Whether it is the time of year or an argument with a friend, there are times when you may feel like relapsing. The key to preventing a relapse is to identify the urge early and do something to stop the trigger and avoid using.
Seven things to do when you are worried about relapsing are:
1. Reach out for support. The best thing that you can do when you fear a relapse is to reach out to someone. If you have a counselor or a sponsor, talk to them about how you are feeling. Call a trusted friend or family member; sometimes just distracting yourself with a familiar voice can prevent the relapse cycle.
2. Engage in something physical. Engage in physical exercise or activity that will get your heart-rate up and make you sweat. This also releases the feel-good endorphins in the brain that could make you forget about what triggered you.
3. Write down what is going on. Keep a journal and write down your thoughts, triggers, and what is on your mind. This can be helpful later to review and identify common situations that may make you want to relapse. For example, your triggers may include hanging out with a specific person or the stresses of an upcoming holiday.
4. Rule out something else. Remember the old acronym, HALT. Could you be hungry, angry, lonely, or tired? These feelings set the stage for a relapse.
5. Head to a meeting. If you follow a twelve-step program, go to a meeting. Engage with other people in recovery, whether it is at a sober club or in-service at a local church.
6. Don't let yourself become bored. Fight boredom tooth and nail. Jump in a shower, go shopping, engage in a hobby; do something until the urge passes. This is also a good time to practice mindfulness; take an inventory of what you have and pay special attention to how you are feeling.
7. Wait. If you feel like you are going to relapse, just wait. Professionals advise that you wait at least two hours; this could be enough time for you to regroup and regain control over your life.
If you relapse, get back on track quickly. Don't let a relapse wreak havoc on your sobriety; instead, use it as a learning tool to determine what triggered you to relapse in the first place and to move forward. If necessary, visit a drug detoxification facility, such as Evergreen Recovery Centers.
Every day presents challenges when in recovery; take time to identify what triggers you and how to best deal with these situations. Work with your counselor, therapist, or sponsor to outline a relapse prevention plan and tangible tactics that may prevent these occurrences.Share