“Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.”
Find out more about the programs of our Treatment Center!
Relapse, or the fear of relapse, is one of the most challenging parts of maintaining recovery addicts face. Whether the individual has stopped drug or alcohol abuse, smoking, disordered eating or any number of harmful behaviours, the anxiety around starting up again is daunting. Following any type of recovery treatment or after one or more periods of abstinence, the stress around wanting to stay clean can sometimes drive the person back to their old habits. In some cases shame and guilt may even result in suicide attempts.
During treatment - especially if the treatment takes place in a safe environment away from the triggers and temptations of home - individuals are surrounded by supportive caregivers who offer positive reinforcement, a toolbox of coping skills that includes relaxation and meditation techniques, physical exercise, healthy meals and plenty of rest, as well as appropriate therapy to help address the causes of the addiction. At the end of the treatment, recovering addicts leave with new ways of being with self and others, a new perspective and a plan to establish new healthy patterns in their lives.
Once back home, however, people need to be very focused and determined to continue practicing their new ways of being with self and others on their path to full recovery. It is necessary to nurture the new lifestyle routines in order to give them a chance to become fully ingrained habits.
The first few months are the most difficult. Along with a positive approach to living a new life, the support and love of family and good friends are keys to success. Those who participated in the four-week treatment program at the Chopra
Addiction and Wellness Center automatically become part of the Center’s continuing care program supporting guests to access weekly counselling in their community for 12 weeks.
Follow this link for more information on the continuing care program available through our Center: http://www.chopratreatmentcenter.com/services/continuing-care
In some ways, long term recovery is similar to getting over a bad cold. It takes longer, but the need for a loving, kind, and gentle approach is similar. With a cold, first you stay in bed, keeping warm, drinking lots of fluids and resting to support the immune system and regain your strength.
Then to successfully keep the cold or flu at bay, you return cautiously to work and family life, continuing to get plenty of rest, conserving your energy and keeping warm. You avoid crowds, late nights and people who might re-infect you with their cold or flu before your body is strong enough to ward off further illness. You tell family and friends that you’re taking it easy for a while.
Similarly, to recover from addictive behaviours you get treatment then you leave that warm safe environment to go back out into the world. Like getting over a cold, when you return home, you need to go easy. Give your body and your emotions a chance to develop and strengthen the new habits they learned during treatment.
Tell your family and friends that you need their help and support. Avoid places that remind you of when you were using or that trigger the urge to use again. That can include side-stepping some of the people who were part of your previous circle.
Here are some strategies and tips to help you succeed.
• Express your feelings with someone who is very near to you and who you can trust.
• Stay positive and believe that this is a journey of healing. It won’t happen overnight.
Challenges will be there. But it is possible.
• Attend a twelve step meeting or any supportive group meeting on a weekly basis
• Exercise to refresh your mind and keep your body active - take a morning walk, play outside with your kids or the dog, take up swimming.
• Eat a healthy diet that incorporates six tastes and seven colours - fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and healthy snacks.
• Practice daily meditation and yoga to integrate all the layers of your life - environmental, physical emotional, psychological and spiritual.
• Keep busy. Get involved in hobbies, do some volunteer work, take some continuing education courses - either academic or something of interest that’s fun. This will all build your self-esteem.
• Get sufficient rest to refresh your mind, think positive and manage stress. Sleep is very important for healing process.
• Connect with your health care practitioner on a regular basis for ongoing support.
To maintain long-term recovery you require support, hard work and persistence, techniques for dealing with difficult situations, courage, a change of destructive habits and a change of environment.
Sound impossible? It’s not. It can be done. And you’re worth the effort.