Millions of people struggle with addiction, and although everyone has their own battles and individual relapse triggers, there are some simple things that you can do to avoid relapse and stay on the right path.
The first few months of sobriety can be extremely difficult. Everything feels new, feelings are surfacing, withdrawal and sleeplessness occur, and the cloud is being lifted. That’s one of the reasons that it’s strongly recommended for people who are trying to stay sober to attend at least one Alcoholics Anonymous meeting a day during the first 90 days of sobriety.
Surrounding yourself with other people that are in the same boat and working towards the same goals as yourself can be extremely powerful. The additional support can help pull you through the tough times, and sometimes just hearing an unfortunate story about somebody receiving their third DUI is enough to keep you focused on your sobriety.
Another critical step regarding how to beat a relapse involves a sponsor. A sponsor is somebody that takes you under their wing, so to speak, and helps you to begin some of the footwork involved. Staying sober takes some maintenance work, and a sponsor is there for you at all hours of the day. So if you feel like your going to relapse, you have to use the phone and call your sponsor instead. A sponsor is also somebody that you’ll have to be held accountable towards as well. Keeping in touch with your sponsor on a daily basis is recommended in the beginning of your sobriety, and they can alert you to old behaviors that could lead to relapse.
You will have countless opportunities to interact with and meet people at the meetings, It’s important that you introduce yourself and exchange phone numbers with as many people that are staying sober as you can. You can use these numbers in the future when you feel a relapse coming on. One of the best things that you can do to avoid relapse is to stick with people who are involved in living a sober lifestyle.
Write a list of 25 things that you’re grateful for in this world, and really think about it. Sometimes we need to appreciate what we have and what we take for granted.
The Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book:
The Alcoholics Anonymous book is easy to read and well written. The old-timers at the AA meetings refer to it as “The Big Book.” The book is packed with information that explains the process of how to beat addiction. Reading the material brings a better sense of understanding and a strong feeling that you are not alone. It also explains the progression of the disease and what you can do to stop it.
One of the worst things that you can do is to sit all alone by yourself thinking. The mind can play tricks on itself, and it can tell you that the sober life is too difficult and painful. Although this is untrue, when left alone you might begin to believe your own lies and go relapse. It’s better to have someone to talk to – a voice of reason.
Avoid Old Friends and Hang-Outs:
If your going to beat addiction, then your going to need to lose some of the old friends and acquaintances that you spent time with. Don’t go to your old bars or party spots. This will only make staying sober that much more difficult, and possibly near impossible.
The body reacts to food similarly than it does to drugs and alcohol; it reacts after converting the food or drug. Oftentimes, and especially for alcohol addiction, eating a full, satisfying meal can fill the stomach and reduce the craving and desire to drink; hard sugar candy can also reduce alcohol cravings as well.
Do Something Nice for Someone Else:
Sometimes it’s good to get our minds off of ourselves and think about somebody else. Even if you perform a small act of kindness for somebody else, even if it’s simply sending them a card, this has a way of coming back to you many times over. Additionally, Every time that you do something honorable, or something that you know is the right thing to do in your heart, your self image will surely begin to improve as well, and soon you will be feeling better about yourself as time goes on and you continue to do the right thing.
Remember, beating addiction is not an easy thing to do, and for many, it is a lifelong journey. For some people, relapse is part of the process, and if it happens to you, the best thing that you can do is get to a meeting and don’t drink today. And just take it one day at a time; it gets easier.