1. Recovery is Not a “Cure”
In an ideal world, you would enter treatment a repentant addict and leave a completely sober person without the threat of addiction ever touching your life again. It’s a nice thought, but the reality is more complicated. Recovered addicts can go years without a problem and then relapse. There is no set cure for addiction, just recovery. Temptations will always abound, and it is your responsibility to face these temptations without submitting to them. If there’s one thing you can expect, it’s that resisting relapse will be part of your everyday life in some form or another for a long time, maybe forever.
2. Don’t Let A Slip Get You Down
Slips can occur in recovery; they don't happen to everyone. For those who do experience slips, they aren’t necessarily frequent and they don’t continue to happen if you're truly dedicated to sobriety. It’s important to remember that a slip is not necessarily a full-on relapse. If a slip does happen to you, don’t let it get you down to the point of a relapse fueled by self-loathing. You should always take a slip seriously and seek the necessary help to re-dedicate yourself to successful sobriety. Recovery is a balance of attitude that takes courage and strength.
3. Learn to Manage Stress
Stress is a challenge for everyone in life, but it’s especially dangerous for recovered addict. In fact, most relapses occur when addicts have not learned how to properly handle the stress of daily life. So, it’s important for every recovering addict to come up with a fully realized, custom stress management plan. The first thing to do is manage your time wisely. Creating your own routine and sticking to it can relieve a lot of stress. You’ll also want to find relaxing activities and hobbies to turn to when your stress level becomes dangerously high. Better still, give yourself the opportunity to explore new interests that are engaging and pleasurable activities.
Another way to get your stress under control is to add relaxation techniques to your daily routine. Meditation or yoga and can relax the mind and reconnect with the body. They also provide welcome physical and emotional serenity.
Exercise is also a great way to reduce stress. Just remember that overexertion can actually cause more stress and put you on the path to relapse. Implement an exercise regimen that’s challenging enough to give you a workout, but not so challenging that it wears you out or frustrates you. Take up an outdoor sport like kayaking or rock climbing to get out in nature and find solace in physical exertion.
4. Sometimes You’ll Have To Take The Initiative
You should never expect others to do your work for you. Nor should you expect your friends and family to always know exactly how to help you. One of the most difficult parts of post-addiction life is knowing how to relate to others who haven’t experienced what you have, and being patient with them when they can’t relate to you. Keep in mind that your relationships might take more time to heal and recuperate from your addiction than you may have expected. Be patient with people and let them have every opportunity to re-establish healthy rapport with you.
5. Sober Support Means Connecting With People By Asking For Help and Helping Others
As important as it is to have a strong support group well after recovery, it may not happen without your participation. Take some initiative in creating your circle of supporters. Show them you’re in on the game and people will respond. Find new, sober friends and take every opportunity to connect with people who have shared similar experiences. If you’re far enough along in recovery, consider being a sponsor for someone else. Putting yourself out there may be just the thing to keep you focused on your hard earned sobriety. With these tips in mind you can make recovery last a lifetime.
Content Originally Published By: Andy Anderson @ Reach Out Recovery