When you have struggled with alcohol addiction, you can rejoice when you reach the one-year sobriety milestone. Yet the journey does not end there. In fact, sometimes it becomes harder. Social settings are among some of the harder challenges for recovering from alcohol addiction because you might be exposed to other people drinking. However confident you might feel in resisting the urge, there is always a chance that the internal voice might creep up and say one drink won’t hurt me. If you find that your recovery has lost some momentum and you need a refresher to avoid relapse, you might need to take a breather, assess your recovery as a whole, and set some new goals as to where to go next.
Take Yourself Seriously
In other words, listen to what your recovery is telling you. An established long term recovery is hard, especially when we encounter situations that trigger our addictions. That small voice might be very convincing in getting you to have a drink, but know that drinking is never an option. When those temptations creep up, it does not mean that you are beginning to weaken, it just means that it is time to evolve your playbook.
Where to Begin
- Know your triggers: Sometimes the stress that surrounds social gatherings like holiday parties and weddings can stir up old emotions creating triggers in you. Since your old response might have been to drink the stress away, you might feel the impulse. Knowing what triggers you is vital to staying sober. In knowing the triggers you can begin to form a plan to help defend against them.
- Create a support system: Certainly, the meetings and therapy sessions are helping, but have you tried bringing your support system with you? Do you brave these types of gatherings alone? Having someone from your support system with you can help to keep you on track at these functions. Before the party, give them a call or text and let them know your goals and risks involved if you have a drink. If it is a friend and someone you can trust, they will likely be more than happy to steer you away from making harmful decisions.
- Don’t think about what is not working, but instead build on what is working. Maybe the best defense is to keep up what has been working for you. Look at it this way, you’re still sober. Why? What about your day still has a positive effect on the sober outcome? Is it maintaining a good diet and exercise routine, getting the necessary rest, and keeping the structure of your day? Basically, keep doing the activities that help you to keep building toward your goals.
- Avoid boredom: Are your daily tasks starting to become routine? Are they no longer a challenge for you? You might consider adding some new things to keep you on your toes. Perhaps consider getting a dog or cat to focus your energy on or taking up a new hobby. Anything to keep you motivated without overloading your workload.
- Ask for help: If you still feel yourself succumbing to the triggers, ask for help. Are you currently seeing a therapist? Do you need more sessions with your therapist? Do you need more support in creating new goals for yourself? Any one of these methods can be helpful in navigating through what you’re feeling.
Nobody Knows You Better Than You
No matter what, don’t let anybody pressure you. You remember the life you lived when you said yes to alcohol all the time? Now you must live a life of saying no to alcohol all the time. The journey toward a successful life of recovery is hard and sometimes these negative thoughts and feelings will arise. Know that they are part of the process. Just keep at it, one day at a time, and remember to reach out to those you trust when times get tough.
There is no end date or completion of recovery. Recovery is a life-lasting endeavor. When we start to feel we are starting to lose control, we must be proactive. This is why True Recovery believes that finding alternative care is essential to the longevity of our recovery. If you are feeling that you need to make some changes in your recovery playbook please call us at (866) 399-6528.