1. Reach out for support.
Don’t try to go it alone. Addiction issues usually bring isolation. Having a solid support system is essential to changing these patterns. The more positive influences you have in your life, the better your chances for recovery. Recovering from drug addiction isn’t easy, but with people you can turn to for encouragement, guidance, and a listening ear, it becomes easier.
2. Build a Sober Social Network
Spending time with people who understand exactly what you’re going through can be very healing. You can also benefit from the shared experiences of the group members and learn what others have done to stay sober. Here at Helix we do group therapy and motivational groups for this purpose.
3. Make Yourself and your Recovery your Priority
Make yourself the priority. Putting our needs first can be uncomfortable. But you can only be there for your family or for work if you are healthy. Showing up to your sessions and attending your meetings puts your recovery first. Learning to say no and to set boundaries is an important part of making your recovery your priority.
4. Communicate and be Honest
Communicate with your team and your therapist. The best way to manage stress is to communicate and tell the truth. Often lying has been a way to deal with hiding our alcohol or drug use. Learning to tell the truth and to communicate what is happening is important in others being able to help. Make sure to be completely honest with yourself and others.
5. Change your environment and maybe your friends
If your previous social life revolved around drugs or alcohol, you may need to make some new connections. It’s important to have sober friends who will support your recovery. Don’t make the mistake of hanging out with old friends who are still doing drugs or drinking. Surround yourself with people who support your sobriety, not those who tempt you to slip back into old, destructive habits. Reach out to other people in the program, attend meetings, and try new things. You never know where you may meet interesting people.
6. Exercise and eat better
Exercise releases endorphins, which are the natural high that our body can produce. Yoga and stretching can also bring peace and help change the patterns of the body, boosting our mood and self-esteem. Eating a healthy diet can help manage our blood sugar levels and our health. This can directly affect our moods and alter depression and anxiety.
7. Find something meaningful in your life
Develop new activities and interests. Find new hobbies, volunteer activities, or work that gives you a sense of meaning and purpose. When you’re doing things you find fulfilling, you’ll feel better about yourself and drinking will hold less appeal.
8. Know your triggers
Be sure that you know what your triggers are and then learn how to handle them as to avoid a relapse. Avoid places that you use to drink or do drugs at. Change patterns and habits that lead to drinking or drugs. Avoid people that trigger you or can’t support your sobriety.
9. Never give up
Remember you are not your addiction. We support your process even if it doesn’t look “perfect”. This is a journey of discovering yourself. Don’t give up on yourself and we won’t either.
– Carmen Littlejohn, Psychotherapist