Preventing A Relapse – Is There Any Truly Effective Way to Do It?
When you’re working to overcome an addiction, it can feel like preventing a relapse is nearly impossible. Since everyone recovers differently, it’s important that you have your own system down to help you stay clean and sober. Then, for many, the hardest part is putting the system into play day after day.
It’s often scary to have to feel like relapsing is a failure, but there are some die-hard tips to help you avoid relapse, and get back into your recovery if you find that you have relapsed.
Preventing a Relapse – Tips that Help the Most
There are some things that those who are successfully recovering from an addiction all say will boost your success rate, too. These are the things that help the most. But, when you’re going through the list, you might want to filter out what works for you, what you haven’t tried just yet, but might later, and what you really want to stick with.
- Live your recovery every single day. In short, make your recovery your life. Make it your priority. Put it over your kids, your spouse and your work. That time you take each day to resolve to stay clean and sober will make all the difference for the rest of your life, so put your methods for preventing a relapse at the top of your list of things to do. Even if it’s just one thing that you do each day that helps you to stay strong, you’ll be doing your whole world a huge favor.
- Find activities that you enjoy, keep you busy, and distract you. Sometimes, we all need a distraction, and whenever you’re trying to change a behavior, activities can make the difference. Say you’re quitting smoking. If you’re trying to kick the addiction, you’re going to have tough times. An activity can make the difference in how those cravings hit you, and how easily you give in. Each time you’re having an urge, pick up your activity and stick to it until the craving has passed. For each day that goes by, the cravings will diminish, and you’ll have something new to do that you enjoy.
- Embrace a healthy life. When you’re kicking an addiction, you want to focus on how good you feel without using or drinking. That means that a healthy lifestyle will help you feel at your peak and keep you from wanting to relapse because you know it will make you feel like crap. Eating well can also boost the essential nutrients in your body and keep you from many of the physical cravings that people experience.
- Now, this might sound ambiguous, but many who are successful in their recovery journeys report that when they are tired, they are much more likely to want to use or drink than if they’re feeling full of energy and vitality. It can be tough, but make it a point to get enough sleep each night. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier than ordinary until you’re at your peak time so the adjustment will be easier to maintain.
- Talk to someone. We all have that someone we trust, and learning to be able to talk to them when you’re preventing a relapse can be essential. Even if they just listen, acknowledging that you’re having these feelings can go a long way to lessening the burden of them, and get you off that ledge of relapse.
- Ease your stress. Did you know that stress can be a major trigger for a relapse? If you’re not easing it, you’re building it, so get started making it better by doing things like Yoga, meditation, and even deep breathing. Take time for yourself, or write in your journal. When you find activities that can help you ease your stress, you’re much less likely to struggle with the desire to use or drink.
- Take the pressure of the risk of relapse off your shoulders. Here’s the thing about addiction recovery. It’s hard. It’s one of the most difficult things you will do, and if you’re not actively recovering, then you might think you’re going to relapse. You might actually feel like a relapse is the end of the world. Guess what? It’s not. People go through all different types of recovery and for some, relapse is just a part of it. By taking the pressure of the “what if,” of a relapse off your shoulders, you can begin to relax about the whole thing. If it happens, deal with it, but if it doesn’t, don’t sweat it.
- Stick to your aftercare program. One of the worst things you can do when it comes to your recovery is to stop using your aftercare program before it’s done. The reason we have aftercare is so that we can stay strong in our new habits but start getting back into life. So, stick with it, even when you don’t think you need to.
What to do If You Have Had a Relapse
Now, if you’re past the point of preventing a relapse, and you’ve already gone there, you should know that it’s not the end of the world. Hopefully, it’s not just part of the cycle, and you caught it in time, but even if you’ve started to slip back down the slope of addiction, it’s important to know that you did not fail and you are not hopeless.
Okay, so the world feels heavy right now, but you can take some steps to get back to your recovery journey and feel great about what you’re doing right now.
- Understand that you didn’t fail. As we’ve said, relapse isn’t failure. It’s a learning experience. Maybe you wanted to see how in control you could be, or how it would feel. Well, now you know. It still feels good, and chances are, you’re totally not in control. Now it’s time to take what you learned and put it back to recovering. You didn’t fail, but you need to start trying again.
- Get back to your recovery. Sometimes, this means going back over your steps and focusing on the ones you’ve let go. Sometimes it means getting some therapy sessions back into play, and sometimes, it means that you’re going to need to go back to meetings. No matter what it takes to get back to your recovery, resolve to do it. And then, actually do it. Hit a meeting, pull out the book of steps. Whatever it takes, get back to it.
- Actually do recovery again. Recovery is no place for laziness, so instead of saying how you need to see your therapist, pick up the phone and make the call. Instead of saying that you need to start focusing on your recovery again, do it. Get with your mentor, friends, or family members who you trust and start doing your recovery journey again.
- Change your pace. Maybe work is too stressful, maybe you’re taking on too much with your family life. No matter what it is, you need to figure out what’s happening that makes you want to relapse and stop it from happening. And then get as far away as you can from those triggers so you don’t relapse anymore. If it’s your relationship, consider some time away, if it’s family life, have loved ones help you with some of your duties.
Whether you’ve had a relapse, or you’re working on preventing a relapse, call us. At Elite Rehab Placement, we can help you find everything from solid aftercare programs, to full residential rehab options if you need them. We even help you with the financial issues that many in recovery face when they need to get back to recovery.
You’ve been doing so great, and you can be again. Sometimes, we just need a little help over the hurdles, and we can help give you that recovery boost you need.