One of the trends that you will notice when you first get into addiction recovery is that a great many newcomer tends to relapse.
And not only that, but you will also notice that some of your peers who struggle in recovery are stuck in a cycle of chronic relapse. They don't just try and fail at recovery, but they seem to be doing so over and over again, stuck in an endless pattern.
So how do you break free from this endless cycle of relapse? How do you pull yourself out of that pattern?
One of the things that you need to realize is that some people have problems other than just their addiction or alcoholism. Of course, we all ultimately have problems in addition to our core addiction. However, some of us have some serious complications in our lives that run parallel to our addiction, while others only have a few minor issues on the side.
And in some cases, these complicating factors can be the very thing that is keeping a person stuck in a mode of chronic relapse.
For example, mental illness can be a complicating factor that holds people back from finding long term recovery. While this is not the only complication that a person might deal with, it is often one of the more serious ones that can hold people back.
So what is the solution? How do you approach the problem of dual diagnosis in recovery? What is the best strategy for producing good results?
For one thing, there are treatment centers that can help you to address dual diagnosis, and they can point you to the resources that can help you. Essentially it is a 3 part process that involves treating the addiction, treating the mental disorder, and the push for holistic health.
In other words, you cannot just address your addiction in isolation from everything else and expect to be able to “fix” that part of your life, completely independently from everything else. No, life is a package deal, and you may have to make an effort at solving all of your problems at once.
The holistic health piece of this is really, really important. Probably much more important than the average person realizes. Meaning that if you are struggling with both addiction and mental health problems, and you want to live a successful life in recovery, then you have to got to develop habits and routines that allow you to take care of yourself in a variety of different ways. Meaning that you need to ensure that you are getting good sleep, eating healthy food, finding emotional support and stability, building healthy relationships and surrounding yourself with positive people, and so on. In order to overcome multiple problems in recovery you need to be using multiple solutions. So things like exercise, meditation, and peer support can be essential to this recovery process.
Because you are dealing with more than one problem, you cannot just expect to go to an AA meeting once a week and read the Big Book each night and call it good. That is not enough effort for you to be able to sustain a successful life in recovery. It is going to take so much more effort than that, but the work that you put into recovery will be well worth it. It is just important to realize that you cannot merely hit a few meetings to try to address the addiction problem in isolation and expect for this to turn your whole life around.
If you are suffering from chronic relapse then your approach to recovery is not thorough enough. This means that while you may have tried to recover in the past, your efforts fell short of the intensity that is needed in order to succeed.
What does this mean? Simply put, you need to try harder. You need to push yourself harder in terms of what you are willing to do for your recovery, for your side issues, and for your overall health.
When I got clean and sober I started by going to rehab and attending AA meetings. My initial impression was that this would be enough for me to sustain my recovery.
I was wrong. And I figured out that I was wrong by watching my peers in early recovery who were failing. Many of them were working the program as they believed it was intended, going to AA meetings every day, and yet some of them still relapsed. What was going on?
I figured out fairly quickly that there was more to recovery then just meeting attendance. Furthermore, I started to watch very carefully the “winners” in recovery and what their daily habits consisted of. Instead of doing what people told me to do in recovery, I started to watch and observe what the “winners” were actually doing.
What I found was that recovery is actually a holistic endeavor, not just a spiritual one. In other words, there were many people who tried to convince me that the only path of growth that was needed in recovery was the spiritual path, but what I was observing in the “winners” was the their actual approach to personal growth extended beyond the category of spiritual growth. In fact, I was finding that the winners in recovery had figured out how to take care of themselves in many different ways, and this was not only insuring their success in recovery, but it was also insuring them a fuller and richer life in general.
Meaning that the secret to long term recovery is also the secret to living an exciting and amazing life in general, which is to keep learning and to keep reinventing yourself. Personal growth is really the hallmark of successful recovery. Anyone who is “recovering” without pursuing personal growth is simply existing on borrowed time, and they are susceptible to relapse at some point in the future.
If you stop drinking or taking drugs and you attempt to just coast through life without pushing yourself to make any improvements then you are going to find that life is difficult, life is a struggle, and recovery won't be very happy or satisfying to you.
If, on the other hand, you embrace the process of personal growth and realize that you need to get to work to improve yourself in a thousand tiny little ways (and a few big ways), then you have a chance at becoming successful in sobriety.
Chronic relapse happens when a person has failed to surrender completely to a new solution in their life. They might admit to having a problem, but that is not the same thing has embracing a recovery solution.
In order to break free from the pattern of relapse you have to surrender and then go “all in” on a recovery program. The exact details do not matter nearly as much as the fact that you need to surrender completely and get out of your own way.
What are you waiting for? Surrender to a new solution today, and start avoiding constant relapses tomorrow.
The post How to Approach the Problem of Chronic Relapse in Sobriety appeared first on Spiritual River Addiction Help.