Relapse happens to the best of us. It doesn't mean failure, rather, you must pick yourselfThe following list consist of suggestions and tips from the people who have successfully been in long-term recovery:
1. Change your friends – Unfortunately, the very root of our addiction problems sometimes lay within our circle of friends. Are there any particular friends you consistently hang out with that lead you into substance abuse? It’s time to reassess what a friend really means to you and the kind of friends you should hang out with to lead a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes this means changing your phone number and moving to sever negative relationships. This can be hard but in the end, it may save your life.
2. Change your environment – Just as you should review your friendships, you should also think about the places you go to hang out. Maybe it’s a nightclub or a ballgame where they serve beer. Or perhaps it is a certain part of town you have frequented that makes you feel temptation. If these places cause you to relapse, you should avoid them at all costs. This might mean staying at home or visiting constructive environments instead like a museum.
3. Occupy your free time – Boredom can be a dangerous opponent in your recovery process. You may have found that the times you used drugs, smoked or drank alcohol were partly attributed to having nothing to do. Try reading your local paper to find cultural events, activities and cool things to do that don’t involve substance use.
4. Exercise – It’s a fact that if you feel depressed, you are more likely to use drugs to self medicate. One way to fight depression is to make you feel healthy and happy. Combining weight lifting with cardiovascular exercise will increase your strength and stamina as well as your overall sense of well being.
5. Diet – Diet is the other half of making yourself feel health and happy. Avoid fast food restaurants and anything high in cholesterol or sodium. Also quit drinking soda, eating candy, desert or anything with artificial flavoring. When you exercise and have a good diet, other things in your life will improve in addition to a sense of well being such as a higher sex drive and a better sex life!
6. Work – Boost your self esteem by feeling a sense of accomplishment and productivity. It’s a great feeling when your boss warms up to you or when you start a business and see it develop. Work is a great way to replace the focal point of your life from addiction to prosperity. This will boost your self esteem and reinforce your sobriety.
7. Build relationships – You may have noticed that as an addict, the drug becomes the center of attention in your life. Flip the table around! Whenever possible, make an effort to bond with your friends and family. They will return their support to you in a time of need.
8. Get a sponsor – There is nothing like having a mentor in recovery to help with your journey to a new way of life. Sponsors have been the key to so many success stories of addiction recovery. It’s just like having a big brother there to watch your back and guide you onto the right path.
9. Visit support groups – Whether or not you are shy or believe in support groups, you should give them the benefit of the doubt and try one out sometime. At first you might be resistant to what they teach… but you might begin to secretly enjoy them and appreciate the value of what they are doing for your life. Millions before you have received life changing wisdom from support groups.
10. Try having faith – Whether or not you believe in God, you may want to consider the powerful side effects of being a spiritual person; peace and serenity. After all the years of drug use… don’t you want to release yourself from the chaos? Confidence will allow many fruits in your life and give you a complete new viewpoint on the road ahead.