One of the best things we can do for ourselves in recovery is create a relapse prevention plan – a plan for how we will respond to addictive urges when they hit. Very often when we’re not prepared for urges, our instinct is to respond to them the way we always did, by using. Our compulsions became our norm. When we create a prevention plan for ourselves, we are preparing ourselves and giving ourselves a really useful tool to help ourselves get through the urges successfully and stay clean.
It is normal for us to become anxious, worried, stressed and panicked when an urge hits, but the more calm we can stay, the more likely we are to let the urge pass on its own. Do things that calm you down. Try journaling, repeating affirmations or spending time in nature.
It is a sign of strength to allow people to help you. Call your therapist or sponsor, go to a support group meeting, reach out to a loved one. Have a plan for who you will call when you’re feeling most tempted to use.
Don’t Isolate Yourself
We tend to isolate ourselves when what we need is companionship and community. Spend time with friends and cultivate friendships with people also in recovery. Make time for the relationships that might have been neglected while you were using.
There are countless support groups, classes, volunteer groups, online forums, workshops and other resources available to us. Many treatment centers have aftercare relapse prevention programs. Take advantage of anything that might help you.
Start to learn how to focus your energy elsewhere when an urge hits. There are so many fun, healthy, productive things we can do. If you’re feeling an urge coming on, a change of scene and focus can do wonders. Go for a walk. Read a book or watch a movie. Listen to music and sing along, and let the healing power of vibration help you move through the urge.
Commit to a Spiritual Practice
Many people find that giving time to their spiritual practice helps them cope with addictive urges and compulsions. Prayer, meditation, chakra healing, yoga and creating an altar are all things you can explore to help strengthen your connection to spirit. When we feel more connected to our inner self and our higher power, we plug into our own source of strength and inner power.
Our treatment programs include aftercare relapse prevention support. Call 1-888-986-7848 for more information.