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Family Triggers to Avoid after Rehab
Drug and alcohol rehabilitation is hard work. It tires both the mind and the body; people exiting rehabilitation are often raw and exhausted as they transition back into their “old” life. In order to succeed in recovery, you need to focus on a number of factors.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has delineated four major dimensions that support a life in recovery:
- Health—overcoming or managing one’s disease(s) or symptoms—for example, abstaining from use of alcohol, illicit drugs, and non-prescribed medications if one has an addiction problem—and, for everyone in recovery, making informed, healthy choices that support physical and emotional well-being.
- Home—having a stable and safe place to live.
- Purpose—conducting meaningful daily activities, such as a job, school volunteerism, family caretaking, or creative endeavors, and the independence, income, and resources to participate in society.
- Community—having relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love, and hope.
Community can be difficult to develop and maintain because it relies so much more heavily on people than the other four, and people are hard to control. Because you can’t control people, you need to strategically develop your community by avoiding social triggers.
If you worry about recovery health, home, purpose, or community, you can get your questions answered by calling Centers.com at 800-721-8114.
There are two main categories of difficult family members—toxic and users—the two may also overlap.
Family members can be hard to cut ties with because “these people are family” and family sticks together, even if it is abusive or manipulative. However, if based on their treatment of you, you would never have a family member in your life if they weren’t family, that person is toxic.
If you are wondering whether or not your family is toxic, look for the following signs:
- Abuse—If you live in a state of agitation because you fear mental, emotional, physical, sexual, or verbal abuse, it is time to love yourself and to let go.
- Consistent negativity—If every single moment of contact is negative and that causes you to feel shame or low self-worth, you need to cease contact.
- Stress—If the relationship causes you a level of stress that bleeds over into your other responsibilities (work, home, both), it’s OK to prioritize yourself and your recovery.
- Obsession—If you are consumed by the toxicity of the relationship and you spend all of your time trying to find out if anything was said about you or to defend against gossip, you need to cease contact and shift your focus back to your recovery.
- One-sided—If the relationship takes from you and offers nothing in return, it is set-up for failure. You need to let go.
- Giving—If you are being used for money or goods, it’s time to stop giving.
- Games—When over the top, crazy game dominate the relationship, you need to stop all of the drama and use your social time in ways that better serve you and your recovery.
Many people begin abusing drugs and alcohol because the behavior was modeled for them by family or became a shared activity with other family members. Socializing with family members who are still abusing drugs and alcohol can upend your recovery and lead to a relapse. The brain remembers those things that give it pleasure and people in recovery are well-aware that triggering those memories leads to an urge to get high. Hanging out with family members who are still using or abusing drugs and alcohol is hard.
Although family use will likely make you want to use, it may be possible to arrange sober activities with family members. Meet at a neutral area where substance abuse isn’t tolerated, like church or a community event. If you can enjoy each other’s company without drugs or alcohol, you may be able to develop new memories that form a foundation for a more supportive relationship.
If you need help avoiding family triggers, contact Centers.com at 800-721-8114 and speak to someone knowledgeable today.
If you do relapse, remember that it is not a failure. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Treatment of chronic diseases involves changing deeply imbedded behaviors, and relapse does not mean treatment has failed. For a person recovering from addiction, lapsing back to drug use indicates that treatment needs to be reinstated or adjusted or that another treatment should be tried.”