Monday, March 23, 2009

Relapse-Steps To Help You Stay On The Path To Recovery

Recovery is never a straight line. Frequently it's a matter of one step forward, two steps back. Having a relapse after we've started some new habits or set new goals happens. The choice you make after you've "fallen off the wagon" is vital.

The best of intentions can get squelched by procrastination, old habits, or self defeating thoughts. Here are a few tips to get back on track after you catch yourself falling into old patterns.

1. Celebrate Your Awareness

Do you instantly launch into self-recrimination and judgment when you are stepping off the path? Instead of kicking yourself, choose to celebrate your consciousness. Within the relapse are the keys to creating a lasting recovery. Find a positive motto or affirmation to use when you discover you're not striving for your goals. Try "Hey, I wonder what took me off course," instead of "Hey, you failure, you blew it again!" Love yourself into soberness.

2. Practice Patience
In a world addicted to split second gratification, creating new habits and thoughts takes discipline, repetition, and time. How many years did it take to create the substance abuse in the first place? It’s unreasonable to think that a few weeks or months of focused intention and action will erase the habit. When you get impatient …stop. Impatience can harm you. While sometimes the final putting down of a substance can just take a split second, often we just need to be more tolerant with our process.

3. Change Your Mindset
Einstein said, “Trying to solve problems at the same level of thinking that created them is an exercise in futility”. It's like trying to hammer a nail, when you have only a saw. Getting away from the deeply ingrained subconscious patterns often calls for changing your mindset. Realize you can’t possibly know it all. Work with a sponsor, find a good counselor, or connect with like-minded people who are getting the success you want to help you break loose from old patterns.

Use all of these tools to begin to get back on the right path with your recovery….. and most importantly, don’t try to do it alone.

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