Making a decision to quit using alcohol and drugs is a huge step, as recovery from alcohol and drug addiction is a lifelong process. It’s important to take steps to learn how to healthily abstain from using, and that might offer a set of obstacles that could be difficult to overcome. As much as I don’t like the word ‘discipline,’ I find it probably the best word used to describe exactly what’s needed, especially when newly sober. For some, after the obsession has dissipated a bit, there are moments where we don’t need to be so very diligent and disciplined. That doesn’t mean we slack of course, it just means that you might not have to go to a meeting every single day. However, for some, that might be exactly what’s need to avoid relapse.
After you’ve made the choice to stop using it’s also important to find a drug rehab as well as local resources and support. For many of us, the weeks while in drug rehab and soon thereafter are an extremely vulnerable time for recovery. It’s during this time they are sensitive to triggers, which can lead to a relapse.
Here are a few tips on how to avoid relapse.
- Find support groups to express what you’re feeling. A quick way to build resentment and anger is to keep your emotions locked up. So, find a group to talk to. Alcoholics Anonymous is a great group of people where you can express yourself freely without all the worry of wondering if someone is going to understand you. You’ll be surrounded by people who mostly likely have the same issues as you.
- Surround yourself with people who support you not using. This is probably one of the harder ones, as many of us come to the doors of sobriety either alone, or from a group of actively using ‘friends.’ You need to avoid these people as best you can. True friends are those who support you, not knock you down or try to convince you that your sober life isn’t for you. Often times those ‘friends’ are threatened by your sobriety because it makes them have to look at themselves…and they might not be ready to do so.
- Don’t sit still in your sobriety. Complacency in all forms can lead to boredom and unhealthy behaviors, which ultimately can lead to relapse. Exercise, new hobbies and community service are great ways to distract you and ensure a physically and mentally healthy life.
Remember, that if you do slip up and relapse, it is okay. The relapse rate in recovery is extremely large, so focus on what brought you to that relapse and learn to avoid that trigger completely. It is NEVER a failure to relapse, but just a stepping stone to recovery. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep moving forward.
Recovery Rob BIO
Recovery Rob is a 47-year-old man who has more than nineteen years of sobriety, whose drugs of choice at one time were alcohol and drugs, and he has worked in and around the field of addiction for more than 20 years. Having just recently launched his own website, www.askrecoveryrob.com, he hopes to reach out and continue to help others who work through their process of addiction and recovery. Recovery Rob is a professional writer who has published two novels and is currently working on his third. He has been writing and working as Pat Moore Foundation’s premiere blogger and content writer, which helps keeps Pat Moore Foundation’s addiction and recovery blog top-rated.