It is pretty devastating to find yourself circling back to drugs and alcohol when you worked hard to overcome your bad habits and become a new person.
Returning to a bad habit is known as a relapse, and relapses (when it comes to addiction) are common, especially when people try to quit. And if you do end up relapsing, it might seem like you are back to where you started.
But you shouldn’t have to beat yourself up for this because change is a learning experience, and relapsing is part of the process. This means that you can get back on track and fix yourself.
Understanding your triggers might be the first step towards prevention. Although there is no proven cure for addiction, there are a few things or actions you can take to stop yourself from falling into the same pit of despair again.
Here are some tips and tricks that can give you some ideas on how to protect yourself from a relapse and stay sober and clean.
1. Be aware of your triggers.
Everyone who has ever created an unhealthy habit has unique circumstances that make them more likely to “do it again.”
Consider how you usually feel— emotionally and physically, when you use alcohol or drugs, the environment you’re in, and what else you’re usually doing at the time.
Your treatment counselors will work with you to identify your triggers. The Delphi Health Group is a rehabilitation center that will help you get your life back on track.
Call one of their admissions navigators today and learn how to curb your triggers and lead a happy and addiction-free life.
2. Whatever you do, DON’T GET BORED!
Many people in recovery are unsure what to do with their free time without drugs. It is critical to fill free hours previously occupied by drug or alcohol use.
The most effective way to accomplish this is to replace substance use with productive behaviors.
Thus, discover a new hobby, participate in sports, volunteer, or find another productive and healthy activity to fill the time you used to devote to your addiction.
3. Get some support
Substance abuse and its behavior patterns thrive in the dark, so bringing your struggles to light is beneficial.
Find a support group and share your story with others who know and offer advice. Working alone is doable, but it’s much easier to deceive yourself and fall back into old habits when no one holds you accountable.
It is also essential for you to accept responsibility for your recovery by being open about unhealthy romances or friendships. In the case of lifestyle changes, such as the need for space, request their respect.
The fact that it has come to an end does not imply that the other person is “bad.” This is not about assigning blame; it is about maintaining one’s well-being.
4. Start journaling or blog writing.
When we express what happened in words, it is easier to let go of the past. You can gain a perspective by writing about your feelings in a diary or a blog.
A natural thought in a journal is also something you can reflect on and celebrate how far you’ve come since that low point. Many sober living programs and therapists highly recommend journaling as part of recovery.
5. Exercise and discover
Going to the gym daily will provide you with a daily boost of mood-boosting endorphins while also building a solid body and burning calories.
Hiking in the woods or biking through a park gives you a hands-on connection with the natural beauty around you.
Making an ongoing effort to explore combines the advantages of both into a new habit that strengthens you every day.
6. Use positive self-talk.
Instead of focusing on perceived failures, start celebrating your victories. You’ve already embarked on an addiction recovery journey.
You are already a winner, no matter where you are on your journey. When you doubt yourself, numb negative emotions with a substance, berate past mistakes and focus on positive self-talk.
Consider your accomplishments and any instances in which you could maintain your sobriety. Make a list of qualities that you admire in yourself or others have praised you.
Surround yourself with affirmations and items that stimulate and excite you.
7. Remove yourself from the situation that is causing you stress.
Former substance users are frequently pushed to relapse by stress. Some take their toll, but there are others that we can remove from our lives.
Maintain a stress-free attitude and, whenever possible, dislodge yourself from people and situations that cause anxiety. Learn to say “no” to requests that will bring negative energy into your life, and seek healthy opportunities that will make you want to say “yes.”
Paying heed to these tips and strategies will help you in staying sober. The trick is to recognize your triggers and do whatever you can to protect yourself.
Even if you do slip up, remember that you are not back to phase 1 of your journey – this time, you have previous success on your side.
You know all the ways to get it done, and more importantly, you have done it before. And just like that, you can dig up the strength needed to do it all over again.