When you are ‘running and gunning’ on your drug or alcohol addiction, life seems fast paced. However, it just seems like it because for many addicts, a lot–if not all–of their activities revolve around their substance use. But it is all a different story when you are in recovery. For some, being in recovery is like being stripped of everything that used to cloud their judgement: the habit and the chemical substances.
Now, they face life and its challenges without the drugs or alcohol to escape to, and it can all be overwhelming. Below are some tools that recovering addicts can use as they embark on the road to recovery and sobriety.
1. Turning a new leaf
Recovery is not just abstaining from using drugs or alcohol. It is more about turning a new leaf, creating a new life where you will find healthier ways to deal with life without using. Much like a rebirth, you actually play a very active role in your new life. You have to create a state of mind that will lead to a new life where you will choose to fight the factors that once brought you to using. Otherwise, your old ways will catch up and you will continue to use again.
A new life doesn’t mean you have to change everything. The main point of learning the tools in recovery is to change your priorities, behaviors, and attitudes so that you will move forward and not fall into the old traps again.
2. Avoid high-risk situations
The most common high risk situations that you must avoid can be summed up by H.A.L.T.:
- H – Hungry
- A – Angry
- L – Lonely
- T – Tired
You will encounter one, or two, or all of these feelings on a daily basis. And there is no avoiding it. These feelings are what many people feel regularly, even persistently, and people have different ways of coping, whether constructively or destructively.
Those in recovery would usually feel their cravings peak at the end of the day where they feel tired after a day’s work, or a tough commute going home. Some would also fee lonely at the end of the day when they are alone in the house.
How do you avoid these high-risk situations? Take care of yourself, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Eat healthy and get a hobby. Surround yourself with positive people and avoid those that you used to drink or do drugs with.
Recovery isn’t about an overnight big change. Recovery is about small conscious changes–decisions–you make everyday. Avoiding these high-risk situations helps you create a new life where you will be surprised to discover that it is easier to not use.
3. Learn to relax
Many people resort to drugs and alcohol for relatively the same reasons. They use it to relax, cope, escape, or reward themselves.
Once you go into recovery, you make a commitment to changing your life as well as changing how you deal with life. Learn to relax. People who go into recovery but has not learned to relax are bound to relapse because they cannot handle the tension and demands of life. They are bound to build up their tension or be so stressed out that they would inescapable seek an escape.
So how do you relax? Try these techniques:
- Learn to meditate
- Go for a walk
- Exercise or have a physical activity
- Go out with your family
- Get a hobby
4. Be honest with yourself and other people
Lying is part of an addict’s repertoire. You have to lie about your drug use, how to get it, how to get the money to get it; you hide the consequences of your addiction, or even plan your next relapse. Soon after you have developed your addiction, you will find yourself lying about it, until lying becomes almost second nature to you.
Lying traps you further into your addiction. And, much like many lies, one lie leads to another, and another, and another.
When you begin with your recovery, you may find it hard to become honest because you have been accustomed to lying about your addiction. However, it is important for you to see that honesty to your family and support group, can further help you get the help that you need.
5. Grab this opportunity to live and enjoy life
See you recovery as an opportunity to change your life for the better. In recovery, making this change can be the most difficult yet the most rewarding feeling. This change is what many people in recovery become discouraged about, because as with all of us, change can be scary. A deviation from what we have become accustomed to, our comfort zone, can be very strange and frightening.
But once you seize this opportunity–and choose it constantly–you will then find yourself looking back and see that this step towards recovery is one of the best things that ever happened to your life. People in recovery even consider themselves to be grateful addicts, because their addiction paved the way to inner peace and greater sense of tranquility.
If you want to make that step towards recovery, DO IT NOW!
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