25 Jul Making a Plan to Prevent Relapse
Addiction recovery is a two-steps-forward-one-step-back process as we fight tooth and nail for every success along the way. Backsliding is bound to happen in some form or another. In almost every case, these difficult moments provide us valuable insights into where we need improvement, and how we can strengthen our recovery. When backsliding leads to relapse, recovering addicts will suffer their darkest moments, but we can learn from this experience. Having a relapse prevention program can help us to avoid relapse, and can help us to bounce back quicker afterwards when a relapse does occur.
Aftercare is Key
A relapse prevention plan is all about recognizing triggers and trying situations before we get in over our heads. Aftercare programs provided by rehab facilities are designed to help us learn where our weaknesses lie in our daily lives, and how to turn them into strengths. Attending all of our aftercare activities, such as individual and group therapy, will give us the support and insight we need to deal with the ups and downs of recovery. Failure to follow through with aftercare leaves us open to all the weaknesses of early recovery, and puts us at a high risk for relapse. When a relapse occurs, we can find the help we need to get back on track quickly through the support of our aftercare programs.
Focus on Caring for Ourselves
With all the damage that’s been done to our lives and relationships throughout our addictions, it can be difficult to focus on just taking care of ourselves. We’ll feel driven to try and fix everything outside of ourselves, but we have to fight this impulse as part of our relapse prevention plan. We can’t fight our disease with a weak body and mind, so we have to make getting strong a priority. We must eat right, exercise, get plenty of rest, and attend all of our various therapeutic activities to care for our mental and emotional health. Progress in all areas of our lives will come in time, but only if we take care of ourselves and maintain our recovery.
Tapping Into Support
The key component of our relapse prevention plan is going to be the support of those around us. In the swirl of emotions brought on by withdrawals and adjusting to early recovery, it can be difficult to gauge where we’re at, and to manage our stress levels on our own. Those who are closest to us will be able to let us know when we’re headed for trouble, and give us an outlet. Stress, boredom, and loneliness are big catalysts for relapse, and they can all be eased through the support of others.
The support staff from your rehab facility will be able to help you make a relapse prevention program, and give you tips for sticking to it as you continue through recovery.