Recovery can be threatened by death, illness or other stressors. How can you be on guard before trouble comes calling?
Those in recovery know all too well that there is no guarantee against relapse. The decision to live life substance-free is made anew each and every morning. In the early days, that decision may need to be made nearly every minute.
Trauma or stressors can put you in danger of a relapse. A death or illness in the family, loss of a job or relationship, as well as an accident, crime or other tragedy can trigger old habits.
The loss of someone else in recovery or who battled addiction and succumbed can be particularly hard to take. In this case, you’re not just mourning the loss, but asking yourself, “If they couldn’t make it, maybe I can’t either?”
That may be the case with singer Bobby Brown, who was arrested on drunk driving charges recently, just weeks after the death of his ex-wife, Whitney Houston. We don’t know what played into that and he is fighting the charges, but we do know that the death of a loved one, particularly when drugs or alcohol were involved, can be especially traumatic to someone in recovery.
That’s why it’s important for anyone in recovery to be aware of triggers and to have a support system in place <I>before</I> those hard times hit. Focusing on success stories is also critical. Spend time with others who are thriving in recovery, and glean tips from them on how to handle disappointments or hurts. At the same time, don’t put anyone on a pedestal. No one is immune to stumbling or even a full-blown relapse. By thinking someone is beyond falling, you risk your own sobriety if that person does stumble. The same goes for you. When you begin to think you’re beyond ever going back to your addiction, you may be in the most dangerous place of all.
If your treatment center has an alumni program, be sure to take advantage of it. Staying plugged in is just one more way to ensure you remain on the right road. They may also offer seminars or classes from time to time that provide a great refresher or new tools.
Most importantly, if you start to feel yourself slip, seek help now rather than later. There are a variety of resources out there from outpatient programs to sober coaches. Don't be afraid to admit you need a little extra support from time to time. Recovery is a lifelong process.
Addiction Treatment and Relapse Help at La Paloma
If you or someone you love needs help with addiction or relapse issues, call La Paloma at the toll-free number on our homepage. Someone is there to take your call 24 hours a day and answer any questions you have about treatment, financing or insurance.