Breaking the Cycle of Relapse
You may have heard that relapse is part of recovery. However, this is not always a fact. Relapse does not have to be part of your story or your recovery. Even if relapse becomes part of your recovery at some point, you don’t have to stay in the cycle of relapse.
In order to break the cycle of relapse, you have to do whatever is necessary to stay sober. You can start by being cautious not to glamourize addiction. Cravings can seem overwhelming and huge. Addiction is cunning because during a craving you may forget the horrible way you felt when you were using. This is part of addiction.
Remember, a thought is only a thought. Thoughts can seem incredibly powerful when you are in the midst of experiencing them. Thoughts about using can feel especially strong. You may find it helpful to incorporate mindfulness by breathing deeply, calming your mind, and really visualizing taking control of your mind and thoughts. Just because you thought it does not mean you have to act on it.
Calling your thoughts what they are is an empowering intervention. When you have a thought about using or relapsing, call the thought out by name. Say out loud, “This is addiction, this is not me.” Name your positive qualities out loud. Remind yourself, out loud, who you are and the benefits that you’ve already had in recovery.
Be careful who you spend most of your time with. You may not be able to completely distance yourself from everyone who uses, but you want to spend a lot of quality time with sober friends and support. You may not be able to avoid everyone who drinks alcohol or uses alcohol due to your work or professional obligations. If this is the case, make a plan. Consider doing the following:
- Take a strong, sober person with you to events
- Drink seltzer water if it helps avoid bringing up your recovery
- Go to a meeting before and/or right after the event
- Have self-care time planned before and/or after the event
No matter what you do, never isolate. Take advantage of sober, supportive people, they will help you during difficult times.
Hired Power is an expert in bringing compassion to addiction treatment. If you want to learn more about breaking the cycle of relapse, call Hired Power today at 714-559-3919. Hired Power is the expert you need to help you become empowered in your recovery journey.