A painful loss has you feeling the urge to use again, but that doesn’t mean relapse is a foregone conclusion. You have the tools to stay sober get through the trauma.
You’ve completed treatment, you’ve done the hard work, and you’re on track in your recovery. Everything is going great. Then you’re hit by something that threatens it all. Maybe it’s a death in the family, a serious illness, a job loss or a divorce. Whatever the personal trauma, it has you ready to run back to your old habits in order to numb all those unwanted feelings. How can you possibly cope with something this big and remain clean?
It’s perfectly understandable that a major life event would have you considering using again. After all, that was your primary way of coping for a long time. Before you begin to panic, though, give yourself credit for being honest. Feeling that urge and acting on it are two very different things, and one doesn’t have to lead to the other. In fact, recognizing that urge and knowing where it comes from shows just how far you’ve already come.
Relapsing Won’t Help Anything
Now use that newfound self-awareness to take the scenario a step further. While you may have an immediate desire to numb your feelings with drugs, you also know that those unhealthy habits never solved any problems for you, they just created new ones. And those feelings you were trying so hard to suppress? They remained just below the surface, refusing to go away because you hadn’t ever really dealt with them. Relapsing won’t help anything, it will just cause more trauma that you’ll eventually have to confront.
Dealing with heartache or loss stone-cold sober is difficult, but it’s the right thing to do. It allows you to grieve or deal with problems in a way that lets you hold your head up in the long run. By processing what’s going on and getting through it instead of drowning your feelings in drug and alcohol addiction, you have the opportunity to get past the problem and move on in a positive way that substance use will never provide you.
We know you’ve heard it before, but recovery is a lifelong process. You’re never declared “cured” from addiction, but with ongoing support and the tools you learned in treatment, you can get through life’s disappointments clean and sober, and come out a better, more whole person on the other side.
Relapse Prevention Help
If you or someone you love is battling a relapse, call The Oaks at La Paloma at our toll-free number. Someone is there to take your call 24 hours a day and answer any questions you have about treatment, financing or insurance.
Articles posted here are primarily educational and may not directly reflect the offerings at The Oaks. For more specific information on programs at The Oaks, contact us today.