When you get on the road to recovery from drug or alcohol addiction, you want to do your best to stay on that road. After all, relapses can lead to a host of emotional issues you want to avoid. If you’ve committed to recovery and worked hard to get in such a spot, you don’t want to mess that up. Here are seven ways to really sabotage your recovery, so take heed and do your best to avoid them.
Rushing Right Into A Relationship
Dating An Addict
Sit At Home and Do Nothing
Use Old Coping Skills
Hanging With the Wrong Crowd
Not Knowing Your Triggers
The single life can get lonely at times and when you put the booze or drugs down, it’s tempting to jump right into a relationship to fill the void or combat loneliness. Those with some sobriety and wisdom will tell you that rushing right into a relationship can mess up your recovery. This occurs because many times new recovering addicts have not taken time to heal old wounds and begin a healthy relationship with themselves. They are lacking in self-love, which can make it difficult to really love another person. Working on yourself before getting involved with others is the way to go, as it allows you to begin a relationship on a more firm foundation.
You may think this is a no-brainer, but there are some recovering addicts who think they can date someone in active addiction and still refrain from using. More often times than not they can’t handle the temptation and end up falling off the wagon. Do yourself a favor and don’t date those that aren’t serious about recovery.
If you sit at home and do nothing, you’re liable to get bored and that can certainly lead to drinking or abusing drugs. Having outside interests will do you well, so try a new hobby or do something you like. Grab a friend and get out and experience life together. Having too much ample time is not a good thing, so manage your time well.
If you’ve only put down the drink or drugs, yet use your old coping skills for tough situations where you may end up in a mess and perhaps even relapsing. Unhealthy coping skills will not serve you well, so take some time to learn healthier ones for anger, stress, depression, unfortunate circumstances, tough people, and so on.
If you go back to hanging out with old drinking friends, you’re liable to end up drinking again. It really can be true that you become like the people you hang out with, so choose those who do not drink or abuse drugs so that you will not be tempted. Do your best to make friends that are addiction-free and stay away from places that act as triggers for you.
If you are unaware of your triggers, you’re more likely to relapse. Take some time to identify your triggers and avoid them as best as you can. Certainly, you may not be able to avoid all triggers, since some may be people or places you can’t escape, so be sure you have some great coping skills in your pocket to contend with such.
If you spend a lot of time embracing negative thoughts, you’re more likely to mess up your recovery. In AA, people use the phrase “Stinking Thinking” a lot, indicating that negative thoughts can prompt you to get back into your old cycle of drinking or using drugs. Take some time and work on those negative thoughts that keep you down or stuck. Create some positive affirmations if you must and recite them daily to try to counteract the negative thinking.
You don’t want to mess up your recovery, so keep these things in mind as you move forward. In the future, there are plenty of opportunities for growth, so keep in mind that if you do happen to take a step backward. Remember, it’s progress that’s important; not perfection.
Dominica Applegate is dedicated to the art of self-discovery and creative expression with a passion for creative art. She’s got a deep-rooted passion for helping others heal emotional pain and trauma, as her own journey through love addiction has served as a catalyst for her own healing and beautiful transformation. Find out more at www.dominicaapplegate.com.