Recovery is more than just abstaining from drug use or going through detox; it is a long process that can be filled with many ups and downs.
There are a myriad of issues that a recovering addict must face even long after they have completed a rehab program.
The risk of relapse is always something that you must be concerned with and it is important to take measures to prevent any possible return to abusive behavior.
Although recovery can be mainly an individual journey, it is also crucial for addicts to build up a support group that will help them in times of stress and trouble. A strong support system can make an addict less likely to relapse and better able to deal with their problems through healthy solutions rather than turning to drug abuse.
Create Healthy Connections
As a person becomes absorbed in an addiction, they might begin to subconsciously push away their friends or family members that are sober or only drink moderately. An addict will try to surround themselves with other addicts so that they will not be criticized for their behavior and their habits will seem normal.
These types of connections can also become enablers, which is a relationship that encourages an addict to continue abusing drugs or alcohol. As you start the process of recovery, you must ultimately distance yourself from these enablers or associations with people in denial of their addiction.
Spending time with them could be dangerous for your sobriety and possibly lead to relapse. As an addict you should instead begin to build close relationships with healthy individuals or other people who are focusing on recovery. Having connections with people who are sober will give you the chance to avoid triggers and stay motivated in your personal goals.
Look for Confidantes in Recovery
Recovering from an addiction has its own pressures and challenges added on to the daily stress of life. Talking to someone who understands and is willing to listen is always something that can relieve stress and save you from potential relapse.
While in recovery, you need to find people you trust to whom you can voice your daily struggle. It could be a mentor or sponsor from a twelve step program or someone who is dealing with many of the same issues that you face.
Finding a few confidantes will give you the chance to vent any of your frustrations and also receive valuable advice from someone who is empathetic to what you are experiencing. This type of behavior allows one to live one day at a time, and not get tripped up on the future.
Always be honest and open to people while you are in rehab and also be willing to listen and help others so you can build close connections that will benefit you later on in recovery.
Plan Activities and Stay in Touch
Addicts can meet many helpful people while staying in a rehab facility, but it is up to them to maintain these connections after completing the program. You want to keep your support system in your life long after you leave rehab so make sure to get people's contact information so that you can call them whenever you are struggling.
It can also be a good idea to plan activities with them that will take your mind off of alcohol or drugs. Start getting involved in healthier hobbies with the help of your sober friends so that you always stay busy and avoid possible triggers like boredom or isolation. Don't be afraid to rely on friends in times of need and talk to the people that were there for you during recovery.
If you continue going to your support group meetings and stay in touch with the people you trust then you will have the support system you need to maintain your sobriety.