Remember that most people in recovery go through a period of cycling between relapse and recovery before getting to a place of sustained recovery. According to the U.S. Office of Veteran Affairs (VA), “[i]t is important that patients understand that recovery
is not an event or a time-limited goal; rather, it is a series of changes across multiple domains of life that need to be maintained lifelong.”
While you want to stay optimistic about your recovery, you also want to plan for any issues that occur along the way. Lifelong habits take time to develop, and you will likely slip up at some point before you build the skills needed to sustain your addiction recovery. Relapse can sneak up on you. You might be doing well in recovery for years, then find yourself triggered after an unexpected life event, like a job loss or breakup.
You can increase your chances of staying sober by planning and using the following tips:
- Attend support group meetings regularly
- Be mindful of your physical health needs, like nutrition and sleep
- Keep a list of coping skills on hand
- Develop a support system including friends, family members, and clinicians
- Engage in alumni programming at your rehab facility
- Try new treatment methods, like holistic therapy, to keep things fresh throughout your recovery
If you do relapse, find help right away. You can deal with addiction relapse to become more resilient in your recovery and get closer to your goals of lifelong sobriety.