So you did it. You have made the sacrifices, gone through the therapy sessions, and opened your heart to professionals and loved ones, all in order to overcome the addiction that has been chaining you down for so long. You feel a new chance at life is open for you and you could spread your wings for miles. The sky is the limit.
But, chances are high that, despite your recovery, you still find yourself struggling. You worry about going out for a fun drink at the bar with your friends because you could relapse. Some people still hurt from the effects of your addiction. Your actions left a clear impact.
Relapse rates in America range from 40% to 60%, meaning it’s more than a legitimate concern. Yet many may not even seek help afterward. So what can you do to avoid digging yourself in another hole?
Decide if Drinking is Safe for You
There is a school of thought that drinking in moderation post-recovery is the best way to prevent relapse, but there is also the idea that complete abstinence is the only true way to prevent relapse. While total abstinence can avoid such relapses altogether, it may not be entirely necessary.
It is important to evaluate yourself and how much self-control you have. Some people may be able to continue drinking in moderation for the rest of their life without a single worry. Others could indeed relapse once they find themselves falling into a rhythm for drinking again.
Every person is different, and no single method of therapy or recovery resonates with everyone. If you are concerned about falling into relapse from drinking in moderation, consider full abstinence or asking someone close to keep you in check regarding your drinking habits.
Keep Yourself Busy
Many victims of addiction often start down the path of dependence because their life feels empty or unfulfilling. Without proper satisfaction and happiness in life, many turn to alcohol and other substances to numb their negative feelings. This is never the proper solution.
The best solution to an unfulfilling routine is to alter it to be more interesting and engaging. This can include joining different local communities as well as volunteer work, finding a new hobby, or setting new goals for yourself, your career, education or family.
By giving your life more purpose and keeping your mind stimulated, you will focus less on your addiction and fill the holes you might have felt before.
Have Realistic Expectations
Be honest with yourself: no one overcomes their problems overnight. No one finds their dream job, loses weight, or learns a new hobby in a single day without any bumps in the road. Likewise, you should not be expected to recover from your addiction perfectly without any struggle.
Some addicts may deal with relapse, while others may never have any issue with it. But falling into relapse does not make you a failure. Feeling urges return does not mean your therapy was in vain.
It may take weeks, months, or even years to truly overcome an addiction. What matters most is the dedication to maintain recovery and continue to follow through with it.
If you or a loved one are seeking recovery methods, consider seeking a local Tennessee Treatment & Rehab Program. You may also consider an extended recovery with Discovery Place’s Long Term Drug and Alcohol Addiction Recovery Program in Burns, Tennessee, as well as our Continuing Care Program. Don’t delay, call us at 1-800-725-0922.