Here are some tips for recovery from one of our guest posters Trevor
Cravings are an inevitable part of recovery. EVERYONE gets them.
The first step to overcoming cravings is to acknowledge that they exist and are completely normal.
Here are some of the things that helped me to deal with cravings before they turned into a relapse:
Temptation and stress are two of the biggest driving forces behind most relapses. If you know you’re going to be tempted or put in a stressful situation, create a plan on how to handle these things.
Maybe you have a buddy who can help talk you through it, or you have an exit strategy for when things get too intense. Perhaps you have both. Just plan for what you’ll do when your cravings begin getting stronger.
It’s crucial to plan for these difficult moments, but it’s also helpful to plan for the good ones.
If you want to overcome addiction, then become a planner.
Start every day with a set of goals you plan to achieve. They can be small things, but you will feel a sense of accomplishment as you check these productive items off your list each day.
Part of planning ahead is to avoid temptation and stress altogether.
Some situations are unavoidable, but skip any questionable situation whenever you can. Your friends, coworkers, and family will understand if they know your struggle.
And even if they don’t, it’s not worth a relapse.
If you do have to attend an event where there’s access to drugs or alcohol, bring a sober friend along to help keep you on track. It may also help to plan a nice treat for yourself during or after the event.
Maybe you’ll have a fun mocktail or your favorite dessert. You can indulge in some things, just not your addictions.
Build a network of sober supports.
Sober supports can be friends, family or therapists. Their goal is to provide ongoing support to help you through the rough times.
With a network of sober supports, you should always have at least one person you can rely on for emotional support or help with something physical, like getting a ride to group therapy.
When you feel that a slip is an imminent danger, it’s time to step up your interactions with your support network.
Know the signs of relapse.
Relapse typically isn’t something that just happens out of the blue.
It may seem that way to someone on the outside, but anyone who has relapsed before can tell you that there are signs.
Understand the signs of a relapse and get help when you begin seeing a pattern that may lead to bad decisions. Look for the following:
- Increased depression
- Obsessive or compulsive behavior
- Urgent or constant cravings
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Sleep disturbances
- Memory problems
- Trouble handling stress
- Avoiding friends
- Strong feelings of apathy
Find a healthy outlet.
Free time is your worst enemy.
Find healthy habits that can keep you so busy that you’ll barely have time to think about relapse.
Consider taking up a sport or volunteering. In these activities, you may also connect with sober friends who will be a good influence on you throughout recovery. It might take a while for these healthy habits to stick and become pleasura
Don’t wait until your cravings get stronger to start healthy habits. Start a healthy habit today and do whatever it takes to keep yourself invested.
What Happens If You Relapse?
There’s one thing you should understand about a relapse: It’s not the end. Many people who are sober today have relapsed and recovered. It’s all about your attitude.
One moment of weakness does not define you, and it doesn’t have to derail all your hard work.
Forgive yourself for the indiscretion, talk to your counsellor about how it happened and get back to your life of sobriety.
You CAN do this!
We would love to hear your tips for dealing with cravings, please let us know in the comments section below