Getting Back on Track After Relapse

Relapse can happen to anyone trying to maintain a sober life. Sometimes the triggers can come from problems beyond your control. Whatever the reason for your relapse, you need to know how to get back on track. Take the following tips with you as you step back into sobriety.

Stay Sober For The Next 24 Hours

If you just stopped using your drug of choice, the next 24 hours are hugely important. Don’t worry about how you are starting over or how long your sobriety might last. Just do everything you can to stay sober for this 24 hour period. You’ll find more ideas about how to do this below.

Talk To Someone About It

Talk to your sponsor, go to a meeting, call the drug rehab center you attended, call a friend or family member – anyone you trust to help you stay on track. If this is your first relapse, you might feel embarrassed or ashamed. It’s normal to feel this way, but you don’t have to let these emotions keep your attention. Talking about your situation can purge some of the emotion and negative thinking. Just getting yourself out of isolation can be a big help, too. You know you aren’t alone on your journey and you can still keep going forward.

Dig Out Your Drug Treatment Recovery Plan

In drug rehab, you created a recovery plan. This also included several ways for you to avert relapse. All the things you do to keep from relapsing can also get you back on into sobriety. You’ll find recommendations that include reducing your daily stress, relaxation techniques, getting good sleep, eating nutritious food, exercising, and even spending time on your hobbies. You may also find a list of triggers that prompt your desire to drink or use drugs. Refresh your memory on your entire recovery plan. It will help you to get a sense of the bigger picture again.

When The Cravings And Negativity Subside

When the most difficult moments of your new sobriety pass by, you’ll be ready to reset your sobriety plan. Take it one day at a time – eat one healthy meal, take a short walk, talk to one friend, go to a meeting. Start simple, but hit the high points on your recovery plan.

You can rebuild your healthy habits slowly. Just focus on moment-to-moment sobriety at first.

Most importantly, stay connected with your support network during this time of rebuilding.

Examine The Pitfalls Behind Your Relapse

You may or may not know exactly what led to your relapse. When you have gotten a little distance from your relapse, take a closer look at everything that led up to it. What did you leave out of your daily routine? Who did you start seeing that wasn’t good for you? What intrusive thoughts starting invading your mind? Did others try to intervene when they saw red flags, or was your relapse kept mostly a secret?

These are important questions to ponder. Nobody wants to go through a relapse. But if it happens, you can learn some very valuable things about yourself. If you use this opportunity to understand what happened, you can do a lot to prevent a future relapse.

Wendy Lee Nentwig

By Wendy Lee Nentwig
Guest Contributor
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