The first tip I have for relapse prevention is that you should enjoy what you do for a living. That’s the best relapse prevention there is because you are going to spend as much or more of your time working than you do sleeping or socializing. You work. So you need to have fun at work. Not many people in this day and time can actually love what they do. They do what they do because they have to survive. Naturally, it’s not all vacations and relaxing, but number one, you need to enjoy what you do for a living.
The next relapse prevention technique is to understand that in the game of life it’s the tigers that survive. If you don’t get out there and be a tiger, sooner or later, alcohol and drugs might find their way back into your life. To avoid getting bummed out or disgusted you need to produce something that will make a difference not only in your life, but in society, as well. Remember, you can’t stop when things get a little tough because when things get a little tough, addicts want to get a little high. I know this to be true because I was an addict and an alcoholic and when things got tough for me, instead of confronting the issues, I went out and got myself a little crack and some alcohol. Now that I am doing something I love and something that makes a difference, I can remain sober.
Another great way to avoid relapse is to find some spirituality. This doesn’t mean you have to pray to a specific higher power, but you have to have something or somebody that you consider your higher power because it gives you a chance to free yourself from issues and feel close to something greater than yourself. There were people in my program that were atheists. I told them that I respect their personal beliefs and I would never say they are wrong. But, I would ask them to stop and look at the situation. If they don’t have something greater to lean on or vent to, they will eventually start feeling bad about their life and might use drugs again. Find something that allows you to find solace and peace and self-discipline. There are many outlets for you to explore your spirituality, you just need to seek them out and put them to use.
Family bonds play a big role in relapse prevention. There is nothing stronger than the ties you have with your wife and kids. Everyone is happier when they give and receive love. This gives you the feeling that your life is good and you won’t need to escape with drugs or alcohol. Sadly, many people have issues about what they feel they did to the family during their addiction. But, if they have made up the damage done and healed those broken feelings, the family will be receptive. These are the people who will help you the most if you have problems.
The last relapse prevention measure I can suggest is fellowship. Keep yourself surrounded with people that have the same outlook on life. Begin activities such as martial arts or attend church regularly, or join a bowling team. Trust me, I have learned that being sober is fun. Doing drugs is poison. Getting drunk is stupid. Live life, strive, have fun, work hard and keep a high ethics level. Your goals are your goals to yourself. Try to impress yourself. If you keep that level of integrity, you will succeed in staying sober.