Everyone makes mistakes. However, when you are battling alcohol addiction, certain mistakes can be costly. They can undermine your recovery or cause you to relapse. Given the risks, it helps to be aware of those mistakes and take measures to avoid them. Here is a list of the most important ones.
Mistakes to Avoid When Battling Alcohol Addiction
1. Considering Yourself Recovered after Completing Your Alcohol Addiction Treatment
When leaving recovery centers of completing treatment, many former addicts consider themselves “cured”. They experience a state of euphoria, also known as the pink cloud syndrome. This is only a temporary state that is often replaced by a period of depression, with a high risk of relapse.
Keep in mind that the actual treatment is only the first, although the hardest step to full recovery. Rebuilding your life and resisting temptation is the following one, and it should be approached with great care. Instead of making long term, unrealistic plans, live in the present and celebrate each day of sobriety. Take baby steps and you’ll eventually reach your goals, whatever they are.
2. Returning to the Old Lifestyle
Your old lifestyle drove you to addiction in the first place. Returning to it could cause you to relapse. Whether your stressful job, your marital problems, your entourage, or a fatal combination of two or more factors caused your addiction, now you have the chance to break away.
You have the possibility to start over, and you should. Those who love you will understand. Those who do not are probably not a good influence anyway. Create a new routine, develop new, healthy habits, get a job that you like, and spend time with people who support your efforts to stay sober.
3. Expecting Too Much, Too Soon
During the first weeks of completing your alcohol addiction treatment, you feel great. No more cravings, no withdrawal symptoms to worry about, lots of energy and self-confidence. You begin to think you can do everything, and you can, at first. You set higher and higher expectations, and when you can no longer keep up, you snap.
You’re only human. It’s normal to have ups and downs, to occasionally fail or not get the results you were hoping for. Focus on your main goal, which is staying sober, and give yourself time for everything else. You will have plenty of time to break your own records and impress everyone, including yourself.
This does not mean you should not work, study, or strive to improve your life and your relationships. It just means you should have your priorities in order and set realistic goals. This way, you will not be disappointed and vulnerable to relapse.
4. Replacing Addictions
Many recovering addicts develop other fixations and addictions. Some start from the premise that anything is preferable to alcohol and end up addicted to painkillers or antidepressants. Others seek refuge in food and find themselves overweight and with various comorbidities. There are also people who turn to gambling or sex to break away from stress and worries or raise their adrenaline.
When adopting new habits, taking up new activities, or gaining new interests, it is important to assess their potentially harmful impact. What’s the use of treating your alcohol addiction if you end up gambling and losing everything you have, infected with HIV from unprotected sex, or sick and unable to enjoy life?
- Not Reaching Out for Help
You are an adult, and you have to solve your problems by yourself, right? Under normal circumstances, it may be true. After all, whether you fail or succeed, you are the one suffering the consequences. When recovering from alcohol addiction, however, the situation is different.
If you fail and relapse, your failure will impact others as well. Your family will suffer, your work performance will diminish, and a new treatment program will deplete your family budget. You could avoid all these by reaching out for help in due time.
No real friend or relative will condemn you for calling them when you feel vulnerable and asking them to accompany you. There are online and local support groups that you can join and alcohol recovery centers where you can seek therapy and support.
Get the Support You Need at Asheville Recovery Center
Alcohol addiction is a disease and it is time to start seeing it as such. There is no shame in seeking help when you are ill. At Asheville Recovery Center, we are glad to provide it. We are here if you have already completed your alcohol addiction treatment and you need help avoiding relapse.
You can also count on us if you have only just begun battling alcohol addiction or pulling yourself back together after relapsing. Call our office and schedule a free consultation! It will provide all the information and solutions you need.