There’s no use beating up on yourself after the fact. Just because you’ve slipped up during your recovery from drug and alcohol addiction does not mean that all of your efforts have been for nought. So what now? It’s time to regroup, examine why you’ve slipped and take the necessary efforts to get back on track. After all, having made so much progress, you’re not going back to your old lifestyle. Start with these moves.
This is necessary to free you from the bitterness and anger that could be disastrous to your physical health and hold you back in anything positive that you are trying to achieve, according to an article in Psychology Today. They add that forgiving ourselves is often even more difficult than forgiving other people.
For one thing, you need to unpack any limiting beliefs or negative emotions that you’ve attached to your slip-up, otherwise your forgiveness will seem insincere to yourself. In order to do that, you’ll have to let go of the past and recognize you are not perfect and everybody makes mistakes. Re-reading positive affirmations is one way over this hurdle.
Talk to Loved Ones
Your friends and family can help you cope, and you need all the emotional support you can get as you’re in the throes of a serious mental illness. Besides, relationships are the very foundation of mental health, says an MSN expert, and your well-being will only be harmed by isolation whereas a kind word and understanding can do wonders in boosting your self-esteem and empowerment.
Remember to choose wisely when you open up. It must be someone who you feel comfortable with and who you trust. This will make it easier to be absolutely honest about your situation, which is vital to effective communication. The process can be cathartic as it releases a lot of the tension that you’ve been feeling since the relapse. You’ll also gain the benefit of perspective from someone who can look at the problem from the outside.
Adjust Sobriety Strategy
This means that you have to re-examine where you go, what you do and who you spend time with as all of these can provoke future relapse. Though most of these tips are related to the holidays, they actually work year-round. You’ll notice how important it is to avoid old friends from the days when you partied too much or people that cause you stress.
About that last word. The reason for your relapse may have been jumping back to work too quickly or taking on more than you can handle in other aspects of your life. If that’s the case, then it may be time to step back and enjoy a little peace and quiet. This could mean a weekend to yourself to visit the sea or a session of mindful meditation.
Sweat it Out
A jog in the park or swim at the pool may help you return to form. Besides the buzz you get from the rush of endorphins, adrenaline and dopamine, you’ll feel a sense of achievement by continuing to strive toward your fitness goals. Working all that tension out of your body also makes you more relaxed and stabilizes your sleeping patterns, putting you in a better mental state from which to move further on your recovery plan.
Do not forget to match the exercise with healthy eating, which will also give you a much-needed mood boost. According to a doctor writing in Mind Body Green, a nutritious diet relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety by reducing inflammation and increasing production of hormones like serotonin.
Seek Professional Help
There are therapists who deal with this problem for a living and they can provide coping strategies as you struggle to regain sobriety. You’ll also find support groups in the real world as well as online in addition to helplines specifically for people in your position. Don’t hesitate to use these resources rather than fall into old habits of crippling depression and self-doubt.
Whatever you do, remember that you are not alone in the fight to stay sober, so keep moving forward.
Image via Pixabay.
Original piece by Constance Ray