Developing a Relapse Prevention Plan
No matter how long you’ve been sober—or how sure you feel in your own recovery—relapse can always happen. Triggers can come along that you are unprepared to deal with, and that in turn can lead to a vicious cycle—one in which you kick yourself, lose confidence, and become stressed out about your own recovery.
The first thing to note here is that everyone stumbles and makes mistakes; it’s nothing to beat yourself up about, and it’s certainly not a sign that your recovery is a lost cause. Second, note that it’s important to have a relapse prevention plan in place, helping you keep your recovery on track even on bad days or during tough seasons.
Creating a Relapse Prevention Plan
Here are some things to consider including in your relapse prevention plan:
- A list of all your triggers—the people, places, or activities that tend to make you want to drink or to use drugs. Being aware of these triggers is the first step toward avoiding them!
- List ways to move through cravings—people you can call or things you can do to take your mind off those feelings.
- Write down all the tools you have at your disposal to fight cravings—for instance, mindfulness exercises, yoga, calling close friends, journaling, making a gratitude list, or whatever else tends to work for you.
- Finally, make sure you have a strategy in place for responding to relapse, should it happen. How do you get your recovery back on track? Going to see your therapist? Calling an accountability partner? Checking into a day treatment program?
A relapse prevention plan will help you keep your recovery moving forward. For help drafting your own plan, don’t hesitate to call Get Real Recovery today.