What are the addiction recovery action steps that can help to ensure continuous sobriety? How is that recovering addicts and alcoholics who have multiple years clean can still manage to screw up and relapse?
Is there not a point where we have finally learned all that we need to learn in order to maintain our recovery?
Is there not a length of time in recovery when we are stable enough that we will never return to drinking or drugging?
Obviously, we know that there are no guarantees in recovery, because we witness people who have decades of sobriety who occasionally do end up relapsing. It does happen. Therefore, we know that no one is immune.
Plus, we know that it is not about what you have learned or how long you have been sober. No, it is about your actions. Your ongoing actions that continue to propel you through life.
It is not about what treatment center you attended when you got clean and sober. It is not about what program of recovery you choose to work, or if you continue to attend therapy of some sort, or any of those details.
No, the key action steps that keep people clean and sober over the long run are not specific points like that. Instead, here are the general principles and ideas that keep people in recovery for the long run:
* Continuous positive action. Obvious enough, yes, but still needs to be stated. Many people in recovery think that they can coast without taking real action in their life. Early recovery is jam packed with action; it is necessary just to stay sober. Long term sobriety? Not so necessary…..but definitely useful.
* Lifelong learning. If you stop learning in your recovery journey then you are on slippery ground. Why? Because there are so many different ways for our addiction to creep back into our lives. The only way to combat this subtle form of relapse is to actively manage against it by continuing to learn new things about yourself. It sounds like a flimsy explanation but those who stop learning can attest to the fact that relapse does creep back into their lives due to their idleness. Subtle, tricky, and dangerous. Push yourself to keep learning and discovering new truths about yourself in order to stay sharp.
* Holistic growth. Get into shape. Quit smoking cigarettes. Eliminate toxic relationships. Pursue spiritual growth. Seek emotional balance. Go back to school and finish that degree. All actions that may be part of holistic growth. If you neglect one area of your life, then this gives the addiction a chance to possibly creep back in through that hole. Again, this might sound far fetched at first, but think of people who get sick and end up relapsing because they are tired, worn down, given prescription medication from a doctor that turns out to be addictive and leads them back to their drug of choice, and so on. Had they been pursuing good health, fitness, proper nutrition, and so on, they may not have gotten sick at all, and prevented the relapse.
Holistic health and addiction is like that. If you practice holistic health principles and push yourself to get healthier in different ways, you strengthen your overall recovery.
* Push for personal growth. This is similar and in line with the idea of better holistic health. If you push yourself to grow as an individual, then you will build up “gas in the tank to spare” when it comes to fighting relapse on your drug of choice. How? Because you will take positive actions, build things of real value in your life, build self esteem for yourself, and consequently hesitate to throw it all away on a relapse. Improving your life is insurance against trashing it with drugs and alcohol.