Getting clean has its ups and downs no matter who you are and what your background is. Everyone has bad days and situations that make recovery feel more difficult. No matter who you are, you’re allowed to feel your feelings. But if you’re not working on yourself, or being honest with yourself, there’s a chance you could backslide. No one is perfect – that’s not how you got here! So there’s no shame in admitting you are overwhelmed or need some help. Recovery is probably entirely new to you.
Because you might be new to recovery, there’s a chance you’re not familiar with relapse warning signs. What are some of the things that could make things difficult for you or send you on the road to relapse?
Here are four common triggers to steer clear of:
- Starting a new relationship. When you’re supposed to be working on yourself, it may be tempting to start a new fling with somebody you’re attracted to. However, a relationship can stop newcomers from working on themselves, and can also add drama and stress to fragile recovery. There will be plenty of time for romantic relationships in the future when life is more stable. Give yourself time to heal and grow.
- Living with untreated anxiety, depression, or other mental health disorders. You can’t take care of yourself if you have an untreated illness that’s making you miserable or causing you to think negatively. If you’re feeling anxious, depressed, or have other symptoms, ask for help and get a referral to a mental health professional. You deserve to feel well and live life to the fullest – don’t let this continue to trigger you.
- Lack of support. Does your family refuse to learn more about your addiction or feel embarrassed even though you’ve made progress? Sometimes there’s too much stigma or anger for your family to be proud. You may not have enough support if this is the case. Go to meetings and make friends with as many sober people as possible. You’ll eventually be able to build your own family if you need to. However, after time and seeing the progress you’ve made, your family may have a change of heart. Give yourself time and be gentle with yourself.
- HALT, also known as Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. People talk about this acronym a lot because it lists immediate problems that you may need to solve to improve your mood. Remember to eat. If you’re angry, learn productive ways to cope with your anger. Reach out to people, so you don’t feel alone — or go to a meeting. Make sure you get enough rest, especially in early recovery, when your body and mind are still going through healing processes.
Staying clean can be difficult, but millions of people are living happy and sane lives in recovery despite the odds. If you feel grumpy or pessimistic, ask others in your support network what works for them when they feel similarly. You’ll soon learn you’re not alone, and that there are plenty of new and healthier ways to cope with your problems as you’re learning to live a clean and sober life.
If you’re struggling with a substance use disorder, help is available. You don’t have to stay stuck in the cycle of addiction; we can help you reclaim your life and start your new path of recovery.
If you’re using drugs and you want to stop, please give us a call. We can get you headed in the right direction in a safe, nonjudgmental, caring environment. Please call us today at 1-800-970-8774.