Have you tried recovery many times in the past? Do you feel discouraged and disheartened because you can’t seem to “get it?”
You’re not alone with your feelings. Drugs and alcohol are powerful substances, and addiction impacts your overall neurochemistry. As a result, many people struggle with chronic relapse. Often, they want recovery desperately, but they continue to drink and use despite their desires. They find themselves in toxic cycles of both recovery and relapse.
If you’ve struggled with chronic relapse, your patterns don’t mean you’re doomed. It just means you need to take some insight into consideration. Let’s get to it.
You Must Deal With Your Co-Occurring Mental Illness
Whether you struggle with depression, anxiety, or another mental illness, co-occurring conditions impact about 50% of people struggling with substance use. Sustained recovery entails examining, treating, and learning how to cope with both issues.
Unfortunately, many people only focus on treating their addiction. This mentality makes sense. The addiction usually poses an imminent safety threat. Depending on the type of substance and how one uses it, the consequences can be life-threatening.
That said, recovery should include comprehensive support for all conditions. This support may include therapy, medication, new coping skills, and accountability. Subsequently, all mental health must be treated together. This gives you the best chance of achieving success. Failing to address mental health symptoms can invariably lead to a relapse.
Support Can Make A Tremendous Difference
Although it is possible to do recovery alone, having positive influences can make your journey much easier. Research continues to show the importance of peer support in addiction treatment. Being around like-minded friends can offer you support and guidance- especially when you are having a difficult time.
Addiction can fester in isolation. The combination of shame and fear of rejection often makes people feel unsafe to reach out for help. But reaching out is one of the best decisions you can make.
Support comes in many forms. You might start by attending local meetings or community groups. This can be a fantastic opportunity for meeting people close to you in age. However, you may also benefit from receiving professional support through psychotherapy or life coaching services.
Toxic Environments Can Be Incredibly Triggering
Many people enter recovery without realizing they often need to change the rest of their lives. They focus on “getting sober” from drugs and alcohol, but they expect everything else to stay the same. However, this isn’t usually the case.
If you are living with people who make you feel about yourself- or use drugs and alcohol themselves- you may be setting yourself up for failure. Successful recovery usually entails a safe and supportive environment. If you don’t have that, you may feel more stressed, depressed, and irritable- all of which can trigger a relapse.
Ideally, you want an environment that inspires you to be a better person. This environment may be a sober living where others are working on their recoveries. It may be living alone or with a trusted friend.
Remember that safe environments may change over time. Just because you live someplace now doesn’t mean you need to commit to it together. Your recovery must come first. If you’re not living somewhere where you feel you can make it your top priority, it’s time to consider making a change.
You Need To Implement Healthy Coping Skills
Many people know about the emotional benefits of activities like exercise, journaling, or meditation. But they also come up with a variety of excuses as to why the coping skills won’t work. Therefore, they continue to act in the same ways they’ve always acted- which means they also receive the same results.
If you continue to dismiss these coping skills, you may continue to jeopardize your possibility for healthy change. Coping skills don’t usually feel natural when you first try them. They may even seem silly or pointless. But, with time, they do tend to help you feel better. They do tend to reduce the intensity of cravings, which can promote a sustainable recovery.
Coping skills often require a process of trial-and-error. You need to find what works best for you. These needs may also change over time. Be open and welcoming to this learning.
If You Struggle With Chronic Relapse, You May Need A Different Approach To Treatment
Addiction treatment is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Unfortunately, many treatment centers approach each client with the same standards and expectations. In doing so, they fail to consider individual needs.
At The Resurface Group, we believe in addressing addiction from the ground up. Whether it’s your first time considering recovery or you’ve struggled with chronic relapse for years, we open our doors to you. Contact us today to learn more about our dynamic program.