Relapsing can be painful and overwhelming, but luckily there are some things we can do to help prevent ourselves from getting to that point. We can take active steps to help ourselves take our lives back and to release ourselves from the grips of addiction.
Avoid Toxic Relationships
When we are caught in the cycles of our addictions, some of our relationships enabled and even contributed to our addictions. The friends with whom we used, the ones still trying to persuade us to use with them, the family members that were in denial and tried to convince us we were fine because they didn’t want to face the difficult truth, the partner you have so much conflict with it adds to your stress and makes you want to get high just to escape it. Relationships that take away from our inner peace make us that much more likely to get or stay depressed, and to return to our addictions as the coping mechanisms we’ve come to rely on them to be. These relationships are not only dangerous to our mental and emotional health, they can encourage and even lead us back into the patterns we’ve been trying so hard to extricate ourselves from. Create distance between yourself and these people. End any of the unhealthy relationships you can. If there are relationships that you don’t want to let go of altogether, consider family therapy, couples counseling, or mediation with someone you both trust.
If you know spending time with certain friends usually ends with using at the end of the night, don’t do your usual activities and find new, healthier ones to enjoy instead. If your walk home takes you past the bar you were once a regular at, and you’re still finding yourself tempted to go in, take a different route or ask someone to accompany you or check in with you. If you find yourself feeling triggered talking to certain people, visiting certain places or revisiting specific memories, remove them from your life as much as possible and only confront them with the necessary support, such as that of a therapist or spiritual guide. Remove any triggers you possibly can.
Our instincts when we are struggling are often to retreat into our own isolation. Whether it’s because we feel ashamed of ourselves, because we’re feeling depressed, or because we’re plotting to start using again, isolating ourselves can be detrimental to our health and can contribute to our relapsing. Try not to isolate as you normally might. Actively reach out to loved ones for support. Keep going to therapy. Attend your support group meetings regularly. Don’t disappear on your sponsor and anyone else checking on you. Allow their support to help guide you through the challenges.
Recovery isn’t always smooth sailing. Sometimes we have to work hard to prevent a relapse. We’re here to help. Call 1-888-986-7848.