The early stages of recovery involve a long “to-do” list that can include the following actions:
- Establish abstinence
- Acknowledge addiction
- Find personal and professional support
- Find a recovery community
- Deal with consequences of addiction
- Learn and enact relapse-prevention techniques
This list can make recovery seem like a chore or an impossible task. Individuals may think they must establish a sober life immediately and without flaw. Individuals who stumble with drug abuse may believe that sobriety is impossible, or they may be afraid to approach recovery in the first place. People who want recovery rarely want to experience speed bumps, but setbacks are often as important as successes in finding long-term recovery, and they never mean recovery is unavailable.
Overcoming Setbacks in Recovery
One common cause behind recovery speed bumps is inadequate addiction treatment. Those who leave treatment early, go without integrated or adequate treatment or who avoid aftercare are at greater risk for setbacks. Furthermore, these problems may poorly equip people to return to recovery after relapse. Quality addiction treatment programs will emphasize the following relapse-prevention techniques:
- Identify relapse warning signs
- Learn behavioral coping skills
- Find alternatives to self-medication
- Identify and change dysfunctional thoughts, emotions and behaviors
While these techniques help people maintain recovery, knowing how to stay sober and doing so are two different tasks. Learning to use relapse-prevention techniques or which ones work best for you may be an experience based on trial-and-error. People who relapse should not give up, because they can use these new experiences to determine how they need support, where their strengths lie and how they can continue pursuing recovery.
Empowerment and Resilience in Addiction Recovery
Resilience refers to the ability to get back up after defeat, and it is the ultimate goal for all recovering addicts. Overcoming bumps in the road leads to a greater belief in one’s personal strength, a renewed sense of purpose and increased problem-solving skills. Bumps should not derail recovery, because they can strengthen someone’s resolve to stay sober.
Whether you are struggling to find recovery for the first or fifth time, do not give up. Mistakes in the past lead to greater knowledge in the future, especially if you find the right support to guide your continued recovery. Call our toll-free helpline to learn about the resources that can help you find and maintain an addiction-free life. Our admissions coordinators are here for you 24 hours a day, so there is no wrong time to get back up and to pursue health, happiness and resilience.