How can you Stay Sober amidst temptations to use again, during the treatment process?
Having read through one of the questions by the Moderator, “Whether sobriety gets easier with treatment or if the temptation to use again goes away for good or keeps lingering in one’s mind forever“, I’d like to share a few guidelines by which someone under treatment can ensure to remain sober for as long as possible.
Pointing out from that discussion, that the temptation will always be there, but you can fight it and willfully stay sober, here are some more tips:
Accept that there will be struggles along the way.
One of the reasons some people relapse and either use drugs or drink alcohol again is because they feel caught off-guard by the cravings and they don’t know how to deal with them. You should know that these urges are normal and just about everyone who has had to detox or go through recovery has dealt with them. The key to staying sober during this time is to recognize the struggles and have a plan of action when you have cravings.
Try to delay any impulsive actions
If you feel tempted to use drugs or drink again, try to delay as much as possible. These cravings often disappear over some time. If you think about them, they will remain until you feed into them, but trying to delay the urge and doing something else may give you enough time for the craving to disappear, letting you forget about them completely.
Avoid objects, places and people who may lure you back into substance usage
To resist temptation, you can completely avoid those people or places that used to feed into your addiction. Sometimes, there are people who you may have been around while drinking or using drugs, or places you went that you knew you could drink or use. You can do yourself a huge service by avoiding them. This way, you are also keeping yourself away from bad influences that would most likely encourage you to fall back into old habits.
Plan-out alternative actions
When you think about using drugs or drinking alcohol again, think of some other activity that you can do that would make you feel better. For instance, go for a walk or read a new book. Oftentimes, by occupying your mind with more positive things, you can lessen the cravings. Plan for these moments by making a list of things you can do. You’ll feel more prepared and won’t have to stress thinking of the next steps to take.
If you find yourself in a situation that may trigger your cravings, you will want to make sure you have supportive people around you, keeping your best interests in mind. Many people who relapse do so because they don’t have people around them trying to prevent the habit from creeping back up. When you keep others around you and supporting you, they can either keep your mind off the cravings or remove you from the situation, preserving your sobriety.
Staying Sober is a journey, take it with confidence & determination.
Thanks McCathy, I’m glad you’re edified.
Charles, I don’t think you are wrong, and I believe I’m not wrong either. It’s a question of who you’re addressing. Change is hard, I can tell that as I struggled through some issues of my own life, and Yes, I wanted to set zero tolerance attitude and just let things change all over a sudden, but it never happens that way, it comes through trial and fail, persisting even after failure, and one piece at a time, you manage to build up your life. By the time someone starts to seek treatment, they want to change ASAP, but the challenge with “black and white” guidance is that when they fail the first time, it looks like they are total failures and there’s no possibility to get back onto their feet. What I’m trying to say is – its possible to fail when you try, but that’s normal and okay, simply get up and try again. Thanks.
Sure, I get what you mean and I can relate to it, but what really works, setting it in mind that “I can fail” or that “I have to succeed?” Because I believe setting the right attitude and determination at the genesis of any treatment process does a lot on ensuring a patient succeeds or eventually gives up; so which attitude should someone go with?
Charles, we are now getting to the same point. If you ask which kind of attitude, then the answer is both. This is the safe position one can cling upon (according to my own experience and by rule of feasibility). One must know that “they have to succeed”, but in the process to succeed, “they can fail”! What’s important to know is that this failure is Never permanent, and their determination should always remain “I have to succeed”. This way, one never gets caught off guard, and never gives up due to unrealistic expectations which can only bring disappointment. This is the right attitude.
Yep, I agree with you both. The only challenge is to actually have this duo attitude stably engraved in any one. Mediocre patients always quit early, while the strong can quit after a relatively longer time. The quality of patience and hardwork through several obstacles especially stigma, expenses, self-esteem, etc can build up a toll in the journey of getting better through treatment. It’s given to quite a few, and it is those few who succeed. I wish we could discuss on how best this kind of attitude can be instilled in any patient seeking help, I’m sure that will also help a lot. Thanks guys!
Fred, you pose a very challenging question and I will try to answer it according to my personal experience in life towards success. First, there’s no easy way we as friends, family, rehab proprietors, etc can easily instill the discipline of a successful-mind attitude in the minds of patients. Yes we can be less stigmatizing, welcoming, accommodative, etc but the issue of attitude for winners is inherently and subconsciously built within the patient. A winning attitude is like a plant weed. It doesn’t need any encouragement to grow, it will grow through drought, through side walks, in rocky cracks! Weeds can withstand every condition. This is what we call a winning or succeeding attitude, its within and is not necessarily inspired by the third party. Granted, these are few and rare to find, but they exist everywhere. Go to the poorest country in the world, you’ll find someone who lives like a king, look at the total orphans who’ve suffered most in their childhoods – you’ll find one who became a billionaire without a single cent in inheritance, look at the most downtrodden race (if it exists), you’ll find someone who’s worked their way to the top of the world and is adored by everyone. The challenge of victim mindedness and thinking of being pitied all the time is one that has led many into shameful failure and this may never end any time soon, but no matter the situation, no matter how ugly and depressing, a winning mind will always crawl their way through to the top. If any person – a patient receiving treatment in rehab – is reading this, you will not complete your journey through treatment if you are looking for motivation through people around you. Know what you want, disregard the background burdens, and go for it.