Recovering addicts are challenged continuously into falling back to old practices, drinking with old friends, and tackling with other complex life situations. There really is no perfect resolution to stop relapsing forever, but there are several things to avoid in hopes of reducing the chances of falling into that dark pit that is known as relapse.
As you go about your life with your family, friends, and community as a recovering addict, always remember what rehab has taught you. And do AVOID:
People have different reasons why they turn to drugs. Some do it because they’re not capable of dealing with painful memories associated with particular places. During your recovery, you must have identified these places. Perhaps your old school reminds you of a classmate whom a lunatic shot. Maybe it’s the old neighborhood where you met your gang that gave you enough drugs to use and sell, and driving past by it makes you scared and thrilled at the same time.
Avoid these locations by searching for other alternate routes. Visit relaxing places, like the park, a tourist spot, or the spa, those that encourage you to remain sober. Do not intentionally drive towards the areas that bring you back to those memories of being an addict.
“The quicker you notice an emotion is triggered, the sooner you can discover if the threat is real or not,” writes Marcia Reynolds Psy.D.
Friends Who Are A Bad Influence
Not to be judgmental here. The context meant with bad influence primarily refers to friends who are into illicit drugs, those who are not concerned if you go into a relapse or not, and those who just don’t care.
Choosing the kind of company to be with during your recovery is probably one of the most daunting things to do. But you must keep in mind that eliminating friends, family and significant others who will hinder your path towards sobriety is very crucial at this stage of your life. It’s understandably difficult, especially if it’s one of your closest friends, or among your best uncles or cousins, but they should go – unless they can commit to avoiding the things you should avoid when you’re together.
Here’s a reminder to help lessen your burden about this point: If your friends are indeed your friends and your family members genuinely care for your recovery, they will do their part to show their support. If they don’t, then you better not regret deleting their numbers in your contacts and cutting your ties with them.
“Friends are supposed to add to your life, not take away from it,” writes Susan Heitler Ph.D.
“Stressful life events combined with poor coping skills may impact the risk of addiction by increasing impulsive responding and self-medication,” writes Shahram Heshmat Ph.D.
A few reasons to be stressful, like having trouble losing a little weight or finding a date or learning how to adjust at work, are merely challenges that might even help you become a better person. However, some issues may cause you unnecessary stress. These may include problems in the family, unemployment, or a recent breakup. Finding ways to reduce these stresses is detrimental to the success of your recovery.
Addiction counselors suggest that individuals who just got out of rehab and undergoing these problems should regularly consult with them so they can help sort their feelings and assist them in creating coping mechanisms and avoiding anxiety, depression, and further stress. A family therapist can also intervene to find solutions to their misunderstandings. As for looking for a job, you can get the assistance of a career coach who will guide you into finding the right job for your corresponding skills.
Keeping Your Experience To Yourself
Many recovering addicts have testified that sharing their story with others truly went a long way into achieving long-term sobriety. It’s okay if you feel hesitant at first – that’s understandable. But you could start by regularly going to AAs and other gatherings in your community, especially those that are geared towards educating the youth about the dangers of drug abuse. When you are ready to talk, share your experiences and your struggles. Do your part in helping others veer away from the darkness of life on drugs.