Unlike substances that are commonly abused and illegal to possess (such as cocaine, heroin and mediations that require a prescription), alcohol is legal for adults to purchase and abuse as they wish. This fact means that drinking is common, so it will often be in an individual’s environment where consumption and abuse are prevalent. For recovering alcoholics, this fact can make it difficult to avoid relapse and even cause them to rethink their sobriety efforts.
Although an individual cannot control every aspect of her environment, she can take precautions and avoid situations wherein alcohol use and abuse will probably occur. It is important for your sobriety to know how to avoid contact with alcohol, especially in the early stages of recovery. With help, you can get and stay clean from alcoholism.
How to Protect Yourself from Alcohol While in Recovery
Those who have struggled with alcohol addiction know the grasp that addiction has on their lives and the choices they make. Now that they have endured treatment and have reached the recovery stage, they understand that importance of making healthy choices on a daily basis.
The choices that a recovering addict makes can either improve her recovery or jeopardize it, so it is vital to her sobriety if she knows what choices emphasize recovery. Included in the following are some examples of how one can protect herself from alcohol while in recovery:
- Make quick appearances
- Keep personal reminders
- Consult your support system
At parties or any other social event, the lure of alcohol can be difficult to resist, especially for recovering alcoholics. This fact can make it difficult for you to stay sober, because you do not want to neglect your social life, but at the same time have a need to protect your sobriety. Even in the early stages of recovery, you can still go to an office party, a family wedding or even a friend’s birthday and be ok by following this plan: get in, get noticed and then get out. What this plan means is you must make a quick, yet appropriate impression on the people at the social event by engaging in conversation with them. Such conversation will make individuals appreciate your appearance, which means you have made an impression and can leave if you wish. Remaining at the event for only a short time can reduce the temptation to use alcohol; furthermore, by setting an exact time to leave, you can reduce your risk of relapse even more.
Maybe you sought treatment from your addiction because of health issues or because you finally saw the impact that your addiction was having on loved ones—no matter the reason, you can stay motivated for recovery if you keep personal reminders around when a craving hits. Some individuals may use “coping flashcards,” which can have pictures or reasons on them for why they chose sobriety in the first place. Each card can have something on it that motivates recovery or even some mantras. Maybe the reminder can be a school photograph of your child, a ring that reminds you of your significant other or some other object which can help you remember why you fought so hard for your sobriety. No matter what the item is, make sure you carry it with you at all times and that it is comfortable in your pocket or purse.
Sobriety is extremely difficult to achieve when you attempt it alone, so one’s success rate is amplified when he has a support system. You could seek a sponsor, friend, loved one or even a compassionate co-worker to help you through difficult moments. Your support system should encompass individuals who support your sobriety, are reliable, avoid drugs and who care about your wellbeing. Asking them for help, being able to express yourself and calling them when an intense craving occurs can make all the difference when trying to avoid relapse.
Keep a list of your support system’s names and numbers is important, because you can reach out to them whenever you need to do so. These individuals should fully support your decision for sobriety and encourage you to remain healthy. If you cannot find a reliable support system, then join a support group wherein other people have experienced the same issues, because their help can motivate you greatly. Seek help from other people who have also or are currently experiencing the same issues to form relationships and to find a sense of community.