Maintaining a lifestyle of recovery can be tough sometimes. There are plenty of opportunities for temptation to arise. You must always be aware of your surroundings and your own well-being so that you can take steps to avoid temptations that could lead to a slip or relapse. That means paying attention to who you are spending time with, where you are spending time, the type of environment that is created, and how you are feeling. Stress, anger, worry, loneliness, frustration, and even over confidence can put you at risk for using drugs or alcohol again.
But even with vigilance, sometimes a slip does occur. This does not mean that recovery has failed or that you will once again be controlled by addiction. It means that something needs to change so that you can get back on track with your recovery and sobriety. If you take action following a slip, you can keep it from becoming a full relapse.
Stop what you are doing.
If you do slip up and have a drink or use drugs, stop what you are doing and get yourself out of the situation. Go to a safe, substance-free space, whether that means heading home or to a friend’s house or going for a walk. A change of scenery and environment can help you to clear your mind and reassess the situation. It can also keep you from continuing to drink or do drugs. Talking to someone from your support system can help as well.
Assess what happened.
What led you to the slip? Was it peer pressure? Stress? Boredom? Another trigger? Think about what you could have done differently if presented with the situation again or to prevent it from occurring in the first place. However, don’t beat yourself up over it. Mistakes and lapses in judgment happen. The important thing is that you realize you made a mistake and take steps to prevent it from happening again. No one is perfect, and addiction recovery is a process.
Once you’ve evaluated the situation, decide what changes you can put in place to get back on track with your recovery. This could mean spending more time exercising or practicing yoga or meditation to reduce stress and boost your mood. It could mean attending support group meetings more often or avoiding certain places. You may want to start volunteering or engaging in a new hobby to give yourself a greater sense of purpose and something to spend more time on. Figure out what is and is not working for you, and make adjustments as necessary.
A slip may rattle your confidence. You may decide that outpatient treatment or counseling is necessary to help you refocus your efforts and make changes to help prevent relapse. Or, if it does turn into a relapse, additional treatment can help you achieve sobriety once again and refine your relapse prevention efforts.
Not everyone experiences a slip or relapse, but some people do. That does not mean that treatment has failed, or you have failed. It means that something isn’t working, and you need to make changes. Seacliff can help you to get back on track and feel more confident in your recovery moving forward. Whether you could benefit from partial hospitalization or outpatient services, extended care, or help getting into a sober living program, Seacliff will work with you to meet your needs and help you embrace recovery once more.
Have you experienced a slip or relapse? Get the support you need for continued recovery at Seacliff.