If you are in recovery, you will no doubt have identified certain things that can cause a relapse, and you will know what should be avoided to ensure that this does not happen. However, you cannot prepare for every eventuality, and sometimes life throws things at you that could weaken your resolve. There is nothing you can do to prepare for some circumstances, and the only way to protect yourself is to be ready for anything that life throws your way. So what situations could be a problem for your recovery?
It is hardly surprising that when life gets tough, you may feel like reaching for the substance that you once used to make you feel better. Your automatic reaction may be to get drunk or high if life throws you a curveball, but you need to remember how addiction affected your life in the past and why you wanted to get sober in the first place.
If you are diagnosed with a serious illness or if a loved one is involved in an accident, you may feel that you are on the verge of a relapse. Nevertheless, some people deal with tragedy quite well because they have already dealt with bad times before.
Believe it or not, good times can be equally dangerous to sobriety. Most people assume that bad times are the most dangerous in terms of relapse, but some recovering addicts will slip up when things are going particularly well for them. When things are going right, it is natural to let your guard down, but this is when you may start to believe that you can handle anything. You may think that sobriety is easy and that you do not need to attend meetings or speak to their sponsor. Before you know it, you are having one glass of wine because it wont do any harm. Pretty soon, you are having another and another and are back on the road to destruction.
Holidays are a time to relax and have fun, but they are also dangerous because they take you away from your support network. If you are going on holiday in the early days of recovery, it is a good idea to choose your destination carefully.
Most people associate holidays with eating and drinking too much, but this is the wrong type of holiday for someone in recovery. Try to arrange holidays with people who are more interested in seeing the sights than sitting by a pool and getting drunk.
Some individuals do not handle change very well and may find a new relationship, new job or moving home very stressful. This sense of the unknown can make some feel anxious and could be enough to trigger a relapse. It is important to be aware of the danger of new things.
Any illness or physical complaint can be linked to a relapse. This is because when you are ill, you are bound to feel miserable. You may feel overly tired and generally unwell, which can lead to you feeling depressed or down.
Nonetheless, for many in recovery, a relapse can be triggered by medication given to them or suggested to them when they are unwell. Even if a doctor has prescribed a medication, it may not be safe for you to take. Make sure your doctor knows that you are in recovery before accepting any prescriptions for medication. Many prescription medications can be mood-altering and addictive and are not advisable for anyone in recovery.
It is important to remember that life has a way of testing people, and there will always be triggers and temptations around every corner. But also remember that you have come this far, and you have learned how to deal with these triggers, so apply what you have learned every time you feel as though your sobriety may be in danger.