Recovery of any kind is a long, difficult journey. Addiction is hard to shake, especially on your own. However, there’s a lot that you can do to help yourself achieve your goals and get better. The old adage is that ‘the first step is admitting you have a problem,’ but that statement is overdone and overly simple. A better first step would be establishing a strong support system, or getting in contact with your existing support system.
This can be friends, family, trusted healthcare practitioners, or anyone else you can lean on at this time. Your support system should be people with the maturity and responsibility to help you deal with tough issues, but it’s also good to talk to a variety of people so that no one becomes over-extended. Remember that the people who care about you will be happy to do whatever they can to help you.
It’s also very important to be kind to yourself and treat yourself with care through this process. Recovery is difficult and addiction is not easy to shake. People often cast shame and misunderstanding on those who struggle with substance abuse, but this is as nonsensical as shaming someone who has a physical illness. In situations like this, shame will only contribute to the cycle of addiction. You can learn here about the stigma of addiction, how it creates problems, and how to reduce that stigma and shame.
Recovery and Self-Care
There are many things that can help not only with drug addiction, but more importantly with the underlying stresses that feed into substance abuse. Similar to any mental health issue, recovery and upkeep of your health involves a lot of different factors. Some of these are hard to control, which is where support systems and professional help will come in.
But in the meantime, there are things you can do on your own to help you manage. Most people who overuse drugs are suffering from stress, pain, or depression, whether caused by illness or by outside factors. If you can work on managing your stress in other ways, this will aid your recovery.
One method many people use for stress relief is regular exercise. Exercise increases endorphins and can often improve your mood. It also takes time that might otherwise be spent in boredom or stress and lets you get out of your head.
This can be as simple as going for a walk or a run, swimming or biking, playing outside with animals or family members, or any other leisurely form of working out. A lot of people also recommend yoga and meditation for those dealing with stress, depression, or pain, as this can help calm and center your mind and body.
Spending time with others is also a very valuable way to relieve stress. Positive interactions can boost mood and self-esteem and provide an outlet for your stress. Keeping in touch with both your support system and your other friends or family will help you to occupy your time and may make it easier to avoid triggers.
If you don’t have access to positive social connections, try reaching out to someone new. Interactions as simple as a brief conversation at the coffee shop or chatting with someone online can help you have a better day. Not every conversation has to be deep or serious to be valuable.
Also consider journaling, engaging in relaxing activities, and spending time with hobbies. People suffering with stress often find that starting a new hobby can breathe new life into their day and create excitement and relief.
Treatment and Recovery Plans
Treatment is a vital step for many people struggling with addiction. Just as people with mental illness and stress issues may need therapy, medication, or group support for their struggles, people seeking to recover from addiction often benefit from the same. There are different types of treatment available for various needs. The treatment that will work best for you will depend on your situation, so look into your options and discuss your care needs with your support system.
If you’re looking for information on facilities, see this list of rehab facilities in Lakewood to get resources and see what is available near you.
Coming out of structured treatment will be a transition in of itself. You will need to have a continued recovery plan for post-treatment. Your existing support system should be able to help you get through this time.
Setting and keeping to your goals is important, but so is taking care of yourself. Try to keep up with the self-care practices you employed before and during the crux of your recovery. You may be able to find a post-care program of some kind through a support group or continued counseling.
Relapse is a common obstacle in any recovery process. It’s important not to think of it as an end to recovery or ‘starting over,’ but a natural part of your journey to healthier living. It is of course difficult to experience these setbacks, but no recovery path is linear. The important thing is to recognize your progress regardless of any tough points and to get back on track without letting the relapse stop you.
This is also where your support system and the coping mechanisms that you have been working on will be crucial for you. You can lean on those around you and use the things you’ve learned in recovery to make the difficult times less taxing on your mind and body. You may want to resume formal treatment in the event of a relapse, to help you bounce back and get closer to where you want to be. For more information on relapse and how to handle it, see https://adf.org.au/reducing-risk/relapse/.
Always remember the strength of will you’ve had to start on this journey. Your life is your own, and deciding to make changes and pursue your health and freedom of addiction is incredibly brave. Give yourself credit for how far you’ve come and be kind with your struggles.