Recovering from an addiction is a process that involves so much more than the few months you might spend in a rehab center. It takes a lot of work and dedication to managing the symptoms over the course of a lifetime. People who achieve long term recovery have set up their lives in a way so their sobriety is their priority.
Relapse rates after treatment can be high because people struggle to find the right routine and to learn the skills to help manage their addiction. It is an unfortunate reality that many people return to treatment more than once. Sober living is a challenge that requires a daily commitment especially if you have had a serious substance abuse problem.
The most important keys to long term recovery involve the need to feel hopeful, motivated and to find happiness and meaning in sobriety. In order to cultivate these things a person in recovery must learn to develop good habits that make them feel better and keep them fulfilled. Positivity and an effective sober routine are essential for long term sobriety and avoiding relapse.
Understanding Addiction and Replacing Habits
There are numerous reasons people begin to abuse substances. Some us substance abuse as a way to feel positive emotions, have heightened experiences, connect with others or in search of something deeper. If someone in recovery feels that they are missing these aspects of drug use then they may feel more inclined to relapse.
Recovery means finding fulfillment and positive experiences without the use of drugs. People in treatment learn how to work through past issues and find hope and healing . They can develop positivity through regular therapy, support groups and good habits like meditating often.
During treatment and early recovery, former addicts can try to find new activities or hobbies that make them feel happy. They might enjoy writing, playing music, running, swimming or group activities. Anything that provides them with a positive experience that they look forward to can help them cultivate feelings of happiness.
The important thing is to replace old habits with new activities that are healthier. There are infinite possibilities to find something that truly makes you feel good and pursuing these hobbies is a good way to focus on positivity. Making time for things that you enjoy or reconnecting with old passions and hobbies works as an effective strategy to prevent relapse.
Connecting with Others
Many people have relied on substances to help them connect with people and maintain certain relationships. In recovery, creating a lasting sense of connection can help minimize the desire to use as a way to truly feel closer to people.
In recovery it is crucial to make high quality connections with others so that you can avoid feelings of loneliness, isolation and withdrawal which are all very dangerous to addicts. Making close friends through a sponsor or through peers in your treatment program and support group can help get you through difficult times. It is important to feel like someone will be there to help when you are struggling with sobriety.
Feeling connected can also mean resolving issues with family or repairing broken relationships that were damaged by drug use. Attending family therapy and working on communication skills can help a person in recovery fix some of the problems in their life that may have made them feel more isolated. Having close connections with others is an essential part of living a positive and meaningful life in recovery.
A Healthy Sober Routine
In many cases people end up relapsing because they have been neglecting to do the things that keep them sober. Everyone in recovery develops their own sober routine that they know will make them feel healthier and more positive about their life. This could include a healthy diet, exercise routine, spending time with friends, meditating, and getting involved in hobbies or classes.
It is important to prioritize your sober routine on a daily basis. Long term recovery not only means creating a new lifestyle, it also means investing in these healthy habits for the rest of your life. If you need help with long term recovery or avoiding relapse, find a support group in your area that can help you work on maintaining sobriety.