Is Your Recovery in Jeopardy? 5 Signs It Is
The road to recovery isn’t easy, and neither is staying true to your new-found sobriety. Some are able to keep clean, while others fall prey to relapse.1 Here are five signs that your recovery is headed in the wrong direction:
1. Refusing to ask for help. Some people are able to recover on their own, but they make up the minority, not the majority.1 Many need the help of a strong support system, made up of family, friends, a trusted therapist, and support groups.1 At this point in your recovery, you may be thinking that you can do this on your own. You’ve been sober for a short time now. However, it is very normal to need to reach out for help even after you’ve been on the right path.1 It’s a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness.
Listen to the wisdom of others.1 Recovery is more than a decision to not use drugs or alcohol—it’s a completely new way of life.1 You need to cope with the stress of life without your past primary coping mechanisms.1 It’s not easy, but seeking support will help you through the difficult times.1
2. Continuing to Search for a Quick Fix. The pattern of searching for a quick fix to every problem is a habit that came with your addiction.1 Quick fixes often have negative consequences and usually don’t mend the entire problem.1 Recovery requires deep personal exploration, with a willingness to identify and process the underlying issues.1 Undergoing therapy can be extremely healing—if you take it seriously.1 If you don’t learn to back-off the quick-fix solutions, recovery often won’t last long.1
3. Making Excuses for Unhealthy Behavior. When you don’t fully tackle the underlying issues during your recovery, they will find ways to resurface—each time with a new disguise.1 Instead of drugs, you may turn to food, sexual relationships, or compulsively shop or gamble.1 These behaviors may provide you relief at a desperate time, but they aren’t healthy, and deep down, you know it.1 Instead of admitting that you need help, you may seek ways of justifying your behavior.1
For example, maybe you feel nervous about attending self-help meetings so you make up reasons not to go, or you state you are sticking to your recovery program but stop sticking to your diet and exercise and ditch the creative outlets you enjoy in life because you just don’t have time.1 This is the wrong way to recover, and you are putting yourself at risk of relapse.1
4. Believing Your Recovery is Doomed to Fail. There is a wisdom behind the saying, “One day at a time.”1 Recovery is a process that includes many ebbs and flows.1 Some days, staying sober is easy, while others include a minute-by-minute battle.1 It’s natural to second-guess yourself at times, believing that your recovery is doomed to fail and that life won’t ever be as good as it was while using drugs.1 Sure, drugs were fun for a while and recovery is hard for a while, but your future is bright. There are many people who have been in long-term recovery that have stories about how even in the most dire of situations, recovery is possible.1 Life without drugs and alcohol is wonderful.1 Believe that.
5. Thinking You’re Cured for Life. A common mistake during recovery is thinking that short-term success is a guarantee of long-term success.1 Addiction is a chronic disease, and some relapse 10 to 20 years into recovery.1 Overconfidence can lead back to drug use.1 Romanticizing about your drug-using days can cause you to turn back to them.1 While recovery does get easier over time, a working program changes throughout the years as life changes and new reasons to relapse present.1 You need to remain in tune with your feelings and be able to point out relapse-triggers while continuing to make healthy choices, especially when you are feeling invulnerable.1
Taking all of this into consideration, is your recovery secure, or is it in jeopardy? Work your program, stay on track, seek help when needed.1 You can do this. If you do, your life will improve immensely.
 Sack, D. (2013, March 18). 5 Signs Your Recovery is in Jeopardy. PsychCentral. Retrieved October 3, 2013, from blogs.psychcentral.com/addiction-recovery/2013/03/5-signs-your-recovery-is-in-jeopardy/