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It is impossible to guarantee that you, or that someone you know, will not experience a return to active addiction after rehabilitation. It can sometimes just come down to the facility where you have had your treatment and aftercare, and the ongoing support you receive.
Other recovering addicts may find these steps helpful for preventing a return to active addiction; even just being aware of these could make a difference.
There are five rules, or tips, to keep in mind when it comes to prolonging a recovery period:
We’ll cover these more in the sections below.
This sounds like a big one, we know. But it is a cover all term for the routines and processes that you put in place to fill the gaps that were once full of substance use, guilt and the days of lethargy you felt after a binge. It can be tempting to crave ‘the good old days’ but without the using, but a big overhaul can be a much healthier option to take a new path away from your previous habits.
The phrase ‘change your life’ can seem a bit intimidating at first, but it also comes with a lot of opportunities. By establishing healthier routines surrounding mealtimes, hygiene, work commitments and so on, it can open the door for further positive action. What used to be a grey world can suddenly come alive with colour, and you will realise you are very much alive and part of it too.
Change can effectively be a rebirth.
Many people who have suffered with addiction will tell you that lying becomes second nature. There isn’t really a part of addiction that doesn’t come without lies. Each story is different, but common examples would be:
It can take time to learn to communicate without embellishing the truth with lies. It can also be a painful process as it means that you need to face up to the actions of the past, and how these may have affected people close to you.
Yet this is important, as it allows you to solidify bonds and support networks. Letting your loved ones into your mind means that you won’t be alone if the demons come back to haunt you in the future.
And here is why the second rule becomes important. At some point, you’re going to want to reach out to your support network, or just a single person in it. You will want them to help you when you’re experiencing troubling times and want to prevent yourself from returning to addictive behaviours.
Some people may not feel comfortable sharing everything with a friend or family member, particularly if they haven’t had much personal experience with addictions. This is why there are numerous self-help groups that exist past the initial recovery detox and treatment. These groups provide an opportunity for open and honest sharing, without the guilt of letting down someone you really care about.
Of course, group settings may not work for every person, which is why there are other means of getting support. This may be long-term work with a counsellor or addiction therapist, and continued work with the rehabilitation clinic where the detox took place. At Delamere, we are proud to work closely with our clients in their aftercare.
What is self-care? It can sound a bit fluffy, but it is actually quite important for recovery. The phrase ‘self-care’ is often applied to little moments of luxury in today’s society, but the core of the message is to take as much as you need to find some form of equilibrium. Traditionally, those with addictions don’t take enough of the good things, and too many of the bad things.
It isn’t about forcing yourself to sit there with a clay face mask, or taking a bubble bath everyday. It can be the simple things. Remember ‘HALT’? (hungry, angry, lonely and tired). If you take care of these four elements, you’re well on your way to a more wholesome self-care routine.
Yes, it’s strange, but sometimes these core parts of the day are the things that are easy to forget about. But they’re the human needs that keep us functioning; without them, you may find that you want to plug the gaps and heightened emotions with alcohol or drugs.
The last rule is pretty self-explanatory, but just in case – it’s all about not trying to find loopholes in your recovery plan. It’s about taking the professional advice given to you by your team, and sticking to it, rather than wondering about how to make adjustments or relaxing the advice.
We have plenty more resources you may find helpful, such as how to recover from a relapse, the stages of relapse, and the warning signs of a relapse. If you would like to speak to a member of our admissions team, you can reach us by email or phone; simply scroll to the bottom of this page and you’ll find all of the details in the website footer. More details are available on our contact us page.
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