Far too often we hear about people who were doing very well in recovery, relapsing and overdosing. The saddest thing about all of these deaths are that they could have been avoided, but the power of addiction is strong. So strong that it makes normal people do crazy things and leads them down a dark path of self-destruction. How do we avoid relapsing? There is no sure-fire way to make sure everyone keeps from relapsing, but during my clean time I have learned one thing that helps prevent relapse greatly.
Many people who find themselves new to recovery have a hard time filling up their days. They are no longer chasing their drugs and giving all of their energy and time towards it. Once that need has gone away, they have a lot of free time to think and this can lead to bad decisions. A very famous saying is “Idle hands are the devil's playground.” What this means is if you are not keeping yourself busy and learning new things, you will fall back into the lifestyle you fought so desperately to leave. Do not let this happen to you. How do you prevent relapse caused by too much time on your hands? The answer is simple, fill your day with positive activities.
You may be out of work or taking time to yourself to get your life in control after going through withdrawal. This is a great advantage if you are able to do so, but you have to make sure that all that time you are giving yourself is filled with constructive things. You can not sit around the house watching television and relaxing for too long. This will grow boring quickly and you will start to think of ways to entertain yourself. This can easily lead you to using again. If you spend time on the internet and social media and see people you used to use with, this can also lead to a relapse.
Each night you should schedule your next day. Fill out a time log and make plans for constructive things for you to do. Many people go to multiple meetings per day. Meetings are outstanding because they are one of the best ways to fill your time during recovery. Consult with your doctor and see if you are healthy enough for exercise. If you are, I highly recommend exercising each day. You do not have to run for miles and miles or lift heavy weights, you can simply get outside and start moving. Going for walks is a great way to get back into exercising. It will get you outside in the fresh air and not cooped up in the house.
It is very important to have alternate plans in case you scheduled something to do outdoors and you have inclement weather. Try to stay away from places that remind you of using and if you are out and about and you run into someone you used to use with, leave. You do not have to say a word to the person, you can simply get out of the situation. Do not risk relapse because you fear that you may seem rude.
Staying active physically and mentally in recovery will greatly reduce the risks of relapse. Do everything in your power to keep your day busy and filled with positive activities. As time goes on you will become stronger and happy with the life you have created.