Many of us in recovery will unfortunately experience a relapse at some point. We might come to believe it is unavoidable, but there are some steps we can take to prevent ourselves from relapsing. Sometimes we think that our work is done once we’ve completed a treatment program. We might approach our recovery passively, thinking there isn’t anything more we can do for ourselves. The more we take an active role in our recovery and are proactive in doing the work, the more likely we are to prevent relapse.
Reach Out for Support
We tend to isolate, especially when we’re depressed, stressed or ashamed of our addictions. Let’s work to stop our patterns of self-isolation and create new, healthier habits of reaching out to people for support, letting people know if we’re struggling, asking them to check on us, and expressing ourselves rather than keeping everything bottled up. The more we are able to take the step of communicating with other people, the more we open ourselves to receiving the help and support they can offer us.
Work with a Therapist
We like to think we can do everything on our own. Many of us have a very hard time accepting help, let alone professional help. We might be prideful and embarrassed that we need therapy. We might come from a family or culture that looks down on therapy. You might have been taught that therapy is useless, and that if you’re struggling, you just need to snap out of it. Those of us living with addiction know how hard it can be to juggle everything – our daily lives, jobs, families and other responsibilities. With our recovery work added on it can be extremely overwhelming. Therapy can help us to address all the challenges in our lives and can help us to manage the stress and anxiety that can build up and lead to relapse. It can help us to examine and heal all the underlying issues that contributed to our developing addictions in the first place, and which can cause relapse if we don’t deal with them.
Get a Sponsor
Sponsors are in recovery themselves and can offer us the wisdom they’ve gained after years of work and helping others. There is so much we can learn from others who have firsthand experience with similar issues. We can benefit from everything they’ve learned, their stories, mistakes and successes. When we are open to receiving help, sponsors can provide us with hope and guidance, helping us to stay optimistic in the face of depression. They can help us to manage addictive urges and stay on track. They are a resource and support system we can lean on, especially when we’re struggling.
We offer relapse prevention education as part of our treatment programs. Call us at (575) 613-4810 for information on how we can help.