you’ve stuffed your feelings your whole life and now those feelings are surfacing, and you have no idea how to contend with them.
Or perhaps you have incredible amounts of anxiety and it’s causing you to isolate and live in fear. Commit to a season of counseling so that you can work on any issues that are popping up. Whether it’s anxiety, depression, anger, old childhood wounds, etc., you can get to the root of such issues and experience healing and freedom.
This can certainly help you from relapsing.
Chances are when you hit your rock bottom and stopped drinking or drugging, you were pretty worn out, sad, and may have even beat yourself up about plenty of things.
Now that you’re in recovery, you get to begin a new journey leading you on the path of self-love. Take some time to rediscover who you are without alcohol or drugs. Allow old wounds to begin healing and make a vow to start loving yourself more.
Nurture yourself. Do things that bring you true joy. If you don’t know what makes you feel happy, make a list and try new things to see.
You’ll find that as you love yourself more, those cravings to drink or drug will be less and less.
Have you been struggling with relapsing?
If so, know that you don’t have to continue. There are addiction recovery specialists that can help you create a relapse prevention plan that will significantly reduce your chances of relapsing.
Living free from alcoholism and drug addiction is a beautiful thing. If you’re struggling with alcohol or drug abuse, reach out for help. You don’t have to keep trying to overcome addiction on your own.
You deserve a life free from such bondage. Feel free to contact us today for more information on how we can help get you on your best path for recovery.