When you’re struggling with addiction, every bad move can seem like a massive turn. But relapses are normal, and there is no shame in a small misstep. By recognizing your triggers, these small things can quickly become old news.
Stress is probably the biggest problem associated with alcohol relapse. It is also why there is a high priority on finishing your goals in drug and alcohol rehab. The tools provided by a program will play a role long after you have moved on in life. There is no way to avoid stress, and that goes for any individual. But managing it is a skill that can be taught at any age.
Sometimes the biggest triggers are the people you love. Although they can mean well, there has to be a boundary when it comes to disrupting your treatment. Pay attention if you feel that your loved ones are constantly putting you down, making physical threats or refusing to cooperate with your treatment. These things add up, and will eventually lead to you making a mistake.
An ex from a previous relationship can be bad for recovery if they still indulge in alcohol. It’s hard to separate a relationship from a common habit that you both enjoyed together. When they continually show up in your life, a relapse may occur if they push old habits back into your present life. This is a situation that has to be dealt with, especially if you still have feelings for this person.
There is a big difference between stress and an emotional breakdown. Holding in your feelings is not a good idea since they will eventually resurface. The problem is that this can happen all at one time. Avoid emotional overloads so that drinking alcohol doesn’t become one of the solutions.
There are countless reasons why someone going through recovery should stay away from people and places that have alcohol. Sometimes the individual can see it as a way to ‘own’ the problem. But once you have a weak moment in an uncontrolled environment, it can easily spiral out of control. Pay close attention to alcohol and its distance in your day-to-day life.
Alcohol can be present at work and personal events. It’s not realistic to avoid every single one, but you can set a personal boundary to make things easier. If you feel temptation, excuse yourself – there is nothing wrong with that, and it is your full right to protect your sobriety.
Work stress just hits differently than normal stress since it has no off switch. You have to go to work to make a living, but sometimes going to work can feel like the worst thing in the world. For an immediate solution, be honest with your boss when things are getting too hard. For a long-term solution, it may be time to look for a career that doesn’t destroy your mental well-being. The choice is yours to make, and that alone should bring you some comfort.
No one is perfect, so there is no reason to live up to an impossible standard. You’ll make mistakes in life that require a lot of hard work to erase. Addiction can be erased, even when relapses are part of the cycle.