There is an important philosophy in recovery: you don’t have to relapse to start over. It isn’t uncommon for those who are in recovery to think in extremes. When life feels overwhelming, bears too many mistakes or feels like an endless problem without a solution in sight, it is easy to want to give up. In the face of stress, the addicted brain is programmed to crave drugs and alcohol. All of the problems won’t matter anymore, the brain believes, as long as drugs and alcohol are present. Chemically, that might be true for a whole as drugs and alcohol produce dopamine, a brain chemical which creates feelings of pleasure. Overtime, drugs and alcohol don’t provide that same sought after relief. In addition, the addiction which surrounds the use of drugs and alcohol becomes increasingly problematic. Every time someone turns to drugs and alcohol as their solution, they are creating more problems.

Treatment and recovery educate and empower clients to live in the solution of recovery rather than the problem of addiction, or whatever problem may currently be coming their way. Most importantly, they learn that breaking everything down in such a way that they would have to start completely over is not the solution. Relapse is not the answer to a new beginning. Any moment, any day, any phase of recovery, can start anew without having to relapse. Take a deep breath, shake off your limbs, do a little dance, or yell out loud. Whatever you have to do to make it through and start fresh, do that instead of turning to drugs and alcohol. Here are some suggestions. Remember, you cannot erase the past and you cannot control the future. You can, however, be in the present and change how you approach it. Acceptance is a key to realizing what is in your control and out of your control.


Take A Shower

Taking a shower in the middle of the day might seem untimely and even odd. Water is transformative and metaphorical. You can cleanse yourself of the bad energy metaphorically while also getting clean physically. Showers leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. During a shower you can focus on your thoughts, mull things over, even have conversations out loud that you might not have been able to have in a previous moment. Give yourself the time in the shower to be and feel however you need to be and feel. Mark the end of your shower as the end of that emotional experience. When you step out, step into new energy and move forward with your day.


Have A Laughing Fit

It takes stepping out of the perspective of life to be able to laugh about it. Consumed by the details, you easily forget that the ups and downs, ebbs and flows, peaks and valleys, are all part of the process. If you take it too seriously, you lose your perspective on the fact that life happens on life’s terms. Take a moment to just laugh. Step outside of your personal relationship to whatever is going on and look at it from a different point of view. If you weren’t personally involved, how would the situation look? Find some humor and you might find some peace. You can detach more easily and carry on.


Find 5 Things To Be Grateful For Right Now

Gratitude is the attitude of recovery, it is often said. Finding gratitude for any kind of life experience, positive or negative, is key to being in acceptance of it. Most people in recovery come to believe that everything in their life happens for a distinct reason, known or unknown. Gratitude is the perspective that helps you move past what has happened and start over. Find five things you can be grateful for in this exact moment, here and now. You’ll quickly remember that life isn’t as dramatic as you might be making it out to be in your mind.


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