If you have stopped drinking alcohol, quit your addictive behavior and are dedicated to staying sober, you would definitely want to do everything possible in order to avoid a relapse. Even though you may believe that relapsing is the last thing you would do, but the truth is that they are quite common amongst people who are just out of recovery.
According to statistics, almost 80% of people who achieve long-term sobriety deal with a relapse at least once. There are also people who suffer from multiple relapses until they find lasting recovery. You may have good intentions, but it takes a lot more to avoid an addiction relapse.
If you are wondering what to do in order to stay sober and learn, here are some of the tips that can help you out:
Stay away from risky situations
What does this mean? Put simply, it means that you don’t spend your time around someone you used to drink with and avoid places where you went for drinking. You need to make some changes in your life, which means getting away from your old habits, routines and hangouts. You certainly cannot hang around your old drinking buddies because you won’t be able to stay sober that way.
Build a support network
Now that you are not spending time with your old friends, you will need to make new friends who are also sober. Even if your relationships are not what they were before, you should lean on your close family members and friends. You should think about going to family therapy or even to counseling because this can also help you in dealing with other personal issues. As mentioned earlier, you need some sober friends and you can join support groups to find them. Your existing friends will find it difficult to understand how difficult it is for you. Therefore, you can stay in touch with your sponsor and contact them if you feel uncomfortable and anxious.
Learn to manage your urges
Rehabilitation is not magic. Sure, you believe that you will be able to resist, but that’s only because you have been living away from temptation. Out in the world, there will be alcohol all around you, which can make it immensely difficult to resist. Most urges will last for only 15 to 30 minutes, it can be tough to fight them off. You can find a substitute, such as chewing gum. Another great way to keep yourself distracted is to stay busy. Some people find it helpful to maintain a journal where they write the things they are grateful for and give them joy so they can read them during tough times.
Find an activity
It is a good idea to start an exercise routine because it can release chemicals known as endorphins. These can make you feel good. If you don’t want to exercise, you can spend some time volunteering for a good cause, such as a children’s hospital or animal shelter. No matter what it is, new activities can also enable you to make new friends. It is also a good idea to use an alcohol monitoring system, which documents your sobriety and can also give a sense of accomplishment.
Be the designated driver
When you become a designated driver, you will have an easy and quick explanation for why you are not having a drink. It also provides you with a sense of purpose, which can be helpful when you want to stay focused and not be tempted.
With these tips, you will be able to keep yourself sober and clean in the long run and avoid relapses.
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