It takes a lot to stay sober and distract yourself from regressing back to old ways.
Now, it is not always a bad thing to say that the battle for sobriety never ends. If you think about it, every good battle in this life, never ends. The regular battle to be a good parent, or to get yourself out of debt, or to eat heathier and exercise. It is an everlasting, lifetime battle, for us to find our happiness, right?
All the best battles in life take time and significant effort; the battles in this life are endless, but it’s what you chose to do with it that counts.
There is hope, of course, in any battle; those little things that help in our recovery. Those people we chose to surround ourselves with, those activities we chose to indulge in, the things we chose to put into our bodies.
The choice to take care of yourself is always there, I just need you to reach out and grab it. Can you do that?
Indulge in Healthy Activities
The best first step is to find an activity that you enjoy doing in your free time.
You know that time you have alone, where you’re either bored, sad, upset, etc.? Those are the moments that relapse sets in your mind. Use that moment, and let it fuel you in other activities.
Here are some activities you can try:
• Yoga- Helps shift you from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system, a.k.a. your body response goes from flight-or-flight to rest-and-digest. Once you slow down, focus on your breathing, your body shifts to a more relaxed state of mind, and all anxiety is thrown out the window!
• Physical activity- Whether that’s playing sports, working out at the gym, or going for a walk/run, physical activity triggers the “happy” chemicals in your brain, therefore reduces stress, anxiety, and sleep habits (i.e. no more late night relapse thoughts).
• Healthier Eating Habits- Creating a healthier diet regime and food prepping will not only distract you, but create yet another activity to refocus your mind. Not to mention, eating vitamin-dense food nourishes the brain and protects it from oxidative stress.
Surround yourself with Healthy People
You should always notice and be thinking about the people you chose to have in your company. You know right from wrong, just as you know those who are good and bad for your health and recovery.
Think about your current friends and family. On a piece of paper, create a two sided list for each friend- label one side positives, and one side negatives. Write about each of your closest friends and family members- you decide who is healthy for you, and who is not.
You should always chose to surround yourself with people who have the same goals as you- they want to recover, they want to stay sober, they want something from life (careers, family, chances, opportunities, etc).
Find a Sponsor and Work Your Program
A sponsor is one recovering addict walking another recovering addict through the Steps and their program, and helping them stay sober. Sponsors are always available to help you, and want nothing more than to do so.
Addicts helping addicts is part of what makes your program the most effective.
You can find a sponsor at your local NA or AA meeting, or maybe it’s your longtime friend who has years of sobriety under his/her belt, or maybe it’s a sponsor at your current or previous facility.
Get with your sponsor, and let them encourage you into a healthier life.
Always remember your steps, and work them into your daily life. That’s what they are there for right?
Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
If you feel a relapse coming on, or you have relapsed, and are feeling helpless, NEVER discourage yourself from asking for help.
The recovery process never ends, and it is a continual battle for sobriety. There is hope in any battle; The choice to take care of yourself is always there, all you need to do is to reach out and grab it.
Reach out to your sponsor and let them know how you are feeling. Let them guide you back to your program, guide you back through your steps.
Never feel dejected for relapsing, or thinking about relapsing. Admit that you have a problem, and find help immediately.
Reach out to Williamsville Wellness – Addiction Treatment Center at (804) 559-9959