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Addiction is a complicated disease, and even when you think things are going smoothly, challenges to your sobriety can pop up when your guard is down. Relapse triggers are one of the most frequent risks to your well-being in recovery. Part of successfully managing an addiction over the long term involves maintaining a mental list of these threats and what they mean for your well-being.
Stress takes many forms, and can gradually eat away at you both mentally and physically. Stress is the most frequently cited addiction triggers for a good reason. If you are under pressure due to home or work responsibilities, it can disrupt your sleep schedule, give you hypertension and make you more irritable, among other symptoms. When you are pursuing your recovery, you will need to find all-natural stress relief techniques, including exercise, yoga, massage and meditation.
Maintaining an addiction can be incredibly time-consuming. When you were drinking or using, you probably spent a considerable chunk of each day planning where and how to get your next dose, then hours being drunk or high. It’s not unusual for people in the early stages of recovery to feel somewhat lost or aimless when they have no strategy for how to fill the time they used to spend on substance misuse. Once you are working on your sobriety, you will need to find productive new hobbies that help you keep your mind off cravings.
This acronym encompasses four separate relapse triggers at once: hunger, anger, loneliness and tiredness. Taken together, this quartet of emotional and physical sensations can be challenging because they put you in a vulnerable emotional place. You can steer clear of hunger and tiredness by planning your day so you eat and sleep at consistent times. Meanwhile, you can manage loneliness and anger by having people in your sober support network to reach out to when you need a helping hand.
4. People, Places and Things
Anything that reminds you of the days of your active addiction can represent a significant relapse trigger. No matter how hard you try, you can’t control every aspect of your environment. Even something as simple as seeing a beer commercial on TV or getting a text from an old drug buddy can set off a dangerous cascade of events. Have fallback strategies, like meditation and breathing exercises, prepared if these unexpected relapse triggers catch you off-guard.
5. Romanticizing Your Addiction
Another thing that can jeopardize your recovery progress is starting to reminisce about the days when addiction had you in its thrall. You may reach a point when you catch yourself thinking about your past solely through the lens of the pleasurable aspects of your drinking and drug use, instead of the myriad of problems these substances created with your relationships, job performance, health and happiness. When this phenomenon happens to you, don’t try to sweep it under the rug. Instead, talk to your therapist or sober sponsor, who can help remind you of why you chose to pursue a new life in recovery.
6. Special Occasions
If you formerly viewed special occasions like birthdays, holidays, concerts and sports events as an excuse to overindulge in drugs or alcohol, it can be challenging to reframe your mindset after getting sober. You may feel confident that you can handle “just one” in these situations, but that is a risky attitude to adopt. People living with addictions often lose their sense of perspective around when it’s time – and past time – to rein things in. You can still participate in these types of events when you’re in recovery, but it’s smart to bring along a sober buddy who can keep an eye on your behavior and let you know if you’re teetering on the brink of losing control. You can then make a graceful exit as necessary.
Stay Strong in Your Addiction Recovery by Avoiding Relapse Triggers
At Beach House Recovery, we are here for you 24/7/365 when you are ready to discuss your addiction recovery and the progress you can make. If you’ve accepted it’s time for you to get sober, the programs we offer at our beautiful Florida rehab facility can bring you inner and outer peace. Contact us today to find lasting freedom from drug and alcohol abuse.