Understanding Long Term Recovery

Understanding Long Term Recovery

Beating alcohol dependence is not just about checking into rehab and detoxification. After these stages, there begins a long term recovery journey. Long term recovery is typically taken to be spending more than five years in recovery. For a former alcoholic, recovery is a lifelong journey of maintaining sobriety. Long term recovery is not a forced process where you try to control and force your environment. It is a lifestyle.

What Can You Do To Ensure Optimal Long Term Recovery?

  1. Know that long term recovery is indeed long term. It is a process and a lifestyle not an event. Upon leaving rehab, a former alcoholic returns to his old environment. This means that it is likely that the factors that caused and enabled his dependence will still be there. He will have to make lifestyle changes to be maintained over a lifetime that will help him cope with the new environment. These lifestyle changes do not happen in minutes so it is important that he is patient with himself as he works on making those changes.
  1. Have long term goals separate from staying sober. The life of a former alcoholic cannot revolve around recovery. It is important that he sets life goals and future aspirations for himself. Having goals and aspirations provide something for a person in recovery to look forward and hold on to. It gives a sense of purpose that can drive the person in the days to come and when he begins to achieve the goals, it brings a sense of pride and achievement that bolsters self-worth.
  1. Develop a value system. It is important that a person in recovery develops a value system that will guide his life. It is not enough to create that system. It is more important to follow through with it. Having a value system helps a person to develop constructive habits and behaviours. Following through with the value system is important because in the event that the person acts in a way that opposes his values, the resulting feelings of failure and guilt if not arrested, can drive the person to relapse.
  1. Watch out for relapse. Long term recovery involves guarding against relapse. Sudden relapse is very rare in people. It usually starts small and it gives warning signs along the way as it progresses. To guard against relapse, here are some causative factors and warning signs to avoid and look out for:
  • Stress: It can cause you to turn to alcohol for relief if not properly managed.
  • Anxiety which can lead you to seek out alcohol in order to block out what is making you anxious.
  • Enabling relationships: Having people around you that throw temptations in your way instead of helping you to focus on your journey should be avoided. You might need to cut some people out of your life.
  • Anger: Watch out for anger as it is a negative emotion that can cause you to take rash actions.
  1. Helping other people in recovery. You cannot give what you do not have so if you are helping someone stay strong in recovery, it implies that you have the strength in you. Helping others can help you discover the strength inside of you. It strengthens your own recovery journey and keeps you motivated.

 

Article Submitted on behalf of alcoholrehab-essex.uk

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