Protecting Against Temptation in Recovery
The longer you stay sober, the better chance you have of staying sober, and part of this is resisting temptation in recovery.
Basically, if you are able to stay away from drugs or alcohol, then you will be able to keep yourself sober.
If not, then you will relapse and possibly cause yourself a lot of problems.
Although it can be difficult to avoid temptation in recovery, it is possible and takes time, as well as treatment, and dedication.
Temptation in Recovery: Why Relapse Happens
For many addicts, temptation in recovery means relapse.
Addiction is a disease, known as a chronic illness.
Because it is a chronic illness, relapse is very common.
It is good to note that temptation in recovery is very real, and relapse is very possible.
Try to understand that relapse happens because of temptation in recovery.
There are many reasons why you might feed into temptation in recovery.
- You see friends whom you used to use with.
- You see a place that you used to use drugs at.
- You are feeling depressed or low self-worth.
- You walk past your favorite bar.
Whatever the reason that you do fall into temptation in recovery, you must try to avoid this.
If you feel tempted, you must call your sponsor or go to a meeting.
Tips to Resist Temptation in Recovery
Find a Replacement Activity
We become addicted because the act of being addicted is tied to the reward center in the brain. This motivates us and makes us feel happy. If you are able to find something to replace it, then this can be a great option to get you through recovery.
You want to make sure you pick a new hobby or something else that you can engage in, rather than feeding into cravings. Do not replace your addiction with another addiction to food, but rather the painting, music, the gym, or another healthy activity.
Whether this is something to enrich your mind, or you put more effort into work, it is important to find something that makes you feel happy and accomplished. It should also keep you busy and make you feel motivated day after day.
Understand Your Triggers
Temptation in recovery that results in relapse often occurs because of a specific reason, and these reasons are known as triggers. If you have been clean for a while, then you most likely will relapse when you are extremely stressed or if you are thinking about your drug use.
This doesn’t need to be a negative trigger but could be something positive about using drugs or alcohol. Whether it is memories of previous highs, or simply places and things that remind you of different parts of your past, these are all known as emotional triggers.
Recognizing triggers is very important to be able to avoid them in the future, but not all triggers can be avoided. You also do not want to spend every waking moment avoiding different people and things that might trigger you. Having said that, you need to understand what are the main triggers and avoid them, but also begin to work through these triggers in therapy. Eventually, with time and effort, you should be able to do so.
Eventually, due to the triggering of the reward cycle, your use of opioids may become compulsive. Your brain compels you to seek out and use these substances, even if you do not want to continue. For some people, opioid addiction can happen quickly. It can occur after using opioids only a few times.
Talk About Your Feelings
It is normal to deal with emotions, thoughts, and feelings. Despite this, you need to express how you are feeling and talk about anything that you might feel bad or worried about. Especially when it comes to temptation in recovery, you need to speak with others about how you are feeling.
Talking with other recovering addicts in a therapy group can be extraordinarily helpful. Hearing the perspective of other people will allow you to learn to accept your triggers, understand cravings, and then learn to overcome them eventually. It is not good to live in fear, but temptation in recovery is real, and it is important to understand that.
Try Therapy To Help Resist Temptation
Therapy is the single most important part of resisting temptation in recovery. There are many different forms of therapy, with the most well known and effective being cognitive-behavioral therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, also known as CBT, teaches you to take better control of your own thoughts and work through negative thinking patterns.
When you go through CBT, you will take your negative thoughts and replace them with logical thinking. Although you may not always hear what you want in Cognitive behavioral therapy, you will learn to work past mental barriers.
Addiction also can bring you a lot of shame and negative feelings. When you crave drugs or alcohol you may feel even worse. By going to therapy and putting in the work, you will learn that you are not perfect. This will help you to understand the consequences of what you are doing, and teach you to be mindful. Making good decisions is a huge part of recovery and avoiding relapse.
Battle Your Demons
Although a lot of your early treatment relies on avoiding triggers, it does not mean you can do this forever. You need to address your drug or alcohol use, but you will also need to address your past, and what brought you to use in the first place.
This means you need to look to your past. Look into your family life, and family history. What has occurred in your life that you need to come to terms with? You may need to ask people in your life for forgiveness, or even ask yourself for forgiveness. This will be helpful in order to move on
Learn How To Resist Temptation in Recovery
When you are at the beginning of recovery, you might have urges to do drugs or alcohol. These urges are essentially cravings. When you feel these urges and cravings, they will typically last around 30 minutes. This depends on how intense the feeling is, and you might also feel sweaty, jittery, not be able to breathe very well, and your heart rate might get faster.
Although this can be scary, the best thing you can do is focus on good breathing, and thinking about all of the sensations you are having. You want to make sure that you do not get angry at yourself and simply breathe slowly in and out.
Do not feed into your urge. Simply try to let it roll past you, and finish on its own. Most often, cravings and urges will last anywhere from 30-60 minutes at most, and then things will get more manageable.
Mental Illness and Recovery
If you are struggling with a substance use disorder along with a mental illness, then you have a harder road ahead of you versus someone who is simply struggling with addiction on its own. These co-existing disorders are called a dual diagnosis and requires you to go to an addiction treatment that understands what you are going through. They should be able to fully help you cope with both your mental illness, as well as your addiction, and understand how they tie together and feed off of one another.
Get Help Today
At Resurgence Behavioral Health we offer the chance to learn how to avoid temptation in recovery and get healthy.
We offer a variety of services to make recovery easier such as free insurance verification for treatment, comfortable inpatient treatment facilities, and incredibly supportive counselors.
Contact us today to learn more.