Recovering from addiction is a never-ending struggle. Life is always at least a little bit stressful – you’ve got bills to pay, mouths to feed, etc. – and when it gets particularly stressful, it’s all too easy to slide back into old habits.
You just might be heading toward a relapse without even realizing it. By being aware of the following red flags, you can help yourself avoid a relapse.
1. Missing Meetings
AA, NA, and other such support groups don’t work for everyone.
But they do work for quite a few people, and if you’re someone who once attended meetings regularly and then suddenly stopped, then a relapse may be on the way.
2. Poor Hygiene
One of the things you learn in rehab is that you must make an effort to take care of not just your mental health, but also your physical health once you get out. Studies have shown time and time again that regular exercise is an effective tool for fighting addiction.
When you stop exercising, that’s one less tool you’re using to help with your recovery, and it’s a sign that you’re starting to care less about everything else you learned in rehab as well.
3. Hanging Out with the Old Crowd Again
After coming back from rehab, it’s natural for you to lose contact with friends that you used to drink or get high with all the time. You should surround yourself with people who won’t tempt you to engage in that kind of behavior.
So, if you find yourself hanging out with the same crowd that supported your addiction before (many of whom are likely addicts themselves), you have to ask yourself – is it really worth it?
4. The Cold Turkey Thaw
A death in the family, getting laid off, or some other terrible incident often inspires people to pour themselves a glass of whiskey or spark up a joint to escape from the stress. As it happens, getting promoted or some other positive experience also often inspires people to indulge in their substance of choice, as it’s cause to celebrate.
You might try to convince yourself and others that you’re able to handle just one drink during a special occasion.
This, of course, is a terrible idea. There are better ways to cope with stress/celebrate. Don’t ruin everything you’ve worked for.
If you have any questions about relapse prevention, feel free to contact us and ask.