First, remind yourself that relapse happens, but it doesn’t have to. Relapse is a process, just like recovery. It is often said that the drink happens long before the drink. If you notice your program of recovery is lacking, you are endangering yourself to relapse. Common triggers include hanging out with friends who still use drugs or alcohol, emotional pain, stress from school, and euphoric recall. Form new relationships with people who do not need drugs or alcohol to enjoy themselves, and who can give you a positive substance-free environment to support your recovery.
Second, remind yourself of how far you have come, how capable you are of continuing, and what you need to do to get there. Post inspirational phrases and sayings around your living space to remind you of the numerous benefits of sobriety. Research has verified the effectiveness of positive reminders and images promoting optimism and hope. Find your own inspiration through poetry, Bible verses, or any text which speaks to you and strengthens your resolve to stay sober.
Third, remind yourself that you do not have to do this on your own. You are not alone. It is true that only you can stay sober for yourself. However, you do not have to face everything in life and recovery through isolated means. Your family and loved ones, in particular, will want to see you get sober and recover your life from drugs and alcohol. Once they are invested in your recovery, they can be your strongest advocates.
Last, remind yourself to take it easy and truly live one day at a time. Do not be too hard on yourself. Recovery from drug and alcohol addiction is more than quitting the use of drugs and alcohol. You are learning an entire new way of being, feeling, thinking, and living. Few people are tasked with such monumental change. You are capable of it.
Sustain Recovery Services in southern California works with adolescents and young adults who are motivated to build a foundation for living their own sober lives. Our extended care services program offer the structure, support, and fun young persons in recovery need for successful long term sobriety. Please see our website or call us at 949-407-9052 for more information.