Recovering from an addiction of any kind is never an easy feat. There are many peaks and dips, with people needing to employ various strategies along the way. This inconsistency means that there will be times of great strides and successes, but also times where motivation and hope may be at an all-time low. While difficult, these times are normal through recovery. These low points can come in many forms, from simply feeling down about recovery and one’s own self-image to relapsing back into past actions and destructive behaviors. Either way, having low points doesn’t mean that someone is helpless in their recovery. These times are indicators that there needs to be a change, and not that someone is a failure in their process of recovery or in their goals.
Creating Relapse Prevention
Low points are going to happen through recovery, so it is important to be prepared for them. Just like urges, they are a constant threat and demand someone to have a plan ready for when they occur. Relapse prevention plans are going to look different for each person, but they all require a bit of introspective analysis. If someone notices that they are not feeling as motivated to attend social gatherings, have increased anxiety, deal with depression, or have a longing for the past, it may be a good time to address a relapse prevention strategy.
For some, relapse prevention can involve a day dedicated to nothing but self-care, proving to themselves that they do have freedom and agency over their identity and future. For others, it can be about getting together with family to talk about it and look at the various ways that they may be dealing with stress in the first place. Talking it out with someone and distracting one’s self with personal interests are good ways to pass time. Urges do pass in time, no matter how difficult they may be in the moment. Have a plan ready for when you begin to feel these urges or mental relapses. With a plan in place, you can address your low points in recovery quickly and effectively.
Something Has to Change
Once someone has gotten through the low point at the moment, it is time to address why those feelings or urges may have come to the surface. This takes into account any number of different factors, but will always result in a change in someone’s strategy of some kind. There are a few key factors to look at when determining what kind of change may be needed: one’s environment, one’s social life, and time allocated for self-care.
Looking at someone’s environment can be the best place to start. For someone’s environment, it is looking at the place where they live as well as which places they frequently visit, and addressing anything that may be a potential trigger or have an otherwise negative effect. For someone recovering from an addiction to alcohol, frequenting places that have logos for certain drinks—even if the drink is not physically present—can cause detrimental effects on one’s recovery. It can also be about how well they are able to sleep due to noise, or how safe they feel at any time when they are supposed to be in a comfortable environment. Addressing each of these factors can be a simple adjustment that can make a big difference, such as simply removing paraphernalia from a place or making sure that someone is getting the privacy and time they need to themselves without feeling like they are constantly being watched.
One’s social life can be viewed in two different ways. First, by looking if someone is having and taking the opportunity to experience positive social interactions, as well as looking at the people that they are interacting with. It is important to have time to be with like-minded people in order to combat feelings of isolation, and it is equally as important to be sure that these people are not having a negative influence on the recovery process as well. This second part can be best addressed by examining if someone has recently begun interacting with a new crowd or friend.
Self-care is important at every step in recovery. Life will always throw curveballs at people, so it is important for people to make time to practice self-care. Ensure that the time you set aside for yourself is available for you to do what you want to do. Make sure you create a self-care schedule so that you always have the opportunity to have that time. Denial of self-care can lead to even more stress, which has a detrimental overall effect on the recovery process.
Changing Therapy Styles
The kind of therapy that someone is getting can also indicate a need for change. If a particular therapy isn’t working for someone, there are always new strategies to try. Group and individual therapies can help people at different levels, as well as other therapies such as media therapy, art therapy, or animal-assisted therapy. There are many ways for someone to seek change, and each person needs the opportunity to find the route that will work best for them in their recovery.
Low points indicate the need for change. However, this change doesn’t necessarily have to be a huge overhaul. Oftentimes, small adjustments can have a large influence on how someone is feeling. But no low point or relapse ever means that someone is beyond help, or somehow “too addicted” to recover. Change is a constant process of recovery, and these adjustments during low points are just another stepping stone to someone’s long-term sobriety.
Low points or other indicators of change in your life can be difficult to address without help. There are anxieties and uncertainties that may plague someone’s mind, and create the need for new approaches. However, recovery is a very fluid thing that can be adjusted to help each unique individual. Change may be scary, but it is also a source of hope for the future. Lighthouse Recovery Texas provides an environment where people can safely explore their own emotional state and the various factors involved in their recovery while providing professional support and guidance along the way. By constantly adapting one’s program, each person is given the opportunity to pursue their own holistic approach to recovery.