If you’ve already been through detox and addiction treatment, then you probably know what it takes to stay sober. You might be very familiar with the tasks on the following list to get sober and stay that way:
- -Create a daily routine for yourself, which include activities that you love to do.
- -Make sure you also do one self-care activity per day – taking a walk, unwinding in a hot bath, meditation, etc.
- -Go to bed and rise at the same time every day.
- -Make sure you’re involved in a community of recovering addicts – those who are also attempting to stay sober – as the an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) community
- -Exercise regularly.
- -Have a mentor who can help guide your way to long-term sobriety.
- -If you need to work, find a work environment that is not going to tempt you. (Don’t get a job at a bar or at a restaurant that sells alcohol.)
- -If you need community 24/7 to stay sober, find roommates to live with.
- -Stay in treatment in one form or another – therapy, support groups, AA meetings, etc.
- -Build a network of support, such as friends and family members who want to support your sobriety.
- -Work with a drug counselor or therapist who can help you choose positive thoughts instead of negative ones. This change alone can dramatically shift your perception and experience of life.
However, if you’ve done this, or if you feel like you’ve done all that you can to stay sober and you’re still relapsing, then perhaps your sobriety requires deeper investigation. If you’re returning to treatment again and again because you can’t stay sober, then perhaps there’s something that’s not being addressed. Perhaps there’s a factor in your life that is contributing to relapse that you’re unaware of. These are a few contributing factors to chronic relapse:
- -weak networks of support
- -underlying psychological disorders
- -beginning drug use early in life
- -poor coping skills
- -abusing multiple forms of substances.
Learning new coping mechanisms, healing unresolved issues (such as early trauma) that lead to those challenging emotions, and creating strong support networks can help keep relapse at bay as you move ahead in your recovery.
Also, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s easy for recovering addicts to experience physical or emotional burnout. Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. Over time, as you continued to feel stress, you might begin to feel overwhelmed and lose the ability to meet the demands of your job. And as this continues, you might lose interest or motivation, which can also lead to relapse. You might notice that you’re feeling burnt out if:
- -You’re exhausted all the time.
- -You start to feel as though work is a waste of energy.
- -Every day feels like a bad day.
- -You feel like the work you do is under appreciated or rarely making a difference.
- -You find yourself overwhelmed by tasks to complete for the majority of the day.
If you’re feeling burnout than learning how to use coping skills in a more strategic way can also prevent relapse from happening.
Another essential part to preventing relapse is ensuring that you have a supportive community around you. This way, if you’re feeling cravings or urges to use, you can go to your community for support. If you can stay connected to others who are sober, you have more of a chance of staying sober yourself.
If you’re relapsing again and again, contact a mental health professional. He or she can help you examine why relapse is occurring and assist you with preventing them in the future.
If you are reading this on any blog other than NuLifeRecovery.com, it is stolen content without credit.
You can find us on Twitter via @nulife_recovery and Facebook via HARP NuLife Addiction Treatment.
Come and visit our blog at http://nuliferecovery.com/blog/.