It’s not uncommon for those struggling with addictions to relapse at least once in their rehabilitation process. Some people even go off the wagon multiple times before finally getting sober. Even though there are recognized therapies for nicotine, alcohol, and opiate addiction, many who start treatment will relapse.
The first step in preventing one is to understand what can cause you to relapse and have a plan to deal with these triggers. You should think about and discuss five motivations with your therapist or counsellor.
- Negative Emotions
Those struggling in the area require effective methods for coping with, controlling, and understanding the negative emotions they encounter regularly. You can no longer rely on alcohol, substances, or addictive habits to bring brief comfort from those feelings.
Recognize that the unpleasant emotions you’re experiencing aren’t necessarily a warning of a looming setback. Everyone feels emotions that are bad or difficult. You have to deal with them in a certain way.
Consider these feelings as an opportunity to learn and grow. By taking inventory of your emotions and asking yourself why, you can learn a lot about yourself. Learning to deal with your feelings without succumbing to addiction is, in fact, a lifesaver.
When you’re feeling down, consider writing your thoughts, meditating, or even praying. Find a healthy approach to let go of your angst and improve your mood. Additional coping methods can be developed with the support of an addiction professional or another mental health therapist.
- Seeing the Object of Your Addiction
During recovery, a relapse might be triggered by reminders of your addiction. At the initial stages of quitting, the smell of cigarette smoke, seeing others sip cocktails in a club, or a couple wrapped in an erotic embrace seems to be everywhere.
It’s common to want to relapse into your addiction. For one thing, it’s a destination you’ve been to before. On the other hand, recovery isn’t only about “quitting” and “abstaining,” but also about creating a new life where it’s easier—and more appealing—to avoid using.
Concentrate on the adjustments you’re making and the fresh start you’re creating. Consider the negative repercussions of your addiction, such as the people you injured and the connections you lost due to it. Whenever you see these reminders, you may think you are missing your previous life, but in truth, it only brought you misery and hardship.
Having a substitute behaviour, such as going to a yoga session or taking a long bath, might also assist when you’re feeling provoked. Positivity exercises, such as chanting positive mantras, might also help you fight these temptations. Work with your therapist or counsellor to figure out how to deal with these memories more effectively.
- Stressful Situations, People, Tasks, Environments
One of the most common motivations for relapse is stress. As a result, many people struggling with addiction resort to their preferred substance or activity as a non-adaptive way of dealing with it. If the substance or behaviour was the primary coping technique for the person, research suggests a greater desire for the substance, alcohol, or addictive behaviour during stressful situations.
Evaluating the stress you’re facing is one method to be ready for this trigger. It’s impossible to get rid of everything and everyone in your life, but you can avoid circumstances that bring you a lot of stress. As a result, it’s a good idea to make a list of all the people, environments, and things that make you stressed out.
Are you in a destructive relationship, for example, or is your financial condition putting you under a lot of pressure?
It’s also crucial to develop positive stress-reduction or stress-management techniques. You might be able to do this by:
- Mindfulness and relaxation training
- Better managing your time.
- Implementing healthy eating and moderate exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle
Not just finding healthy methods to deal with stress and identifying when you’re in a tense environment and doing something about it can help you avoid a relapse.
- Celebrations and Festivities
Positive events, such as birthdays and special days, can also act as triggers. You may be content, in charge, and convinced that you can handle a single drink, cigarette, or flirting with an attractive stranger. What about if you can’t seem to keep things under control?
Those struggling usually lose their ability to recognize when to stop. As a result, a drink or two could develop into a spree. Treating yourself to a new pair of shoes that you don’t need may lead to a shopping binge.
If you are at risk of complications, having a companion can be beneficial. If you ever do start to relapse, find somebody you respect and trust to gently but forcefully encourage you to quit what you’re doing.
- People and Places That Act as Triggers
Whether or not they are currently drinking, smoking, or taking drugs, individuals who participated in your addictions are possible relapse triggers. Similarly, you may be triggered by certain areas that remind you of your addiction. Even your loved ones, especially if they make you feel unsafe and childish, could be a trigger for you.
It’s critical to have effective methods for dealing with your feelings when you’re made aware of your addiction. It could be good to have a specific response ready if you’re an alcoholic and a bunch of drinking buddies asks you to go out or if you observe folks from work going to happy hour.
If you or a friend needs professional help regarding addictions, you may reach out to Calm Rehab Bali. They offer private rehabilitation services.