Navigating Sobriety During the Holidays
If you're here, you or someone you care about is likely navigating the challenging terrain of sobriety, especially during the holiday season. I'm here to provide some insights and strategies to help you stay on track during this potentially tricky time.
The Holiday Challenge: Staying Sober Amidst the Festivities
Holidays, though joyous, can pose a significant challenge for those on the path to recovery. The festivities often involve disruptions to our regular schedules, increased social gatherings, and a general shift towards a 'vacation mode.' In a recent video on relapse prevention, I discussed the importance of keeping the gate closed to vulnerability, a crucial aspect of maintaining sobriety.
Identifying Triggers: Three Categories
1. **Vacation Mode and Substance Use Escalation:**
The most obvious trigger during the holidays is the widespread shift to vacation mode. People tend to indulge more in substances, making it a potential stumbling...
Unmasking Relapse Triggers: Tackling the Sneaky Thought
Let's dig into something that often derails recovery—a deceptive thought that leads to relapse. Join me as we dissect this thought, understand its implications, and arm ourselves with strategies to overcome it.
**1. The Common Factor: The Deprivation Thought:**
Let's cut to the chase. After years of working with individuals like you, I've pinpointed a recurring pattern. Relapse often stems from a simple, seemingly harmless idea: the feeling of being deprived. It's that voice that says life is unfair, you're not getting what you deserve, and it's enough to push you towards relapse. Recognizing and addressing this thought is key in your battle against relapse.
**2. Unveiling Its Forms:**
This thought wears many disguises. One version is the "it's not fair" mindset, where you focus on imbalances in your life. Then there's the more intense "that's not right" variation, ramping up feelings of injustice. You might encounter the...
You go to rehab and spend a ton of time and even more money to get your addiction under control. So why do so many people fall through the cracks and start using as soon as they leave rehab? You've worked way too hard to get this thing under control to have to start all over again.
Let's look at common reasons people fall through the cracks after leaving a drug and alcohol program.
Some people fall through the cracks right after leaving because the whole time they were there, they counted down the days when they could use drugs/alcohol again. If this is what you're doing, you've already made your mind up, making it difficult to stop.
Some people can't wait to get home and relax.
Warning! This is not the time to let your guard down with your recovery! For most people that fail, this is when it will happen. It's in the transitions where people fall through the cracks, and I don't want that to happen to you.
As hard as it may be when you leave treatment, I want you to hit the ground...
These are the crucial steps for staying sober, regardless of the recovery plan that you're working on or NOT working on. If you're not doing this, you're working on a relapse.
The point of getting sober is that you have the freedom to choose who you want to be in a relationship with, and who you don't. Being sober is about having freedom. And to be honest, being sober is much, much easier than being an active addiction.
Think about all the time, energy, effort, planning, scheming, hiding, worrying, and feeling guilty. Think of all the time and energy you put into doing all those things in active addiction. Guess what? In sobriety, you don't have to do any of those things.
Make a plan.
You have to plan on how to stay and keep your sobriety. Just like you had to plan out how you would use, get it, get away with it.
The first category in planning for sobriety needs to be the big sort of overall general, how you're going...
How do you create a life that you love and that you can maintain?
Let's identify what those beginning strategies are.
All of those seem so blatantly obvious and that's why it's so important to learn those skills to get sober from substances. Keeping your sobriety is another story, am I right? There are some more advanced skills that you need to adopt if you want to manage them.
You see, for me, recovery management is, is all about sanity management. If you want to keep your sobriety or recovery long-term, you have to keep your head on straight. The reason why that's so important is that when you get yourself in an awful situation or you're upset when life throws you curveballs. These are the times that are likely to send you spiraling backward.
The first one on the list of advanced recovery skills is you have to learn to deal with problems and address them as they happen. We all...