How To Avoid Relapsing in RecoveryApril 7, 2017 - Addiction - 0 Comments
Getting sober is never easy. Anyone who has had to come face to face with their addiction, totally admitted defeat, and got themselves to a drug and alcohol rehab deserve congratulations. Life without the chains of addiction can be wonderful, and you should do whatever you can to protect your sobriety. However, it can only take one misstep to end right back up where you started and to throw away all of your hard work. An addict’s life without sobriety is a deep, dark place compared to the planning and action needed to enjoy the fruits of a sober life.
Remember, drug and alcohol addiction is a disease, and just like you need to treat any “real disease” like cancer, you need to treat your addiction. Getting sober is the easy part, it’s staying sober that’s hard. Let’s take a deeper look at the warning signs, and the ways you can protect that precious life sobriety gave you.
Warning Signs and Techniques
Breaking your sobriety doesn’t “just happen”. It is a buildup of different factors, life stresses, emotional issues and other things. The process of relapse starts with feelings, then thoughts, and then the physical relapse. Part of your job in sobriety is to manage your emotions, the first step of relapsing. A typical addict will describe themselves as being “all or nothing”. When they are happy, they are really happy. When they are sad, they are really sad. There seems to be no middle ground, just a lot of ups and down. Some ways that addicts maintain their sobriety is by trying to stay in the middle ground, by going to A.A. meetings, or meditation. Without keeping your emotions in check, you are setting yourself up for a relapse.
You might start to feel more anxiety, or become more intolerant of other people. You may get angry or defensive easier, or want to start isolating again, the trademark of the addictive personality. This leads to not going to meetings or seeking help, and less interaction with others.
The best way to avoid this happening is to execute a plan. Make a schedule for yourself to go to meetings and stick with it. You don’t need to escape anymore, you must face your challenge head on. Care for yourself, keep your environment and yourself clean, and maintain your feeling of accomplishment by doing what you said you would. You don’t want to end up back in a drug and alcohol rehab again.
If you have quit maintaining your emotional health, then the fixation to start using again begins to enter the mind. You have a back and forth in your head about using. You starting thinking about how great it once was, the people you miss when you used and have fantasies about using again. Your mind is now clouded, and you are getting drawn back in.
This is the most crucial time in preventing your relapse. If you do end up using, how will the shame feel the next day? This is a good time to get back to the basics, the things you might have learned how to do in drug and alcohol rehab. First, tell someone you are having urges and ask for help. Go for a walk or find an activity you enjoy, just do anything to get it out of your head. Remember the things that got you to the sober life you enjoy so much, like living one day at a time. Be with someone who cares about you.
It doesn’t take long to go from thinking about using to actually doing it. Try to be aware of what you are feeling and recognize the signs and you can give yourself a shot to stay sober. Stay strong, there are people counting on you, including yourself.