7 Useful Tips to Help You in Recovering from Alcoholism and Maintaining Sobriety
Congratulations for quitting alcoholism! You might find further life quite challenging while maintaining the sobriety. This is the phase where you should do everything you can to avoid a relapse. It’s a good thing that you have determined to fight a relapse because it’s ultimately your mental power that’s going to help you in life. However, unfortunately, relapses are quite common, especially when someone is new to recovery.
It’s observed that around 90% of those with long-term recovery from alcoholism had at least one relapse in their life. Some others had several before finding lasting recovery. This shows that in addition to willpower, you need to do something more to keep away from a relapse.
It’s important to remember that a relapse can happen often because you are unable to identify its warning signs. The fact is that a relapse starts long before you actually start drinking again.
It is quite obvious that if you quit alcohol but continue with a same routine, visit the same people and places and don’t change anything in your situations, there is a high possibility for you to slip back in alcoholism or any addiction.
Therefore, here are a few things that you can change and scientific studies show that changing them can help you build a healthy lifestyle and help you maintain sobriety.
1. Bring Changes
As mentioned earlier, you’ll have to make changes to your old routine, hangouts and habits. Sometimes even these changes can help people new to recovery. Some of the major changes you can make are to avoid places where and people with whom you used to drink. It’s rather impossible to stay sober for long if you keep meeting your old drinking buddies.
Make new friends who are sober. If this is difficult, consider joining a support group.
Spending longer time with family and planning things for all of them can also help you build a healthier lifestyle and keeping away from circumstances wherein you’d usually drink.
2. Become Organised
According to experts, a disorganised or chaotic lifestyle can also impede your recovery. Therefore it’s important to build an organised schedule and stick to it. Such an organisation can also help you achieve other goals of life. Staying sober is certainly a high-priority goal; but building and working on other goals, such as to restart attending school or changing careers, can be helpful in maintaining your sobriety.
3. Build Healthy Relationships
Just like several alcoholics, you may have realised that the closest relationship you had was with alcohol. It may be a fact that the only “friends” in your life were the people who you drank with.
Now that you are recovering, you may have realised that those past relationships were not only bad but absolute toxic.
Surprisingly, it’s not only your drinking companions who can be problematic. Sometimes some of your closest people can help in a relapse. E.g. you may have built a co-dependent relationship with someone upon whom you are excessively dependent.
There may be your friends, family members or even employers who might contribute without knowing. Studies show that if you continue these kinds of relationships, your risk of relapse is higher.
Therefore it’s important to build healthier relationships and make new friends. An alcohol addiction rehab can be a great help in this.
4. Stay Calm
It’s commonly seen that several alcoholics find it difficult to deal with anger. Anger is not an abnormal emotion; but several individuals with alcoholism or any other addiction find it difficult to manage and express anger correctly.
So, an important step in your journey towards staying sober is to learn managing your anger. Undoubtedly, anger will appear. It’s your way of dealing with it that will make you successful in maintaining your sobriety.
Several alcoholics and addicts just can’t learn an appropriate way to deal with their anger. Learn ways with which you can tackle your anger in such a way that you won’t hurt yourself and others, and more importantly, that won’t force you to pick up a drink again.
5. Engage into Physical Activities
If you used to drink excessively, there are good chances that your health was affected and you are not currently in your best physical shape.
In such a condition, you should at once get engaged into exercise and recreational activities because they can reduce stress which is a main trigger for relapse. Physical activity can also fight boredom, another trigger for relapse. Basically becoming physically active can bring a sense of balance in you and thereby benefit you emotionally.
A major benefit of increased exercise and improved nutrition is that they will improve your health in general, make you feel better and lessen any post-acute withdrawal symptoms you may undergo.
6. Get a Job
Recovering from alcoholism usually make it problematic to maintain employment, meet work-related responsibilities and manage money. If you were affected by your addiction for a long time, there are high chances that you are now in financial problems.
This is the time to be careful because financial problems, and problems in finding and maintaining a job are some of the major triggers for relapse. You should now immediately take measures to get your finances in order.
Returning to job itself can bring stress and hence can work as a relapse trigger in itself. You should return to work using all the support you can find to help you keep your goal of staying sober.
Remember, you may not get out of your money problem overnight. Do it step-by-step. But try improving your financial condition. If required, take help of someone who can help you in creating a budget and helping you find ways to repair your credit score. All through this time, you have to keep reminding yourself that though it’s an uphill task, it’s not impossible, you can do it!
7. Deal Effectively with Past Mistakes
Most people recovering from an addiction have committed some major mistakes in their past life which make them feel extremely ashamed and guilty. This shame and guilt can be toxic and cause a relapse if you don’t manage them properly.
Shame refers to negative beliefs about yourself and your self-worth, while guilt refers to negative feelings about your past behaviour. Recovering people can undergo an extreme shame just because of having become addicted in the first place.
Also, most others who are trying to recover find that they have emotionally hurt their loved ones and they regret about their past decisions.
The only way to deal with this shame and guilt without having a relapse is to live life more responsibly and express your apology to people you’ve hurt and request them to forgive you and help you in your recovery.