Now that you’re in recovery, you’re invincible, right? I mean, you know how terrible addiction made you feel, you’ve learned tools that help you stay clean, and you’re sure you’ll never touch another drug in your lifetime. But I have sobering news: Every addict can make recovery mistakes. In fact, here are eight big recovery mistakes I’ve seen users make. Learn from them so that you can maintain your recovery.
8 of the Biggest Recovery Mistakes
1. One of the Biggest Recovery Mistakes – Giving in to a Craving
Every recovering addict has moments when they can smell, taste, and feel drugs. You thought you were alone, didn’t you? I know you can’t keep cravings from landing in your lap, but you can call a friend, walk your dog, or grab your paintbrushes and resist those cravings. Whatever you do, don’t give in to your cravings because that action will only take you backward in a hurry.
2. Quitting Your Support Group
Whether you regularly attend a 12-step group, religious services, or a small accountability group, stay connected. Walk away from your support group, and you open yourself up to strong temptation and trials you could have avoided.
3. Hanging Out With Old Friends
The addicts you used to score or use drugs with are no longer your friends. You can’t reform them by hanging out or talking with them. They will, though, drag you back into an active addiction. To be safe, stay away from bad influences and make clean and healthy friends.
4. Firing Your Therapist
You’ve made progress working with your therapist, so that means you’re done, right? You need to discuss discharge with your therapist and make that decision together. Don’t rush to get out of this beneficial relationship before you’re ready to tackle the world on your own.
5. Getting Caught up in Family Drama
Maybe you’ve been clean for a while, but is your family healthy? Their dysfunctional, enabling, or codependent behavior could be keeping you from a successful recovery. For your well-being, consider distancing yourself from the drama.
6. Thinking You Have to be Perfect
I have yet to meet a perfect person, and no matter how hard you try, you won’t be the first to achieve this accolade. So relax. Give yourself permission to feel tempted, stressed, or angry. Just don’t sit down in defeat. Stand up, consult your treatment plan, and move forward.
7. Feeling Overconfident
With 30 days, three months, or three years of sobriety under your belt, you know you’re healed and ready to succeed at this recovery thing. Wrong. I know dozens of addicts who relapsed as soon as they got cocky about their recovery. Please don’t let your progress sabotage your continued success.
8. Giving Up
No matter what happens, you can’t give up. You’ve come too far! Whether you’ve already relapsed or are seriously considering buying drugs right now, you need to stop. Turn to a trusted friend and talk about what you’re feeling or meet with your therapist and tweak your treatment plan. Take a step forward and get help before you throw in the towel and go back to the drugs you’ve fought so hard to overcome.
The great thing about recovery is that it means you’re living without drugs. I won’t lie, though. It’s not easy. But you have to keep moving forward. Don’t make these eight big recovery mistakes that many addicts make. You deserve better than to make mistakes, and I know you can make choices that keep you on the path to a successful recovery.