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The Stumbling Blocks of Recovery

Knowing some of the stumbling blocks of recovery will help prepare you for some of the obstacles that may be ahead. You can never be too prepared, especially when first entering recovery. Here are a few of the stumbling blocks you might encounter in recovery and ways to overcome them.
Knowing some of the stumbling blocks of recovery will help prepare you for some of the obstacles that may be ahead and overcome them. You can never be too prepared, especially when first entering recovery.

  1. The “Looking Good/ Feeling Good” trap. There’s a point in recovery when you start to get healthier. You feel healthier and you look healthier, so much so that from your appearance people might not be able to tell you ever had a substance abuse problem. The problem is sometimes your looks can improve faster than your ability to stay sober. Be careful if you feel others tempting you to slip or relapse or if you start to doubt that you ever had a problem in the first place. It’s a trap.   Help tip: Answer these questions as a road map to how you are going to handle the following situations. Do this before any of these arise.
  • People who offer or provoke me to use, how will I respond to them?
  • Places where I used, how will I avoid them?
  • Times when I used, what will I do instead?
  • Situations that encourage me to relapse (parties, payday), how will I handle them?

2. The Money trap. For some, payday can be a daunting day while in recovery. If it’s the first paycheck in a while it might stir the need to binge. Money in general might be a trigger for former users.
Help tip: As payday approaches plan how you are going to deposit and allocate you check. Arrange for direct deposit or have a family member or friend help you. If former dealers know to come around on payday, plan ways to avoid them.

3. “Romanticizing the Past” trap. Healthy thinking patterns are crucial to a successful recovery. Romanticizing your past drug or alcohol use can trick yourself into unhealthy patterns of thinking that can lead to overconfidence and relapse.
Help tip: If you find yourself thinking fondly of the old days, remind yourself of all the pain that drugs or alcohol caused in your life. Avoid talking about the fun of alcohol or drugs and avoid conversations where other people do. Change the subject or walk away.

4. The “Other Substance” trap. It’s easy to trick yourself into believing that because a substance was never a problem for you in the past then it won’t be one in the future. Just because a substance wasn’t your drug of choice in the past doesn’t mean it’s not addictive or habit forming. And it definitely doesn’t mean that it won’t pose problems for you in the future.
Help tip: Regardless of what substances you’ve had problems with, stay away from them all. If it was alcohol in the past, don’t think you can now smoke marijuana or anything else that will alter your brain chemistry and make you vulnerable to relapse.

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ExecuCare
Addiction Recovery Center
1100 Poydras Street, Suite 2900
New Orleans, LA 70163
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