Experiencing a relapse – or even multiple relapses – during recovery is pretty common, but it’s not inevitable. In fact, long before the first drink or drug use occurs, there are typically warning signs.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), when people who have had a stable recovery and have done well begin to relapse they may experience the following:
- Inability to experience pleasure
- Lack of motivation
- Feeling slowed down or speeded up
- Being uncaring
- Avoiding others or isolating
- Being obsessed with something that doesn’t really matter
- Displaying of irrational thought patterns
- Feeling unconnected to your body
- Increased irritability
- Increased negativity
- Not keeping appointments
- Changes in appetite
It goes without saying, then, that a smart relapse prevention plan should include your individual warning signs as well as your personal triggers. Many addiction experts recommend keeping a running list – and refining it as you progress in your recovery. If this isn’t your first slip, you may even want to go a step further and ask your family, friends, pastor and/or counselor what signs they’ve noticed in you prior to your relapse.
In addition, the SAMHSA recommends taking action with one of these tips to prevent a relapse:
- Reach out to a counselor, pastor or sober friends or family members.
- Remove yourself from the situation and take a walk around the block a few times.
- Distract yourself with a healthy snack or a book or movie.
- Ask your friends and family to stop you if you begin talking about the fun you had while drinking or using.
- Make a list of the good things about your new life: better relationships, more success at work or school, healthier appearance, more hobbies, etc.
- If you have already relapsed at least once, think of how it happened. What can you do differently this time? “Just be strong and say no” is not enough to handle the situations you will face, notes SAMHSA.
Aftercare for Lifetime Sobriety
Built on the same spiritual foundations as the inpatient facilities and detox services we offer, the use of outpatient drug and alcohol, mental health or other services can be used to help you develop relapse prevention strategies and build on the recovery you gained during rehab. To learn more, call today: 877-310-9545.
Of course, having confidence and being mentally strong will undoubtedly help you maintain your sobriety. But that doesn’t mean that it will always be easy to find or tap into your inner strength.
These tips may help you find the courage and strength you need.
- Be patient and kind to yourself. Unfortunately, negative thinking can become yet another bad habit to break for many in recovery. With time, you can learn to turn negative chatter into positive thinking. Your first step: Remind yourself that recovery takes time and that there will be a lot of ups and downs and curves along the way.
- Practice positive thinking. Believe it or not, you do have control over how you choose to view situations. For example, if you wake up feeling defeated or guilty about not meeting a recovery goal, you can make a conscious choice to accept those feeling and then move forward with your recovery plans for the day.
- Avoid comparing yourself to others. Everyone’s journey toward recovery is different (and should be), so comparing your progress with the progress of your peer is counterproductive. Instead, focus on your own experiences, how far you’ve come and how much hope and good is ahead for you.
- Lean on your support system. If you find yourself feeling like you can’t do this or that you are a failure, you need to talk with your pastor or addiction counselor. These feeling are perfectly normal but can be a slippery slope into relapse if not addressed properly.
Finding Strength in Christ
You’ll find that strength comes easily and your willpower is seemingly fortified by the presence of the Lord in your recovery process, and we are here to ensure you find a facility that leads you down his path and into sobriety for the rest of your life. To learn more about our addiction services, call today: 877-310-9545.
More and more studies have linked good friends to good health, including a lower risk of anxiety and depression and, of course, loneliness. Friendships can be a powerful part of your long-term recovery plan. After all, the right people can help you through the ups and downs and curves as you embark on the road toward lasting sobriety.
That said: Making friends isn’t always easy — and it can be even harder when you’re just getting comfortable with socializing sober. These steps can help ease the process:
- Start with a smile. A simple smile is a great ice breaker. After all, wouldn’t you rather speak to someone who has a smile on their face rather than a frown. Take a deep breath and flash a winning smile.
- Put your fears aside: Whether you’re worried about saying something wrong or that the other person won’t like you, try to push those negative thoughts away. Instead, focus on your assets and the qualities that can make you a good friend.
- Take time to give back. Volunteering is a great way to meet like-minded folks who may very well become friends. It will also help make you more confident in yourself as you put yourself out there socially.
- Try a new hobby or social sport. Sign up for a yoga class, adult soccer league or local running group. This will help keep you busy, provide a great outlet for stress release and allow you to get to know others with similar interests.
- Put together a social event: Playing host by setting up a sober activity or get-together will help you feel more at ease so you can get to know people better and they can get to know you. Some ideas: a book club, a Bible study, a painting party, game night.
- Take it slow: Developing friendships can take time, so try to be patient. If you choose your friends carefully, you’ll have a lifelong support system.
- Remember that practice makes perfect: The more you make an effort to meet others and socialize, the easier it will become. And by socializing with others, both those in recovery and those who are not but understand your situation, you’ll continue to improve upon your social interactions without the crutch of drugs or alcohol.
Continual Growth at Christian Rehab
At Christian Rehab Network, we can help you explore your own recovery journey while learning to heal relationships and build a sober social network. If you are searching for help strengthening your relationship with Christ while overcoming an addiction to drugs or alcohol, call today: 877-310-9545.