Relapse Prevention Plan
Just like any idea that requires a bit of foresight and forward momentum, it’s good to have a prevention plan that deals with your personal relapse. To start crafting your relapse prevention plan, you must get an outside perspective—preferably a leader from your addiction group or community—to help you see things about yourself and about your path that you may not account for.
Crafting the Plan
There’s no rule stating you have to write out this long, drawn out plan that seems more confusing than it does helpful. In fact, you could use any number of approaches, such as a mutual support, a 12-step plan, a guide or workbook, or even a check-in system with your sponsor or plan guide. The point isn’t so much the plan as it is the consistent results of sticking to a routine.
Any good plan doesn’t just give you a step-by-step list of how to live each day, it inspires you to set and reach goals, and to share your success with others who care about you. More than that, a plan doesn’t simply tell you what to do and how to live, it simply helps you avoid falling back into your past negative behaviors.
Never Fully Forget the Past
Part of achieving recovery is acknowledging your past behaviors, and then using those moments as learning tools for your future. By identifying your previous patterns, you can find ways to overcome or avoid pain, situations, or actions that led you down your path in the first place. It will also make you more socially confident to know that you can overcome even your darkest fears.
We each need positive outlets who will let us share our thoughts and feelings, as well as help us overcome depression, anxiety, or fear before we relapse into past transgressions. Create your list of people who will readily give you the support you need when times seem most dire. Your list can include your group or community members, friends, family, therapists, the NRH, or whoever you believe can help you maintain sobriety.
One of the easiest way to tell if someone is going to relapse is to see how fast their “friend” circle starts to shrink. By staying active with friends and family, and sticking to activities you truly enjoy—such as painting, cooking, traveling, working out, etc.—you’ll be too busy to worry about slipping back into old habits.