Chances are, if you are a recovering alcoholic, you occasionally get thoughts of drinking again. You might wonder if by chance you could be a social drinker or you may even just be going through a tough time and feel compelled to try to take the edge off with a drink or two. Don’t do it! You’ve come too far to let the cunning disease of alcoholism steal your sobriety, peace, and joy. To help you continue on your marvelous road of recovery, here are some helpful tips on how you can disarm thoughts of picking up another drink.
So you’ve been in recovery for a while now and chances are you have done a bit of growing in some areas of your life. This is wonderful news! But every once in a while you find yourself thinking about what it might be like to have a couple of drinks or use your drug of choice once or twice. You try not to think about such things, as you know that relapsing is not what you really want, but on those days when the stress is high or you pass by the old party hangout, such thoughts occur.
It’s Normal to Have Those Feelings
It is common for those in recovery to occasionally think about using again. After all, you probably spent a good deal of time in active addiction. You are probably well aware of your triggers and do your best to stay away from them. You may go to 12 Step meetings, read your recovery literature, and have a firm support network, but still those thoughts pop up every so often.
What do you do when thoughts of relapsing occurs?
What do you do when you are facing some sort of trial in life where stress is high, emotions are going haywire, and you just feel like giving up? Do you throw in the towel? Opt for the easy road? Wallow in self-pity?
The Grass Isn’t Greener
It is through such times that you must dig deep and contend with those thoughts of relapse like it is a life or death situation- because it just may be! You are on the road to recovery and you’ve probably been on this road for some time, so don’t allow your thought life to try to get you off of this road onto a destructive path. Don’t veer off onto what looks like an easier path, because if you really think about it, active addiction is NOT an easy path. It will lead to much pain for you and most likely others.
To help you stay strong walking the road of recovery, here are some helpful tips to keep you sober, free, and happy:
Attend 12 Step Meetings regularly
Having a support network is helpful when it comes to staying sober. If you have been slacking on attending meetings, be sure to get back to going regularly and engaging with others while you are there. If you are struggling with thoughts of drinking again, share that in a meeting and let others share their experience, strength, and hope.
See a counselor
Talking to a counselor can be quite helpful in contending with thoughts of using again. If you are going through a stressful or painful time, discussing the matter with a trained professional can help tremendously. Sometimes all it takes is opening up and being honest about your feelings, fears, and issues in order to get back on track.
Invest in your growth
Spend some time investing in your personal and spiritual growth. If you enjoy reading, read a book or two that will inspire and motivate you. If you like to listen to audio, pull some inspirational videos up on the internet. You can also attend a seminar or an Alcoholics Anonymous conference. All of these will help you think less about drinking and more about continuing to create a life you love.
Take up a new hobby
Maybe you are feeling a bit bored with your life and this is the main reason you are having thoughts about using. If so, take up a new hobby, as this may be just what you need for some new inspiration and motivation in life. Take a painting class, join a fitness center, play tennis with someone, try yoga, go fishing, learn a new language, etc. There are so many new and exciting things you can try!
Remember the active addiction days
Sometimes your mind will try to play a trick on you and have you thinking that your active addiction days were something glorious. Chances are they were far from that. In fact, most likely your addiction caused you and others a lot of inner pain. You were not happy as an active alcoholic and you wanted to stop drinking and create a life that you enjoyed. Good news is that you have done that, so don’t let your mind wander backwards leading you to think you had some awesome life in addiction. The disease of addiction is cunning, so be aware that it will try to get you off the sober and happy track. Resist it!
Most recovering alcoholics battle thoughts of picking up every now and then, so know that you are not alone in your predicament. Reach out for help from Pat Moore Foundationwww.patmoorefoundation.com/ if you need to, know your triggers and how to contend with them, and stay the course of recovery. After all, you have the ability to create a beautiful life full of love, life, peace, and joy.