There is an old saying in the rooms of 12-step support groups: “You relapse long before you pick up that first drink or drug.” A corollary to this is the fact that we relapse on behaviors before we actually resume using our substance of choice. These behaviors function as red flags in our lives, giving us a clear warning if we are on a road to relapse rather than the road of recovery. Here are some behaviors to look out for in your life which may indicate you are at risk for relapse.
Decreasing your levels of participation or attendance in sober activities and support groups is often an early sign that you are veering off track and towards relapse. It is always easy to rationalize cutting your number of meetings attended each week or skipping a sober activity. We point to the amount of time in sobriety we have accrued as evidence of our good standing in our sobriety. Other priorities take precedence over maintaining our weekly meeting schedule and sober activity commitments. A good sponsor and sober supports will call you out on this behavior and thinking, which is why it is so important to maximize your involvement in recovery groups early on. The more you were present the more your absence will be noticed, and the more likely you will be made aware of this dangerous change in behavior so you can get back on track in your recovery.
Another warning sign to be on the lookout for is a disinterest in self-care. This includes sleeping habits, grooming habits, exercise routines, anything which contributes to your overall well-being and self-esteem. A lack of effort in taking care of your basic needs is often a sign of emotional distress or depression. This is another behavior change which will be noticed by those close to you in your support community. Do not take offense to their commenting on your unkempt appearance, it comes from a place of love and caring, not judgment. Their only concern is your health and continued sobriety.
One of the keys to maintaining sobriety is finding balance in your life, dedicating an appropriate amount of time to all the activities and interests which make you the well-rounded individual you want to be. It is easy for your focus to be drawn to a particular facet of your life at the expense of others. For many, this could be a relationship with a significant other or a career you are in the process of building. Allowing your energy and attention to be dominated by one specific activity in your life sets you up for emotional instability, as your sense of self-worth quickly becomes tied to the success or failure of that venture. Any setback related to that item will have an outsized impact on your overall stress levels and happiness, which puts you at a much greater risk for relapse.
Our daily routines are excellent indicators of our overall health in sobriety. The aforementioned examples are evidence to this effect. Certainly your routine should evolve as time passes; you will find new interests and lose your passion for old ones. However, any sudden departure from your normal routine should be examined along with your motives behind making the change. One reason you should maintain a solid group of sober supports around you is for the level of accountability they provide. You may be able to rationalize changes to your routine to yourself, but a good sponsor will see right through your explanation and get you back on the right track!
At Evolutions Treatment Center, we provide a continuum of care that includes guidance and support long after your successful completion of our inpatient residential treatment program. We ensure you build a strong support network of peers in recovery so you will have a level of accountability necessary for you in early sobriety. Call our Admissions Counselors today at 833-818-3031 so we may determine a level of care appropriate for you and your specific needs.
ABOUT EVOLUTIONS TREATMENT
Evolutions is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in beautiful South Florida. Our holistic approach to addiction treatment centers around addressing and healing the underlying issues at the root of addiction, rather than merely medicating symptoms away.
Our treatment program includes individual and group-based therapy to help clients understand and manage their symptoms and emotions.
If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, alcoholism, or any co-occurring disorders please call us at (833) 818-3031 or visitwww.evolutionstreatment.com