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Getting Over a Relapse: The Steps You Need to Take to Move Forward

By Camille Johnson


If you have been managing a sober life for weeks, months, or years, there is nothing more frustrating than a relapse. However, giving in to your negative emotions and wallowing in self-pity or sadness will do nothing more than prevent you from moving forward. Even if you haven’t relapsed, it’s best to have a plan in mind, just in case you need it. Port Jervis Newsroom shares an outline written by Camille Johnson of Bereaver.com that lists specific steps you can take to help yourself move on after a relapse.


Change your routine


When you are attempting to move back into your regular life after a relapse, WiseWiser notes that the most important thing you can do is to not fall back into the same identical routine as the weeks leading up to your relapse. Not only could similar circumstances, settings, and people increase the risk of another relapse, it will be difficult for you to fully get over your addiction if you do not change your life.


While you may not need to change certain things, like your profession, there are many different ways you can adjust your routine, from avoiding negative influences to improving your overall quality of life with self-care.


Seek out professionals at rehab centers


The first thing you should do after a relapse is to immediately seek professional help. Don’t think that you will be able to overcome your addiction yourself. Psychologists, therapists, and counselors are highly trained to know the best actions you can take in your time of need. When you look for rehabilitation centers in New York, look for programs that are best suited to your needs, and be sure the one you choose is accredited and offers services such as detox. You’ll find a number of options in Albany.


Reach out to trusted friends


You should also discuss the matter with family members and close friends. The people who know you best are also the people who will be able to offer you the most support in this difficult time. Open up and share as much as you are comfortable. Don’t feel like you have to have a marathon talk into the night - sometimes, the most effective support comes when you are just able to sit with somebody you trust for a while.


The other reason why it is important to tell people close to you about your relapse is that they will be able to help keep you accountable. While your therapist may offer great advice, you may only see them once a week. Family and friends will be able to monitor your progress on a daily basis, and can be on alert to help you if you are in danger of relapsing again. For this reason, make sure you are emotionally open with your chosen trustworthy people, and try to be equally open to their advice.


Reduce daily stress


As you prepare to return to work, keep in mind you will need to have a strategy to deal with work-related stress. Whether or not stress was the initial cause of your relapse, there is a strong correlation between stress and drug and alcohol abuse. This means you may want to minimize the amount of stressful activities you take on at work.


You’ll also need to practice coping techniques for stress, like deep breathing, resting throughout the day, and regular exercise. A healthier life in general means you’ll be less likely to relapse again.


Forgive yourself


Of course, the only way to truly move forward after a relapse is by forgiving yourself, points out MindBodyGreen.com. There is only so much progress that can come through external means. While the process may take weeks or even months, start right away by reminding yourself that you are valuable - your self-worth is not dictated by your addiction.


You may find it helpful to set a time each day to meditate on these concepts. Mindfulness meditation is all about opening yourself up to your strengths and weaknesses, and finding value in yourself in spite of them.


A relapse can be devastating, but it does not define you. Instead of wallowing in sadness over your addiction, start again on the right foot by immediately taking steps to prevent another relapse. Remember, first reach out to a professional at a rehab facility and to trusted friends, then learn to forgive yourself and move forward.


Photo Credit: Pexels


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