Active addiction can be a frightening reality for everyone, including family, friends, significant others and, of course, the addicted individual. Unfortunately, simply checking into a treatment facility and getting sober doesn’t necessarily mean you’re safe from the active components of the disease for good.
The scary truth is that relapse is always a possibility. For this reason, it is necessary to know what to do if this is your experience. After all, with active addiction, even one relapse can lead to a deadly occurrence.
That is why while the clock is winding down to the end of another year, it may be a good time to create a recovery checklist in order to prepare for the year ahead.
Here is a list of things you can do in order to keep yourself on track.
1. Review your recovery program.
Make a list of all the steps you are taking in your personal recovery program. In other words, notate any meetings you attend, therapists you see, life/recovery coaches you work with, your spiritual processes, etc. This will give you a good idea of exactly what is or is not needed in addition to what steps you’re currently taking.
Though relapse doesn’t always mean you are not getting the help you need or doing adequate work, it is certainly a red flag to consider the possibility that something is missing from your recovery program.
2. Determine what’s missing.
Once you have completed the review of your individual recovery program, it’s time to determine what’s missing. If you don’t know exactly what might be missing from your recovery program, simply ask yourself if you are addressing all the issues on a holistic basis. In other words, are you dealing with the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual components of the disease? And are you addressing yourself on the same basis?
Many times, recovering individuals do not adequately benefit from formal treatment and Twelve-Step or other recovery meetings alone. These things typically only serve to address acute physical and psychological symptoms of the disease. So, if this is all you currently do, it may be necessary to consider adding in other, more personal steps including counseling, life/recovery coaching, spiritual components, etc.
3. Make sure your recovery is holistic.
Because addiction is a holistic disease—affecting the body, mind and spirit—your recovery program should be holistic as well. Take steps to address the emotional, psychological, physical and spiritual effects of the disease. Leaving any part of you unattended will make you more vulnerable to relapse.
4. Deal with the root cause.
Though addiction is a disease, it is actually an acute symptom of a much bigger issue. Often times, the root cause is either a physical or psychological issue in which someone is self-medicating a disorder, or an emotional or spiritual issue such as trauma, abuse, or abandonment.
Of course, neither scenario is comfortable to face. In fact, the idea of revisiting trauma or being diagnosed with and properly treated for a disorder can insight fear in many. However, ignoring these issues means you’re only setting yourself up for repeated relapse.
As the year comes to a close, make it a priority to assess your recovery, patch up any holes in your plan, and strengthen yourself in your journey. Look within yourself and ensure the root causes that brought you to addiction are being dealt with and that you’ve efficiently covered all your bases. This is how you set yourself up for another sober year ahead.