Staying sober is not easy! One of the greatest apprehensions one can have is about relapsing after recovering. A person who has gone through the struggles of a rehabilitation center knows how much energy, perseverance, and time it takes to get through the addiction recovery process. So no one would want to go through it again. But it is also true that people falter in their struggle multiple times after fully recovering. But as much as relapsing is a reality, staying on the track of sobriety is possible too. Some techniques and approaches help you avoid relapse and maximize your chances of being sober.
When you have left the rehab, the surrounding environment provides abundant chances of relapse. The cravings can resurface during your recovery period. But the real struggle is to fight these cravings and stay focused on your goal. However, at the same time, you need to understand that cravings are part of the process. So, assuming it is a sign of weakness is being too hard on yourself. Having urges and the subsequent fight against them is part of your exercise to stretch your resolve.
1. Continue your treatment
If you have been to rehab, make sure to continue your treatment even after recovering. The recovery process does not end once you step out of a facility. It stretches beyond it too. Good rehabs like Delphi Health Group have follow-up programs for patients who have already recovered. You can discuss with the professionals at the rehab centers to develop an after-care plan. You must keep in touch with your counselors, mentors, and sponsors and follow their advice to minimize your relapse.
2. Avoid risky situations
For a person who recently recovered from addiction, the risky situation involves people and places with drugs or alcohol. The place or the person can be a strong trigger that can bring back old memories and amplify cravings. Cutting ties is extremely painful, even if they are for a good cause, but you must go through this painful process if you want to stick to your goal. It might mean changing your workplace or moving to a new house or a new city altogether.
3. Stick to your support network
Developing and sticking to your support network is inevitable if you want to stay sober. Surround yourself with people who have had the same struggles as you but are enthusiastic about staying sober. Such a group understands your struggles and the importance of staying sober and helps you stick to being careful. Eliminate people who pose impediments to your development path, bring toxicity, and discourage your efforts. You cannot take the risk of getting demotivated and wiping out all you have achieved so far.
4. Mend your relationships
People don’t remain their true selves under the influence of drugs. So you might have done something wrong to your loved ones, your kids, and your family. And, it is also possible that you don’t find them the same after your recovery. Your family may be happy to see you recover. But it does not take much time for the old wounds to resurface and start pricking. So, now is the time to mend your relationships because your family is and will always be your biggest strength. Even if it means family counseling, don’t hesitate. Give all the chances you have to repair your relationship to start afresh.
5. Recognize your triggers
Working to remain sober comes after recognizing all the factors that can make you de-track. These distractions are triggers that can take you back to your previous state. Know your triggers before you try to brace yourself against all the risks.
Do meeting previous friends or visiting old places make you crave drugs again? Are you struggling to manage the stress? Some triggers include emotional distress such as broken relationships and loss of job or respect among colleagues. The financial struggles and environmental cues have a strong potential to break your resolve. Trying to avoid them is an additional struggle, but you must do it if you want to stay far away from harmful substances.
6. Be vigilant of a relapse warning
Relapse is often not sudden. Weeks before actual drug use, your body and mind start giving you warnings. You might start thinking about your time spent drinking or taking drugs, the sensations you felt, and how that feeling made you oblivious to your personal struggles. This is an emotional trigger when you start weighing your decision about staying sober. In response to these thoughts and emotions, you might engage in self-destructive behavior such as going to the same company again and attending parties where alcohol is available abundantly. This is when it becomes really difficult to cope with the urges. So be vigilant about relapse warnings and get help as soon as possible.
7. Distract yourself with new hobbies
Staying sober is a continuous struggle; even more so, it is fighting with what goes in your head. The more you keep your mind idle, the more are the chances of having destructive thoughts. So, getting involved in a productive hobby is a great way to avoid relapse. You can focus on your physical health and get into a gym routine. Otherwise, you can enroll in a short course or learn a new skill that helps you financially.
Staying sober means engaging in productive activities continuously and avoiding toxic people and places. Develop your support network and surround yourself with people who help you on your developmental path. The more you stay away from the triggers and distract your mind with healthy hobbies, the better you can cement your chances of avoiding a relapse.