What are the best relapse prevention techniques?
When someone hears the word relapse, they immediately think it as ‘Failure’ whether that person be in recovery or not. It is very essential to first comprehend that it is a part of recovery. It is the part of a journey. In this journey they are extremely vulnerable, and they go through CBT I.E cognitive behavioral therapy and also, they experience physical pain too.
In this part of their journey, they can also very easily get triggered from small things like Smell, surrounding, boredom etc. Coming in contact can bring back the feel and comfort. The comfort might be a hoax but not for them. It becomes difficult for them to stay sober and not to be tempted by these factors.
Here is a list a person in recovery can do to avoid relapsing:
To accept the problem
It’s very hard, but it’s the first step towards recovery to accept the fact that the person has an addiction problem and it’s an illness. They need to realize it and work for their betterment.
Avoid a triggering environment
The most important way is to not be triggered. The chances of getting relapsed in an environment where the person has already been before or being with a person who was involved in the past is much more. It also becomes impossible to control in the presence of the substance. Just a little smell or even just by looking at it can do a lot.
So, it is advisable to avoid such situations.
Regular yoga, exercise and meditation is must
Physical activities like yoga and meditation helps the brain to remain calm and can help to think straight if done on regular basis. Whenever A person feels or have urges to consume a substance, they can try meditating with longer breaths. Yoga and meditation can help you with physical side effects too. Yoga also helps to breathe better. Deep breathing is one of the essential exercises too in this process.
Take your medications
Mostly, medications are given to treat mental conditions caused throughout the journey. People usually suffer from anxiety disorder, anti-depressants and various other things. Also, at times, recovery can be stressful. So, it is very important to take medications, they help with the recovery faster or help with the thought process of the person.
Always Remember Recovery is difficult and strenuous, There is no shame in accepting help. A person going through recovery should have a strong moral support. Making them pay for their addiction or treating them in a strange manner may make them feel worse, and chances of them retaking the substance grows as they feel unwanted and unloved. Counselling and therapy go hand in hand in recovery
Keep yourself busy
Do the things which doesn’t lack any interest. As people in recovery develop a habit of consuming in their free time, they need to constantly work and keep their mind busy. One can find new interests or hobbies; mostly it should include physical activities. But make sure there’s no drastic change or take it easy. Nobody likes failure and a person who is in recovery fails to do or achieve something then it’s very much likely for them to feel bad about themselves and feel that they can’t do anything right. This may shake their confidence.
Attracting positive things
There are many books on positive thinking and not just books there is music too. Developing a reading habit will also keep the person busy and reading positive things will also have a great impact on one’s mind. One can also maintain a diary or should write positive and assertive things like
I’m strong, I can do this
I am not fragile and cannot be easily broken
Writing such sentences helps the person think positively and regain a little bit of faith in themselves that they can do this and gain confidence, helps in developing a positive attitude.
And Listening to good music puts one in a good mood. Try doing other activities while listening to music.
The inner voice – avoid it
There will come a time when during their recovery there’s an inner voice urging to just take another pill or sip. Do not fall for that. Just remember all the hard work and struggles and say it’s not worth it. It’s very important to fight with one’s inner thoughts, to control your thoughts and actions.
Join a support group
There are support groups or known as NA meetings in foreign land. People In recovery come together and share their experience and life stories. They listen and support each other. Listening to other peoples struggle and their difficulties and how they came out of it gives one strength also one feels light and after sharing. Always remember there is no shame in telling your difficulties or struggles in life, in fact by sharing them makes a person light and also resilient. It is also advisable not to stop going to these meetings. In some groups one even gets a sponsor for the same which is very helpful throughout. A sponsor is someone who guides, helps and is there in the whole journey. The whole and sole goal of this mentorship is to be clean for 12 years and to be there for ups and downs and face the challenges together.
Both of you should listen to each other and support each other throughout the process.
Join or Rejoin Rehabilitation centers
Rehabilitation centers are a safe place for people in recovery, there’s no chance of getting easily triggered and there’s help too 24/7. Even if someone relapses there is no shame in going back in there. Always remember these things are for a reason and they can help you out.
Forget the past and don’t worry about the future too
Nobody said it will be easy. One cannot be resilient in recovery. That was all past. It’s all about the present now. One shouldn’t linger on to their past and keep thinking about it every time and if they do it, it becomes quite difficult to move on. Recovery is a slow process; it takes time and patience one has to always go through many things throughout. For an ample amount of time but the most important thing will be is to stay sober. So, it is fine not to think about the past or stretch about the future.
The thought or the decision of getting sober is a very important thing and it takes a lot of strength. After that even if someone relapses there’s no shame in starting over and getting help but one has to be strong, maintain a good lifestyle, avoiding the things which maybe a triggering point and follow all the steps in recovery. Please reach out for a support group or get into any program. However friends and family are equally important in this process . A recovering person needs all the moral support they can get.