Life is unpredictable. While there are many things that are your control, there are also many things that are not. For instance, loved ones pass away, natural disasters strike, jobs are cut, and disappointments occur. Though you may not be able to stop these things from happening, you can control how you respond and how it impacts your addiction recovery. Life changes can be a trigger for relapse if you are not prepared to deal with them and don’t have the right strategies in place.
Handling Unexpected Events
When life throws you a curveball, it’s your choice how you respond. It can be tempting to try to numb the pain or forget about things for a while by turning back to drugs or alcohol. But also consider how far you have come – do you really want to throw all that away? Here are a few ways to stay more positive and take things in stride while maintaining your sobriety.
Turn to your support group. Know who you can talk to when things get tough. Whether it’s a family member, close friend, someone from your support group, or a therapist, you should have a few key people you know you can trust to help you work through challenges. You may go to different people for different things, and that’s okay, as long as you’re reaching out and not trying to handle everything on your own.
Attend extra meetings. While life is going up and down, it can be comforting to have some routine and consistency. Make it a point to go to extra support group meetings where you know you’re not alone and can receive insight and advice from others who have been through similar situations. Continuing to make your recovery a priority can help reduce risk of relapse.
Journal your thoughts. Getting everything out of your head and down on paper can be a great way of relieving stress and clearing your mind. What you write doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else, and you don’t have to share it unless you want to. But writing things down can help you to work through challenges and see them in a different light.
Focus on the positives. It can be tough to see the silver lining when you feel like everything is going wrong, but it’s there. Looking for the bright side and finding something good in each day can help you to keep your chin up. When a loved one passes, maybe it reconnects you with people you had lost touch with. If you lose your job, it can be an opportunity to make a change and do something you really enjoy. Or maybe your positive for the day is something as simple as someone holding the door for you, or making it back to the parking meter before time expires. Find what works for you.
Remember that it’s okay to ask for help and that you don’t have to go through tough times alone. As much as you may want to isolate yourself, spending time with others can help you to bounce back more quickly and stay focused on your recovery. Crossroads equips clients with the strategies and resources necessary to reduce risk of relapse and develop healthier coping mechanisms. If you do have a slip or relapse, Crossroads can help you to get back on track. Life may be unpredictable, but you can stay in control of your recovery.
[cta]If drugs or alcohol are your go-to solution for handing tough times, turn to Crossroads for comprehensive addiction treatment.[/cta]