Changing How You View Relapse
The days of addiction treatment believing recovery is a one-time deal are over. Today, substance abuse therapy accepts relapse as a natural part of the recovery process. It’s best if it’s completely avoided, but that isn’t always possible. Rather than focusing on viewing relapse as a failure, therapy today teaches people that their response to relapse is what defines their recovery.
If you use or drink again after rehab, it does not mean you have to keep doing it. It doesn’t mean your treatment didn’t work; if that was the case, you wouldn’t care about relapsing in the first place. When you accept it as a possibility, you can stop being so hard on yourself and focus more on prevention rather than fearful aversion.
The goal of relapse prevention is to not only stop it from happening but give you a course of action to follow if you are close to it or have recently done it. This can involve reaching out to a mentor, sober coach or contacting a local support group.
None of this is to say that you shouldn’t care if you relapse or consider it inevitable. It is preventable, and distraction is one of the most common forms of coping people adopt during recovery.
The Value of Distraction
You may believe that distraction is bad because it keeps you from addressing reality. Substance abuse is a form of distraction, after all. But there are different types of distraction, and some of them are actually good for you. During recovery, distraction can help shift your focus. Although you’re mindful of your feelings and cravings, you aren’t allowing them to consume your thoughts. The more you do this, the higher the risk of relapsing.
The key to positive distraction is choosing habits that promote wellness and growth. You shouldn’t distract yourself by falling back to old habits, communicating with people who are bad influences or returning to triggering environments. Instead, you need to shift yoru focus toward the future. Choose distractions that bring you closer to balance, peace and good mental and physical health.
Ways to Distract Yourself
There are numerous ways you can distract yourself. Meditation may not be the best during a period of intense cravings if you find it only causes you to think about substances more. It’s best to choose activities that engage your mind and body together, like dance or playing an instrument. You could also play sports, exercise or work on arts and crafts. Woodworking, sculpting, drawing, painting and writing are creative ways to distract yourself that also provide a safe emotional outlet.
You can also surround yourself with positive people to distract you. Find sober meet-ups online or in your area to connect with others who you can spend time with without worrying about being tempted. It’s also beneficial to have people around you who have gone through addiction so they understand your struggle; feeling understood and knowing you have someone to talk to will make it easier to reach out for help if you ever feel like distractions aren’t working.
Choosing healthy distractions means making better choices. Avoid “easy fixes” that only lead to more problems later. You should strive to work on bettering yourself rather than numbing yourself. Staying in touch with a therapist can help you balance self-awareness and distraction to ensure you stay on the right path.
Recovery Starts Here
Contact us today to learn more about New Jersey addiction rehabs and treatment services. We want to support people on every stage of their recovery. Whether you are looking to start detox or in search of a support group, we’re here to help. Contact us anytime at 833-610-1174.