How to remain sober after addiction recovery

The transition from an addiction-filled life to sobriety is laced with ups and downs. Due to the complicated nature of addiction, it is possible for an individual to relapse even after completing treatment.

To remain sober, the individual has to be conscious and deliberate about navigating life and avoiding triggers thrown at them.

If you just got sober, here are some tips to remain this way

  • Get a support system

Nobody can go through life by themselves. With the involvement of addiction, it becomes more challenging to think you can handle your post-recovery period alone.

You need the right set of people around to provide the support that keeps you going.

Generally, the support system would constitute your counselor, therapist, family, sober friends, and acquaintances, etc. You should always have people that encourage you to remain sober.

  • Keep up with aftercare treatment

It is normal to feel vibrant and energetic after addiction recovery. This is why some people feel reluctant to keep going for aftercare treatment because they are doing great. However, it is important not to underrate aftercare treatment.

This treatment phase helps to remind you about your coping strategies and how you can keep implementing them successfully. See the aftercare treatment as an accountability group that keeps tabs on you to prevent you from relapsing.

  • Live a healthy life

As subtle as it sounds, implementing healthy life practices can be difficult but the benefits are numerous. You need a healthy life to help you remain sober after addiction recovery. With healthy life practices, you will be able to keep addiction at bay.

  • Manage your stress levels

It is quite impossible to state that you can completely keep stress out of the occasion. No matter how rested or free you might be, stress has a way of creeping up on you. All you have to do is manage your stress levels to prevent them from going overboard.

Finally, it is important to always keep in touch with your counselor and be accountable to them to prevent a relapse after addiction recovery.

Reasons why relapse occurs after addiction recovery

When some people recover from addiction, they never expect to relapse but due to some circumstances, they find themselves dwelling in their addiction again.

This is normal for everyone who passes through addiction treatment because there is always a chance that they would relapse, even after fulfilling all the requirements at the addiction treatment center.

One of the primary reasons why this happens is because addiction and becoming sober are like two worlds apart. The individual might not be fully suited to take on the demands of the new world, which can cause their addiction eventually.

To understand the full concept of relapse, here are some reasons why it occurs

  • Unhealthy life practices

If a sober individual does not take their health seriously after recovering from addiction, there is a chance that they will relapse. They need to take their diet, rest, physical activity, and other aspects of their health with full consciousness.

  • Hanging out with friends who can trigger their addiction

Recovering individuals need to choose their new set of friends and acquaintances carefully as they integrate themselves into the world again. Some friends can trigger your addiction, so it is best to treat them at arm’s length.

Look out for individuals who encourage you to be sober and remain healthy. Such friends will always look out for you to ensure your addiction recovery does not regress.

  • Inability to apply coping strategies

At a standard addiction treatment center, one of the things that recovering addicts learn is developing profound coping strategies to fight off triggers. Someone who lacks the know-how to apply these coping strategies is likely to relapse.

Therefore, it is important to pay good attention to what is being taught at the rehab to prevent a relapse.

Finally, every recovering individual needs to look out for their stress levels. Stress is one of the primary enemies of sober individuals. When you discover that something is stressing you out, you can detach yourself and place more priority on your health.

HEALTH PRACTICES AFTER ADDICTION RECOVERY

It is not easy for an individual to be sober after addiction because it means letting go of an old lifestyle and picking up a new one. One of the possible things you would encounter is the withdrawal symptoms that are likely to make you get addicted.

If you have recovered from addiction, there are some health practices you need to imbibe.

To start with, it is essential to start slowly. One mistake that recovering individuals make is, once they are out of the woods, they think it is time to embrace the hustle and bustle of life fully.

However, what they do not know is, their bodies need time to adjust. So, it is best for them to take things one step at a time until they become perfectly adapted to the new lifestyle.

Another health practice is to take a balanced diet. Some people do not take into consideration what they eat and this affects them at some points in their lives.

People who have recovered from addiction are advised to take their diet seriously. If they do not know how to go about it, then it is advisable to reach out to a nutritionist.

Similarly, it is essential to take sufficient water. We need water for survival and daily, it is expected we take up to eight cups of water.

Also, it is expedient to find time to relax. Due to the fact that an individual who has recovered from addiction would be going back to a stressful lifestyle, it is best to have a good relaxation time.

This helps us to develop a healthy mind that boosts our productivity in return. There are various ways to relax and it is necessary to find out that which ideally suits us.

Lastly, one important practice is exercise. This is what most of us do not take seriously. There are a plethora of benefits involved in exercising including the fact that it makes us fit, makes our heart healthy amongst others.

It is important for everyone who has recovered from addiction to make sure that they keep in touch with their healthcare provider.  

REASONS WHY RECOVERING ADDICTS NEED AFTERCARE

In the addiction recovery process, there is a likely chance that some of the individuals who recover from addiction will go back to their old ways.

This process is referred to as relapse. These individuals cannot be blamed for this because there is this tendency for us to pick up bad habits when we are faced with cravings.

Hence, this is one of the reasons why addiction treatment centers are always advised that after the rehab program, there should be an aftercare program.

The basic purpose of an aftercare program is to keep in touch with recovered individuals, making sure they do not get addicted once again.

An aftercare program can run for as long as a couple of years. The individual might not need to attend sessions as before. All the person needs do is to submit a progress report on his lifestyle so far.

An aftercare program comprises thorough monitoring and it checks the possibility of a relapse. If the individual is out of the woods and it is detected that he or she might be addicted, the person might have to be re-admitted.

In some cases, the individual would be required to leave some friends who served as major sources of contribution to their addiction in the past.

There is no actual cure for addiction that is why a relapse is possible. However, with proficient treatment, an individual can be able to fight off addiction and leave a normal life thereafter.

Therefore, it is necessary for an addiction treatment program to have aftercare plan for any individual they have under their care.

The practical way an aftercare works is, the individual would be required to keep up with counseling sessions at different times of the week. Sometimes, a rehab might offer the patient some rewards if he or she is able to conquer cravings that might trigger their addiction.

Addiction is a tough battle that must be fought with every possible means. If there are lapses, there is a tendency for the individual to relapse.

Post Addiction Recovery: Healthy Mind Exercises

As most addicts know – or at least find out once they start the road to recovery – addiction takes an effect on your entire body: physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. And, once you begin your road to recovery, not only will you be focused on staying sober, but you will also need to focus on getting your body back on track.

Your body can typically repair itself from most if not all of the damage done, but it does need help along the way through exercise, proper rest, and nourishment.

Addiction often damages your mind and body – it can leave you feeling tired, weak, and forgetful. So, when it comes to recovery you are probably thinking about your new eating routine which will include a lot of fruits, vegetables, supplements, and various other nutritional things. Next, you are likely thinking about your new exercise plan that will incorporate getting active and being involved, you might start running or swimming. It is all about gaining that strength back and putting positive things back into your life.

But, what about your mind? That is one thing that still needs exercise and needs to be returned to a healthy state. But, it is something we haven’t talked about yet…

Well, there are literally exercises you can do for your mind. No, I don’t mean something crazy like running around and screaming your name out for a mile. Rather, they are just simple exercises that will stimulate your mind and cause you to use various sides and parts of your brain.

A healthy mind is needed for a healthy body – they go hand-in-hand. So, by exercising your brain, you are promoting a healthier physical body and just a healthier life overall.

Now, what you have been waiting for, here are those healthy mind exercises:

Test your memory.

Make a list of something – it could be a grocery list or just a random list of items. But, then take a few minutes to memorize it. Next, put the list away and try to recall all items on the list – keeping count of how many you can recall.

 

Do math in your head.

This can be frustrating because not everyone enjoys math – but it is stimulating and beneficial. So, look up a few random math problems online and practice working them out in your head.

 

Learn something new.

This could be a new sport or even a new language, but either way, learning something new is beneficial to your mind and your soul. It feels good to accomplish learning something new, but it will also stimulate your brain as you put in the time, thought, and effort to understand a new concept.

Find the Value in Rehab

Have you ever had to go to a class before? It could have been a professional class that was designed to help make you better at your job or maybe just a class for school – it could be college or high school. Anyways, you probably have viewed that class – or a class – as an obstacle at some point. You are required to be there at a certain time, you are required to bring certain materials, you have to focus and give the instructor your full attention. It is just one of those things that take time out of your day and could easily interfere with your plans.

So, in such a situation, you might consider that class to be an obstacle – it is standing between you and whatever it is you want to do. But, in fact, that course is an opportunity – not an obstacle. It is an opportunity to learn something new, to become better at your job, to be better equipped for life, and much more. It is an opportunity to get to better yourself through learning.

Well, when it comes to addiction recovery, some people view a rehabilitation program as an obstacle as well. It is another one of those things where they have to check in, they have to follow the rules, and they have to commit their efforts and energy to it. But, viewing substance abuse drug rehab like this could greatly impact your recover.

Viewing it as an obstacle could leave you dreading the times you have to go, might prevent you from being open to learning and improving as part of the program, and it will leave you more focused on that than focused on your recovery process.

But, in fact, rehab is an opportunity just like a class is…

Rehab is a chance to have trained and skilled individuals help you better yourself and start a new life. It is an opportunity that not everybody gets and definitely, not everybody takes advantage of. Furthermore, by viewing rehab as an obstacle rather than an opportunity, you will hinder your own healing process.

Instead, try to see the good in the program. Consider the friends you have made along the way, how much healthier you feel, and the positive impact that rehab is having in your life. Work on being optimistic rather than pessimistic. Find the good in everything – especially in rehab.

Once you learn to view it as an opportunity rather than an obstacle, you will find you are far more productive and you are enjoying each day more and more.

Life After Addiction: Finding Healthy Alternatives

When it comes to life after addiction, the main obstacle that stands in people’s way is the little green monster of relapse. It is easy to turn back to your old ways, especially when that nostalgic setting or sound makes an appearance. And, especially during the holidays, relapses become an even more prevalent occurrence among addicts who are now sober.

For example, the holidays are typically a time of gathering and hanging out, laughing and drinking, and more. But, for an addict, they can be a stressful time full of social gatherings that place stress on the individual and homes full of temptations they are so desperately trying to avoid. As a recovering addict, you might think back to past holidays where you would toast with a glass of champagne and maybe have one more with your meal. Then, once everyone had left and you had finished cleaning up the mess, you would reward yourself with a few cold beers while you binge-watched your favorite holiday movies.

And, while this activity was once an okay reward for a great day and your work cleaning up, it has now become a temptation and something that could cause a domino effect – sending you spiraling right back down to the path of addiction. So, you might find yourself frustrated because you desire that old habit…

Everyone needs that cool down period and everyone needs that “me time” activity that they love so much. We all need a way to reward ourselves. But, especially as a recovering addict, you have to ensure it is something that is healthy for you and does not interfere with your recovery.

So, while you might not be able to have a cold beer after a long holiday anymore, find a healthier alternative that will help calm you down. For example, especially since the holidays are normally cold, why not cozy up by the fire place with a mug full of warm tea? There are so many different tea flavors, picking it out is an activity in and of itself!

There are plenty of things you can do to cool down and relax and several other “me time” past times that are healthier than drugs or alcohol. It is about finding what works for you. And, continue to replace that old habit with your new and healthier one and eventually, that new and healthier habit will become your normal go-to.

Addiction Triggers: Here Are A Few Strange Ones

Once you are on the road to recovering from your addiction, one of the greatest struggles you will face in your new and improved life is the temptation to relapse. But, the temptation to relapse is not always something that just happens or just lingers around all the time. Oftentimes, the temptation to relapse and use drugs or alcohol again is set off by something called a trigger…

A trigger is just simply something that makes you crave drugs or alcohol, something that reminds you of that old lifestyle, something that makes you want to go back. It can be a smell, a sound, a person, or even a place. It might be where you used to buy drugs at or it could be the person you used to buy them from. Sometimes, it can even be an emotion. For example, you might feel stressed and that might be the feeling you used to feel right before you would use – maybe it was your reason for using – and so that might trigger you to feel like you need the drugs or alcohol again.

And, of course, people typically think of the common triggers such as old friends, a street corner, your car, whatever it is that reminds you of those old habits. But, triggers can go far beyond just the person you used to buy your stuff from. A trigger can even be something incredibly unique that you would have never considered…

Here are a few strange triggers that might pose a threat to you or a recovering addict you know:

  1. Money

    Sometimes, recovering addicts can be triggered by money because they always got out cash solely to purchase their drugs or alcohol. It might be the act of going to the ATM, it might be the smell of the money, or it might just be the fact that they still have a tendency to fold the money up like they are doing a drug deal.

  2. Grocery stores

    Nowadays, most grocery stores have a liquor aisle. So, while it might not be a liquor store just full of alcohol, a former addict might still know that alcohol is present and the access to it is just so easy.

  3. The feeling of accomplishment

Oftentimes, when people drink or use drugs they feel this high, this sense of accomplishment. It is oftentimes part of the euphoric effect the drugs or alcohol provides. So, when they feel the same sense of accomplishment – even if it is for something good – it could still pose a threat as a trigger.

Do you know of some other unique triggers? Share them with us in the comments.

Every Day You Are Making Progress

Addiction regardless of it is to drugs or alcohol, damages your body. Over time, it takes a toll on your mind and your physical body – negatively affecting parts of your body such as your organs. And, as a result, you will likely feel the effects of this – you might feel tired, weak, irritable, and various other things. Furthermore, when you are feeling unwell like this it can make addiction recovery very hard…

But, it is worth pushing through and getting better.

However, there are many people that think once the damage is done, it is done. There is no going back and healing your organs or your body, you are just stuck recovering and getting sober and then living with your body as is from this point forward…

But, that is not the case.

Organs and tissues can heal most of the time – but they don’t just do it all on their own. Of course, getting sober helps greatly. But, then you also need to nourish your body.

Focus on exercising regularly – which will also play a major role in your sobriety – even if it is something simple like a quick cardio workout a few times a week or joining a local tennis club. You just need to get moving somehow. Next, focus on what you put in your body. You have probably heard the saying, “you are what you eat,” so think about that when you eat – you want to be colorful, happy, and healthy like fruits and vegetables.

And, most importantly, remember that each and every day you are making progress.

It can be hard to take a step back and realize that even one day can make a difference. It seems so small in the scheme of things, but it is not. Each and every day counts.

It is just like when you were addicted to the drugs or alcohol, each and every day that you used and abused them – you were damaging your body. Each day counts when you are abusing your body, and each day counts when you are trying to heal it as well.

Try to recognize the value in one day and focus on the here and now. Every day that you stay sober and every day that you make a point to exercise and every day that you make a point to try and eat better, you are healing your body – one day at a time.