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Dealing With Setbacks in Addiction Recovery

Opioid addiction patient coming to grips with a recovery setback

Substance abuse is a global problem. It is an affliction that has claimed many victims. Addiction recovery is a lengthy process that requires more than just mental toughness and plain old dedication. The journey to staying clean is full of setbacks and pitfalls which if not overcome, often leads to a relapse. Staying clean is a lifelong commitment. Addiction recovery is tough and should always be undertaken through a rehabilitation facility.

The healing process is made possible through support from group meetings and from close family and friends. For most addicts, the fear of a relapse is always present. Coping with the temptations of substance abuse, remaining sober and clean is a daily struggle. The recovering process involves a lot of aspects that starts with making lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes are a must do. Observing the same routines from your old lifestyle often leads to a relapse to the same habits.

A recovering opiate addict has to learn to build their new lifestyle around recovery. A holistic lifestyle change addresses the physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual aspects of improving the odds of successful healing. No matter how daunting or hard it may get, it is of utmost importance to stick to the recovery process. A life of sobriety is a day to day living. Some of the lifestyle changes should include;

Embracing Honesty

Addicts live in a lie that one is okay while they really are not. Being honest with yourself and even to family and friends allows one to accept that all is not well and you need help. If you find yourself lying to others, you are more likely to slip back into addiction and need to re-evaluate your standing. When it comes to your recovery struggles, do not lie about it and more importantly never lie to your sponsor. Be accountable for your actions.

Making New Friends and Engaging in Hobbies

Our friends and hobbies can be our enablers. A recovering addict should not be around people who are still using. New hobbies take up the time and money previously spent on substance abuse. New friends and hobbies help recovering addicts to reconnect with what they were missing and even catch up on interests they once missed out on. Rekindling relationships and rebuilding trust with friends and family members who are supportive of your recovery can help a recovering addict live a new fulfilling life.

Exercise and Diet

Proper nutrition helps a recovering addict to regain their health and vitality once lost to substance abuse. A proper diet is vital and helps reduce stress and any cravings the body may experience during the recovery process. Integrating exercise into your daily routine improves physical health while keeping the recovering addict occupied. A good diet and a programmed exercise routine are a good way to stay sober and reduce the risk of a relapse.

Relax and Organize Finances

Managing your finances and prioritizing what is important helps to avoid overspending. Recovering addicts and substance users are not exactly famous for their money management skills. Learning to manage money can help avoid anxiety and stress which can lead to a relapse.

Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

At the end of your day, take some time to be grateful for making it through a full day without using. Also take some time to appreciate the special people in your life, those who forgive you for your actions during your low days. Appreciate people who stand with you throughout the recovery period. Gratitude is a virtue that helps you appreciate what you have. You will be a great deal happier and less likely to relapse.

In the event of a relapse, act immediately. Don’t use feelings of failure as an excuse to continue using. Instead

  • Take responsibility and be honest: admit that you slipped, to yourself, sponsor and family and friends. Admit and accept you are powerless over your addiction. Be honest and take responsibility for your actions.

  • Attend meetings, counseling sessions and/or re-enter a treatment center. Surround yourself with support from your sponsor, recovery groups.

  • Deal with any difficult emotions you might be experiencing: Acknowledge emotions that may have been a trigger and also those that arise after a relapse.

Remember that recovery after a relapse is still possible and you are not beyond help. And you are not a failure. You have not unlearned all that you learned, take action and get back on track.

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