The choice to confront your addiction is a big one because the recovery journey is made up of tons of little decisions in the right direction every day. It’s important to remember that addiction is a disease and, as with other diseases like hypertension or multiple sclerosis, the possibility of relapse is real and challenging.
Although recovery sometimes feels like a never-ending cycle of peaks and valleys, the ability to avoid relapse and ultimately reach sobriety is within you. By constantly pushing yourself to make healthy decisions and engage in positive, healthy coping mechanisms, you can keep yourself on track in your recovery.
Choose your friends wisely
Prior to your recovery you likely had friends or acquaintances who either enabled your addiction or didn’t challenge these dangerous lifestyle choices. If these friends have continued to use, they won’t be as committed to your recovery as you are, nor will they likely be supportive of it as it challenges their own lifestyles, too.
You should never feel pressured to use any substances — certainly not by your friends especially when they know you are actively in recovery — so it may be best for your long-term sobriety to end friendships with those who are not invested in your recovery. As hard as that may be at the present moment, it can provide you with much peace in the long run.
Care for your mental and physical well being
Practice mindfulness every day to reflect upon where you are at with your recovery. Check-in with how your mind and body are feeling now that you have detoxed from drugs; notice the subtle changes like having a little more energy, feeling less brain fog or being able to sleep more soundly.
Continue to seek treatment
There is no shame in admitting you need help on the path to sobriety because — and we’ll say it again — recovery is hard. Consistent therapy can be a fantastic addition to your recovery plan, giving your routine check-ins and support from a professional counselor who’s walked with you through the entire process.
Additionally, talking through your recovery journey may help illuminate all of the progress you have made thus far and give you the motivation you need to keep going.
Stay away from triggers
Similar to avoiding people who may pressure you into using drugs, you may have other situations or environments that trigger the urge to use again. It may take some reflection to fully identify what your triggers are, and you will need to be conscious of situations you enter into that have the potential to either expose you to those triggers or to the substance itself.
Firmly commit to your recovery
While every day in recovery is not exhausting, some days, whether because of physical withdrawal symptoms or a lapse in self-confidence, will feel like the most trying experience you have ever been through. We urge you to not let this be a deterrent in maintaining sobriety.
Your initial decision to seek recovery is evidence enough that you are capable of achieving your goals. Voice your commitment to your recovery to your friends, family, counselor and to yourself; making a verbal promise to yourself and others may help you hold yourself accountable.
Lean into your support network
If you’ve chosen to share with them, your friends and family already know that you are in the process of recovery. They also probably know how taxing that process can be on the mind and body and will want to help you get through it. Accept their help, so long as they are respecting your boundaries, and allow your loved ones to encourage and assist you in your recovery.
You may also begin to repair any relationships that may have been damaged while you were struggling with addiction. This can further motivate you to continue recovery, as the gift of renewed relationships with these important people becomes too valuable to lose.
Identify a plan of action for when you feel temptation
Especially in the early days of your recovery you will, more likely than not feel the urge to use drugs again. Before this happens, discuss a strategy with your support network to help keep you accountable. Your plan of action could entail an impromptu therapy session, a quick run around the block with a friend or doing some other productive method of redirecting your thoughts and actions.
No matter where you are in your recovery journey, Rehab After Work offers individualized outpatient treatment programs for substance use disorder. Whether you are interested in medication-assisted treatment, group therapy sessions or weekly one-on-one counseling, reach out today at 610-644-6464 to find out how to establish a sustainable plan for your recovery.