One of the main fears that many people have when they begin recovery is relapsing. Relapse can be part of recovery and is for many people. It is critical to note that relapse does not have to be part of recovery. Many people relapse and come back to sobriety. Tragically, too many others relapse and either spend their lives in addiction or lose their lives to addiction. However, it’s understandable to want to increase your chances of long-term sobriety – there are certainly some steps that you can take to better your chances for success.
Regarding relapsing and sobriety, many consider being “strong willed” a crucial aspect of abstinence. While strong will does play a part, it is not the only factor that promises long-term success. A 2016 study published in Addictive Behaviors Reports found that while most of their participants classified themselves as strong-willed, that was not a determinant of their success. Rather, successful long-term recovery participants described adapting many strategies versus those who were not as successful, such as being able to cite 5-7 specific strategies to help them overcome their obstacles. As their recovery progressed, they no longer needed to cite strategies because they became part of their regular routine. With the incorporation of the strategies they learned in treatment, participants naturally began changing their environment and identity. They adopted a very structured daily routine; people in the stable recovery group also reported being very enthusiastic about the strategies.
From the study, researchers learned that participants who didn’t believe the strategies really worked, or found it difficult to employ them, or believed they lacked the discipline to use them, didn’t find much success in recovery. In this instance, perception really does matter. If you’ve ever heard of the self-fulfilling prophecy, it states that if you think you can, you can, and if you think you can’t, you can’t. With this, our future is dependent on how we approach each situation. It may take some time but practicing these tools can give you a huge advantage in your journey to recovery.
Be patient with yourself and be open to learning. Accept your mistakes, and practices forgiveness of yourself and others. Find a support system and take the advice your therapists and group leaders give you. Before long, you will be telling other people strategies for success in long-term sobriety.
Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.