April 3, 2017
I had been in and out of rehab 5 times before I started to realize that not only going to recovery was the most important thing, it was also preventing myself from falling again. It hasn’t been easy, but after several mistakes, heartbreak and the intense emotional rollercoaster addiction and recovery brought; I have picked myself up and gotten better each passing day.
I still have struggles and “triggers” but I’ve learned to manage them so they don’t affect my new positive state of mind, my relationships or my career. As a result, my life is just a little bit easier.
Every human being is a different world, we all learn differently. What worked for me might not work for everyone. However, here are 4 ways I learned to prevent an addiction relapse from happening again, which today, I wish someone had told me when I first started my journey towards sobriety:
No matter if you are ten years into recovery or 2 months, there will always be temptations around, it’s inescapable. Learning how to tackle and manage those situations head-on is a real test of determination and inner strength. Try to avoid any situation that could place you in temptation’s way.
If you’re planning a vacation, have you thought about the triggers that the environment and people could have? If you’re thinking to go to the beach, no matter how relaxing it would seem, the beach usually involves lying around drinking, which is not an appropriate place for someone in recovery. Consider instead going to a nature reserve such as the Grand Canyon. Learn how to recognize these dangers and the snowball effect it could have on your progress to sobriety.
You should also try to avoid people or situations that can cause you emotional triggers. Emotional triggers can lead to relapse and you should think clearly about who you want to surround yourself with and how you can change your life for the better.
Real life is tough for most of us; we deal with work, problems at home and financial issues, adding a battling addiction on top of that, makes things a lot harder. It’s important that when you are out of rehabilitation from substance abuse you learn how to resolve your conflicts and learn to have healthy forms of coping mechanisms.
Stay in touch with your program manager with weekly check-ups and continue to go to group meetings. Having that regular support in your life will give you a world of help.
When I was going through the rough patches of my addiction, most of my friends were also using and drinking with me. I used to think they were the best friends I ever had since we had so much fun together.
After I started to go through rehab, and they realized that I genuinely wanted to change my lifestyle, they wanted nothing else to do with me. Although hard at first, one of the biggest realizations I had is that after I took away the fun, there wasn’t much of a real friendship as I thought it once was.
I began to get back in touch with my family and repair all the pain that I had caused to them. I began to make friends at my therapy programs and got myself a girlfriend who really cared about my progress. This positivity encouraged me to embrace my new substance-free lifestyle.
If you have relationships and ties to unhealthy people do what you can to break free from that negativity. Block and delete them on social media sites, delete their numbers, change your number. Do whatever you can so that you can be around your new healthier support network.
Everyone makes mistakes. In addition, there’s been thousands of people before you who have relapsed in their recovery, have moved past it, and become the sober warriors they are now. Your addiction is an illness and once you begin to acknowledge that you’ll begin to not view yourself as the ultimate failure.
Learn to not shut out and reach out to those for help. If you relapse, try again. What triggered you to relapse? Learn from your mistakes and try not to repeat them again. Your journey to recovery is a long one, try to make it easy as possible along the way.
No matter what stage you are in with your recovery process. Know that you aren’t alone, and remember that “acceptance is the biggest step forward towards recovery.” The hard part is already over, learn to love yourself and those around you and embrace the bright future you have coming for you.
If there’s a tip that you feel helped you that wasn’t mentioned here, please leave us a comment below.