One of the most important parts of rehabilitation from a drug or alcohol addiction is identifying those things that trigger your addictive behaviour. In most rehabilitation programmes, this is something that a counsellor or therapist will work with you on, and once you have identified your triggers, you can then learn how to avoid them.
Many people developed addictions to chemical substances because of their inability to be alone. Some people find it very uncomfortable to be by themselves and drink alcohol or take drugs to help them cope. So it is no surprise that these individuals then start to feel lonely again when they are in recovery. To avoid loneliness becoming a relapse trigger, it is a good idea to spend more time with friends and family members as well as occupying your time when you are alone.
It is important that you stave off hunger while in recovery. Try to eat a good healthy diet consisting of three meals a day with healthy snacks in between to stop you from feeling hungry. This will also help to keep your blood sugar stable and prevent a relapse.
Feelings of anger can be dangerous in recovery because they can consume you. Studies have shown that emotions such as anger can act in a similar way to mood-altering drugs and can make people resort to behaviour that they would not typically engage in. If you are feeling angry about anything, talk to your sponsor or counsellor before things get out of control.
Being pessimistic and negative is also dangerous in recovery because if you allow these negative feelings to take over, you may begin to see yourself as a victim and might start feeling sorry for yourself. If you constantly think that you are hard done by instead of someone who has made some wrong choices in life, you may begin to feel frustrated with your recovery and could revert to your old habits.
Many individuals in recovery expect their whole life to change dramatically as soon as they stop drinking or taking drugs. They often expect things to change overnight and, when this doesnt happen, they become disheartened and resentful. These feelings of disappointment can lead them to the nearest alcoholic drink or see them on the phone to their drug dealer. It is important to take recovery one day at a time and to be thankful at the end of each day for having made it through another sober day.
One of the biggest dangers to sobriety is complacency. Many people start to feel invincible as they progress through their recovery journey, especially if they have not found it particularly difficult. This can often lead to them thinking they did not actually have a problem with alcohol or drugs in the first place. These individuals may start to believe that they could easily control their drinking or drug-taking and would find it easy to quit at any time. When this attitude sets in, they can be in danger of experimenting by trying a drink or taking a few pills. Many people who have become complacent have found themselves back where they started and then having to start their journey all over again.
Romanticising the Past
Another cause of relapse is romanticising the past. Recovering alcoholics or drug addicts have a tendency to forget about their bad experiences and focus on the good times they had while drunk or high. It is important to remember all the bad times too because it is this that will keep you on the straight and narrow.