Relapse prevention is an essential component of recovery; men and women need to protect their program completely. It is not easy to avoid people, places, and things that can compromise progress. Those who prevent relapse are people willing to do whatever it takes to keep their disease in remission.
There will be days when you do not feel like going to a meeting or calling your sponsor to check in. It is at those times when one needs to prioritize their recovery most. It is vital never to think you can take a day off from putting sobriety first.
The first year is when complications are most likely to occur; the mind, body, and spirit are still undergoing significant changes that can be challenging to manage. Years of alcohol or substance use take a considerable toll on people, so you must be patient with your healing. Making progress is not a race. Still, many individuals will attempt to hurry back into the swing of life, taking on more than they can handle. When that happens, the risk of relapse increases.
It’s critical to move through your newfound life slowly and steadily. Each decision made should be carefully thought out to ensure the outcome is conducive to progress. Since the mind plays tricks on people in early recovery, it is helpful to discuss your motives for doing something with a trusted peer or sponsor. They can help you determine if a proposed life change is in your best interest.
If you ever find yourself not wanting to talk about your plans with your support network, then it could mean that your intentions are misplaced. Ask yourself why you don’t want to discuss a life change? Doing so can serve as a litmus test for determining if something you want to do isn’t good for recovery.
An Open and Honest Recovery
Men and women with a history of addiction can have a hard time being candid, but honesty is absolutely essential for people in recovery. If one is intent on achieving lasting sobriety, then they must be open, honest, and willing in every aspect of life. Even a seemingly innocuous half-truth can be an impetus for relapse. It can set a precedent that makes a person feel like it’s not a big deal to obfuscate one’s intentions.
The road to relapse often begins at the crossroads of truth and lies. While nobody is perfect, and mistakes happen in recovery, those who are genuine and sincere stand a better chance of making continued progress.
If you ever find yourself being dishonest with your support network, please take immediate actions to correct the situation. It takes a lot of courage, but it will pay off in the long run.
In recovery, authenticity is your ally; things will turn out alright as long as you stay true to yourself and others. Disingenuity will only stand in the way of you and your goals. It causes people to feel shame; to cope with the guilt, many will decide to turn toward drugs and alcohol once again.
Relapse happens in stages. Rarely do people who are totally committed to recovery wake up one day and decide to throw caution to the wind. Slips usually occur after one has been neglecting their program for a while, i.e., attending fewer meetings. Life may appear stable on the surface, but the disease is growing in strength underneath. Men and women in sobriety cannot afford to become complacent and begin thinking that they no longer need to do the work.
Each day requires a new commitment to doing whatever is necessary to prevent relapse. Please talk to someone if you think that you’re on a path to relapse. It’s much easier to call for help before the first drink than it is after.
Southern California Addiction Treatment
At Pacific Shores, we can help you or a loved one begin a journey of lasting recovery. We give our clients the tools and teach them skills for preventing relapse. Please contact us today to learn more about the evidence-based programs we offer. We firmly believe that new hope and a new life is possible for all who are willing to ask for help.