Creating A Relapse Prevention Plan

If you are a planner, you might have already considered creating a relapse prevention plan. But if you are not, let us introduce you to the idea of one.

It is best to start out any new journey with a plan. This will help you have a clear idea of what your goals are, why you are doing what you are doing, and a backup plan in case something does not go the way you planned for it to go.

A relapse prevention plan not only gives you a physical tool for when it comes to addiction recovery, but it can also help get you in the mental mindset to start your new journey and to be successful. Let’s just be real for a moment – addiction recovery can seem exhilarating at first and the adrenaline involved with a fresh start can be enough push to get you going. However, that fresh feeling can wear off. This is where you prevention plan can come into action.

Every success story begins with a plan of action.

First, start by taking a moment to think about what your triggers are. This will be important in helping you understand what you might need to avoid and also helping you narrow down what it is that caused you to feel the need to relapse, should that scenario occur. You will also likely need a plan of action for each individual trigger on your list.

Second, you need to narrow down the feelings associated with those triggers. Do they make you feel anxious, sad, angry? Knowing how those things make you feel can also help you determine what the best final plan of action will be to fight off those triggers.

Lastly, you need to think of a plan of action to combat those triggers. You need to consider the trigger, how you feel and what is something that would be impactful enough to combat the trigger.

There is no set prevention plan that fits everyone – it is not a cookie cutter type deal. This is something that is unique to each individual, to each recovering addict. It is something you will need to put some thought into. However, it is a vital aspect of your recovery and a tool that could really make or break your sobriety record for you.

What does your prevention plan look like? Did you pull ideas from other people? Did you find something unique that you think is interesting? Do share!


Massage and Addiction Recovery

When it comes to overcoming an addiction, it takes various methods. Of course, an addiction recovery facility is one of the most vital aspects, but it also helps to have other coping methods for when you return back to a normal life.

Having healthy habits, hobbies and alternatives are key to maintaining your addiction recovery once you come home. Exercising, eating healthy, and learning new hobbies such as painting or sewing is a great way to help yourself stick to your recovery. But there is also another great addition to your new life that you might consider – massages.

Massages are a great way to relax from a stressful day, which is something that you will often find yourself needing an alternative option to once you are clean.

A massage offers several benefits including:

  • Reducing anger, anxiety, and depression
  • Aiding in the ability to sleep – therefore, easing sleep problems
  • Providing an alternative, natural healing and outlet for stress that does not include the use of drugs or alcohol
  • Releases “feel good” hormones which can help give off the same satisfaction as the dopamine released when partaking in drugs or alcohol
  • Building trust. This might seem simple, but it takes trust to allow someone to massage you when you don’t know them – to trust them not to hurt you and to trust that they know what they are doing. This might be a simple thing, but rebuilding trust is important for recovering addicts and it is best when done in small, simple settings such as this.
  • Helps alleviate pain symptoms, which can also be a trigger for recovering addicts.

When you are recovering from addiction, and even after you have recovered, it is important that you find healthy alternatives to treating pain, relieving stress, and curing boredom.

Getting a massage is one of those healthy alternatives to consider. It is also a great thing to ask for as a gift from people – so you always have something to add to your birthday or Christmas wishlist.

Have you found other healthy alternatives that have helped you with, or even after, your recovery? Share those with us below. It might help give other people ideas of things that might work for them.

Addiction recovery is a group effort. Don’t be afraid to talk about your journey and to discuss things with others who have been through the same situation or one similar. It helps to have peers supporting you.

Partying Without Taking Drugs

One of the main things that comes with overcoming an addiction is the changes in your lifestyle. Addiction is often associated with the people you hang out with and the things you do. So when it comes to getting clean, you might feel like you can no longer have fun because you can no longer do the things you are used to doing.

While you should stay away from things that might be tempting and areas where your previous addiction might be present, there are alternative ways to have fun. Believe it or not, you can still party without taking drugs.

Who says that drugs and alcohol have to be involved to have fun? Here are a few other things you could do instead:

  1. Have a movie-watching party.Rather it is a new movie hitting the big screen that you have been waiting to see or a show series you have been dying to binge watch, you could turn it into a fun get-together.

    Grab some friends, some popcorn and your pajamas and make it a party! This is a great way to relax, laugh, hangout with friends and have an overall good time all while remaining sober.

  2. Do a painting class.There are plenty of organized group party options that you wouldn’t have to put on that also don’t involve drugs or alcohol. Something such as a painting class is an organized hangout that is productive, relaxing, fun and safe.

    This is a great way to get everyone together and maybe even pick up a new hobby! Plus, painting is a healthy hobby to develop post-addiction recovery.

  3. Keep it clean.Sometimes though, we understand you just want to hang out. Maybe you just want to have a BBQ with some friends, hang out in the backyard and talk about the good ‘ole day. Well, guess what? You can still do this, too.

    While you might have to modify some things after you recover from an addiction, it is worth it. Find great virgin drinks to make instead. It could be something like a virgin pina colada or even something as simple as lemonade.

Just because you are staying away from drugs and alcohol does not mean suddenly everything has to be bland and boring. There are several healthy alternatives, and real friends should understand and be willing to make accommodations to keep things in line with your new lifestyle.

Tips for Mothers of Addicts

As parents, our top priority is to keep our children safe. We carried them, we birthed them, and we raised them. It is our one goal in life to continue to keep them safe and watch them live a happy, healthy and fulfilling life.

However, sometimes there are things that can we cannot protect our children from. Despite our best efforts, they will ultimately make their own decisions and that is not within our control. One of these choices might be an addiction. And watching your child suffer with an addiction can be trying, upsetting and overall exhausting. You might feel as though you are alone and that it is your fault, or that nothing you do is helping them overcome this struggle in life.

But, you are not alone. There are plenty of others who have struggled with watching their child struggle through addiction. All addicts have parents out there somewhere, and many of them are feeling just like you.

While you might not be able to make decisions for your child, here is some advice to remember:

  1. Love your child.One of the best things you can continue to do is love your child. Be cautious and don’t become an enabler, but continue to love your child as you always have.

    Be compassionate and listen to them. Rejoice with them in their victories – no matter how small they might be.

  2. Protect yourself and your family.While you should continue to love your child, remember that you and the rest of your family are still important. If this means you need to love your child from a distance, then so be it. Continue to love your child, but don’t neglect yourself and the rest of your family in the meantime.
  3. Offer to help them get the help they need.While you might want to continue to house them and/or give them money, that might only be enabling them. One of the best things you can do is to help them get the help they need.

    Use your resources to help locate a viable recovery option for them. Support their decision to go to recovery and make it obvious that you do.

  4. Remind them that they are in control of their choices.Sometimes they just need to hear the cold, hard truth and from someone they trust. Remind them that it is their decisions that got them here and it is their decisions that could get them out.

At the end of the day, do the best you can and the rest will be up to them.

The Progression of Addiction

Addiction is such a scary thing because it could be hiding in the closet at any moment. It is completely unpredictable by nature – meaning there is no way of knowing just exactly who it will affect and just how severe it might become.

Nor is there any test or magic wand that you can wave to get these answers. You will not go for a check-up one day and your doctor come back and say, “I’m sorry, but it looks like you are going to get an addiction.” That just isn’t how addiction works. It is a different type of disease.

It starts with just trying something.

You can’t get addicted to something you’ve never tried, right? But, don’t let this scare you – just because you try something doesn’t mean you will become addicted.

You might drink a beer and never have one again in your life. Or you might have a glass of wine, and then only ever have it on occassion.

However, every addict tried whatever it is that they are addicted to for the first time at some point.

Then you realize you like it.

For whatever reason, you decide you like it. Rather it is the buzz from the alcohol, the sugar from the sweets, the high from the drugs – you like something about the way it made you feel.

This is what makes you decide to do it again. But, this does not necessarily mean you are addicted yet. It is okay to like a beer and have one every once in a while. It is okay to like chocolate cake and eat it as a celebration for a special occasion.

But next, you crave it.

Now, you’ve reached a new level with whatever it is you like. You start to crave it. Maybe it isn’t an all the time thing, but sometimes you find yourself really wanting it. Maybe you’ve had a long day and you really just want to go home and have a beer. Or maybe you are stressed about an upcoming exam and could really just enjoy a piece of cake while you watch your favorite show.

And now, you need it.

Then comes the tell-tale sign of addiction – you need it. Your body needs it to function. You can’t come home from a bad day and recover until you’ve had this. You simply can’t go without it. Your body is requiring it.

Addiction is not something that happens overnight, and this can also be what makes it so hard to accept. It seems normal for so long, until one day you realize you have a problem.