Helpful Tips For Avoiding Addiction Relapse
If you or someone close to you has escaped an addiction, then that’s a massive achievement. Although getting out of a harmful habit is certainly a big step, there’s usually a lot of work that follows. For some people, staying clean is much harder than getting clean in the first place! Going through the process of weaning off of an addiction usually comes with an active, determined attitude. When that’s gone, and you feel that you’re no longer dependant, it can be pretty easy to be tempted back into old habits. Here are some valuable tips for avoiding relapse.
My first tip is to exercise your willpower. Sophisticated psychotherapists will tell you that a person’s willpower can be severely crippled. In a lot of cases, this is only true if we believe that it’s crippled. At the core of it, avoiding relapse is one long battle with temptation. If you make a point of avoiding smaller, insignificant temptations, you’ll find it easier to avoid the large, overarching one. Even the most straight-edge people in the world are tempted to do things they shouldn’t. Whether it’s sleeping in for another ten minutes or eating fats, you’ll also be facing little temptations in your day-to-day life. If you make a point of steering yourself away from these, you’ll strengthen your resolve, and relapse will become less of a risk.
My next tip is to maintain a positive, proactive attitude. Seen as you’re a recovering addict, you’ve probably already heard this far too much! As insufferable as some die-hard optimists are, looking on the bright side can be very helpful for those avoiding relapse. For most ex-addicts, their habit was an escape from life and all its problems. After a long-term dependency, it can be pretty easy to associate negative thoughts with using. I strongly advise you to set up a safety net for when you’re feeling down. If you’ve been through a rehab program, then you may have a sponsor or a therapist already. If not, ask someone you trust to fill the role.
My next piece of advice is to stay in any kind of therapy you may have been going through. There’s last hits, and then there’s last hits. A lot of people feel that they’ve gotten clean when their cravings start to subside. Then, they go into the world thinking they’re completely free of these urges. Rehab centres and drug therapy are run by professionals, aiming to get patients clean in the best way possible. When you take away that environment, relapse can be just around the corner. If you’re clean or getting close, I urge you to keep up any kind of therapy you’re currently having. If you’ve quit using your own methods, and have relapsed before, then it might be worth looking for a professional solution. Click here for more info.
Patience is also an important step to avoiding relapse. Depending on the substance you were abusing, total recovery could take a matter of years. Some ex-addicts who were using heroin for a long time insist that the cravings have never quite disappeared. There might be a long road ahead of you, but you’ll be able to get there with time and perseverance. Make sure you don’t become obsessed with making progress. Cravings can take a long time to subside, so do some things to distract you. Join a health class, plan days out and try something different. The more time you spend being active, the less you’ll spend waiting for a change in yourself.
Finally, make a point to avoid stimulus which might lead to a relapse. If you’ve recently got over your addiction, you’re likely to be feeling pretty rotten. It may be hard to believe, but you can still have hilarious nights with amazing people while stone cold sober. In order to get there, you need to get used to a different attitude and new environments. I’m not in the habit of telling people to end friendships. However, if a lot of your friends are addicts, you need to make it clear to them that you can’t be around the substance anymore. With time, you’ll probably be able to be around drink and drugs without even noticing. If you think you’re in danger of relapse though, avoid it at all costs.
I hope this advice has made your road to recovery a little easier. Whatever’s making you afraid of relapse, remember that the choice is ultimately yours. Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings at all times, and constantly remind yourself why you decided to get clean in the first place.