Breaking the pattern of substance abuse is a challenge – one that requires commitment and strength. It’s a huge achievement, but it’s only the first step. Just because you’re sober doesn’t mean the desire to use again won’t hit you out of the blue.
One of the biggest triggers, for any of us, is visiting people, places and things from the past. Once there, you’re transported right back into the same atmosphere that trapped you in a cycle of addiction.
Pull the Trigger
Here’s a few tips on people, places and things that will make your recovery path a whole lot easier:
- Clean House: Cut off contact with all people, places and things related to your past substance use. This is a “no-brainer” because the last thing you need is to be tempted by negative influences. Instead, form healthy new friendships. Positive and sober relationships help you stay on the right path and always have your best interests at heart.
- Join Support Groups: 12-step meetings and group therapy are some of the best places for support, connection and potential friendships. Being around others who have been in your shoes also brings about great compassion, understanding and healing.
- Change Your Phone Number: This is an easy way to start fresh. By making it harder for old friends to reach you, it’ll be easier to keep your distance and break contact with anyone that doesn’t need to be in your new life.
- Keep Busy: Don’t make time to feel sorry for yourself; it only causes you to reminisce about former friends and pastimes. Instead, keep your calendar booked with new activities and friends. This way, you’ll be less tempted to fall back into negative patterns.
- Move: This might sound a little drastic, but moving out of a house or apartment that reminds you of the past can make or break your recovery. Likewise, placing yourself in a new neighborhood – one away from all your old haunts – serves as an effective preventative tool.
- Have Faith: Believing in a higher power and in something greater than yourself keeps things in perspective. It reminds you not to get discouraged or overly stressed when feeling low and provides peace of mind.
Additional Reading: 5 Things to Remember When Sobriety Doesn’t Come Easy
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