Relapse Prevention Planning
In that Recovery state of mind 😎
Loss of ‘self’
Hmmm where to begin? When we lose our identity to others, we lose the magic that belongs only to us. Recovery is a crazy beautiful journey that’s filled with miracles one day and tragedies the next. But we drive forward. Why? Because going back ‘out’ there isn’t a option. When we allow something or someone to take us away from those that stood by us in our early recovery then we must look within us. Our support network must be one of those priorities that we continue to build.
I was recently asked to share my Relapse Prevention Plan with a Drug Court class, so I looked at what was important to me. What would keep me sober on my darkest of days when the 💩 hit the fan. I would like to share some of it with you, maybe it’ll help you get past some of the issues that have caused you to stumble in the past.
1. 5 people that I can call at anytime. These can be people in recovery (sponsor or mentor) or they can be family or friends but they must all know ‘your’ story and be 100% supportive.
2. Learn to identify those people, places and things that aren’t good for you. Do I ‘test’ myself by driving thru the spots that I used to cop dope? Negative. Do I go hang out with people that I used to run with? Negative. I want people to recover but not at the expense of putting myself and my recovery in danger. It’s ok to be a little bit selfish in your own recovery imo. You know your history, learn from it or be prepared to deal with it when again and again.
3. Watch those negative thoughts and don’t let them build up. A person that’s ‘on the fence’ between recovery and addiction will most likely choose addiction. Sad but true, they haven’t fully accepted that its recovery or jails and death yet. Thoughts like ‘you deserve a party nite’ or ‘you can sneak a drink or hit and nobody will know’ lay the bricks towards a mental relapse to a emotional relapse and finally to a physical relapse. If you don’t ‘check’ your thoughts you will soon be believing the bs they are selling you. Thoughts, feelings, actions. Watch them carefully.
4. Self-Care. Do something positive that gives back to you. Treat yourself to something nice like a dinner or a new shirt, go kayaking or go to the beach, quality time with the family or your furry pets. Something positive, I’m the guy that will tell ya 💯 that I didn’t sober up for a ‘boring’ life, I sobered up to have this amazing life.
5. Journal. Write about your life, your goals. Writing has been my therapeutic outlet. I am always doing research on my past and my present. It helps me figure out what’s worked and what hasn’t.
6. Connect with the community. I’ve met some amazing people on this journey of mine, people that want to do amazing things. I remember my good friend telling me that I was sorta Mr. Corporate for Recovery, which I laughed at but she may have been right. I do talk with a lot of local organizations about recovery projects. I do believe that local community plays a vital role in helping people beat substance use. Getting sober is the ez part, creating a life without using is the mountain that most aren’t ready for. If we can get more of the regular community involved then we can increase the odds of a person finding long term recovery.
7. Balance. This was the hardest one to understand. Learning to balance life ie relationships, work, recovery projects, personal time (including spiritual time), sleep, eating right. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was your recovery.
8. When all else fails check myself into treatment. When my addiction ‘runs’ me I know I’m a danger to myself and others.
Take time to appreciate how far you have come and know that there are people out there that want you to find peace and be successful.