Millions of people around the globe are chained to addiction that has impacted their life in one way or the other. More worrisome is the fact that many of these addicts actually want to get rid of their addictive behavior and live a sober life. However, when you live with addiction that has deepened into your system, there are high chances of going through stages of relapse when in recovery, unless you’re prepared with some coping mechanisms.
In fact, 40-60% of people with an addiction have reported a relapse during recovery, thereby zeroing their progress and pushing themselves back to where it all started. Going to rehab, following proper medications, and other treatments are sure helpful, but they do not guarantee long-lasting sobriety or less chance relapsing.
The only thing that can keep your mind distracted and away from abusing alcohol or any other substance again. And that’s you! The way you interact with people, the way you perceive things, and the way you delve into your surroundings, it all has a major role to keep possible relapsing away from your now-sober life.
Medical help is sure helpful, but post-treatment, you won’t be getting the same care you used to get. You’re on your own. And how that unfolds depends totally on you. You can either take this opportunity to appreciate the efforts you’ve put in being sober, or you can hit a reset button and make it all seem worthless.
If you choose to go with fighting a possible relapse, here are 7 coping mechanisms which can motivate you in your journey:
- Follow a structured schedule
If you’ve gone to rehab, you know how serious it is to follow a proper routine and always maintain a healthy lifestyle. There, everything is well-planned and at a specified time each day. As someone in recovery, you should also continue following a structured schedule even post-rehab. This will not only keep you distracted but helps develop newer, healthier habits that are good for your system.
Not bringing any change to your previous routine can encourage your old habits to overpower your thinking patterns. This can make you go back into addiction and is not favorable for recovery. Instead, set a realistic schedule that is interesting and productive as well. For example, mix yoga and meditation with an evening session of music. Or maybe cooking and gardening. Anything that keeps you happy and occupied at the same time can serve as a great coping method.
- Support System
At the peak of their addiction, people distance themselves from everyone including their friends and families. However, it is important to keep in touch with them once you’re in recovery. The moments or memories responsible for triggering the urge to abuse can disturb you even during recovery. However, if you have someone to talk to, you can share your feelings rather than using alcohol or drugs to substantiate that.
And this practice is not only helpful for you but your loved ones as well. Their care for you and support can do wonders. Also, if they know that you’re having the urge to abuse again, they can take quick and corrective measures to rectify that. This can save you from relapsing.
- Focus on the negatives
Yes. Negatives that can destroy your life and career if you keep the substance abuse going. Before you try alcohol or drugs again during recovery, think of all the possible legal and financial consequences your choice can have on you and your family. After that, ask yourself again if this urge is worth that.
Substance abuse can pose huge personal and legal consequences which are sometimes deteriorating to your health and expenses. You can end up losing your savings on something that is meant for temporary pleasure or even worse, you can go to prison for using an illicit substance. Keep in mind everything before you decide to proceed.
- Take ownership of your mistakes
One thing that is difficult for even sober people is to take ownership of their own mistakes. Addicts, however, find it even more difficult as they are already living in extremes. The road to recovery is not easy and you are bound to make mistakes yet again. But what can be done differently this time, is accepting the ones that you did.
Your inner self will scream out loud to blame someone else for your mistakes. However, to attain long-term sobriety, it is crucial to understand and accept the mistakes you’ve committed and taken proper actions to make sure they are not repeated. Recovery is all about finding the perfect balance.
Practicing gratitude is yet again an important part of coping and achieving long-term sobriety. This includes bringing a change in our perception and behavior towards other people. Addicts often believe that the world has wronged them and owes them. However, this perception needs immediate change if you are serious about recovery.
Be thankful for the world that there are still people who are helping you fight this battle. Be thankful to your friends and families who have always supported you during your tough times. Be thankful to anyone who has helped you be the best version of yourself. Although these changes are difficult to attain during the early stages of recovery, but slow and steady efforts can help you reach there.
What’s a better method for coping and calming your senses than meditation? This easy practice has benefits that are par excellence. With just half-hour of proper meditation, you can clear your mind of any negative thoughts, help rejuvenate your body, and feel more confident and relaxed. All these benefits of meditation are helpful during recovery and can even fight the urge to abuse again.
It is easy to fall into addiction but people don’t realize that it will take all their blood and sweat to get out of it. Different people share their experiences about how they attended rehab with all dedication but still couldn’t stop themselves from relapsing. The problem is not with the treatment process. It is with the mentality.
If you improve your coping mechanisms with proper thinking, maintain a healthy schedule, and have a positive attitude towards life, you have a high chance to keep enjoying sobriety for long. But, if you don’t take action and put yourself in similar conditions as before, sobriety will remain a dream for you.
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