No one ever said, recovering from a substance use disorder would be easy. But they did say you can do it—and they’re right. As you begin the healing process, accept these truths: You will have good days and bad days. You will take two steps forward and a step back. And you will come out the other side of your addiction healed, having reclaimed your life. To complete the recovery process, you will need to navigate several common roadblocks that many in recovery find they must overcome. To help you through, we’ve provided some guidance to give you the confidence to face these and all addiction hurdles with confidence and clarity.
Roadblock # 1: Temptation
Abstaining from an addictive substance is easier when it’s not within your reach. One of the biggest temptations you may face will come when you are around friends and acquaintances who are drinking, smoking, or using your substance of choice. Anyone who genuinely cares about you will not pressure you to use, nor will they ask you to attend a party or event in which you’ll face temptation. To avoid this roadblock, you may need to restructure common activities with your friends or say goodbye to those who don’t support your recovery goals. In the end, being surrounded by people and in places where you’re not tempted to relapse will be healthier for you—mind, body, and soul.
Roadblock # 2: Boredom
If your weekends were formally spent partying—and drinking, smoking, or using—you may feel bored, or like you’ve lost a social element to your life. You may even feel purposeless, which could tempt you to relapse. Dodge boredom by taking on a new hobby or activity. A healthy alternative to using substances will help your emotional and physical recovery efforts. Take up a fitness class, musical instrument, learn a new language or volunteer to aid those less fortunate. A hobby that offers you and others significant benefits will keep you motivated to care for yourself.
Roadblock # 3: Giving Up After a Relapse
Many people experience setbacks during the recovery process, but it doesn’t mean you have failed, can’t stay clean, or shouldn’t continue your recovery treatment plan. If you have a relapse, don’t give up. Talk to a supportive friend, a substance abuse recovery counselor, enter an inpatient treatment facility, or take whatever steps you feel are necessary to recommit to your treatment plan.
Roadblock # 4: Skipping Counseling Sessions
After some time of staying clean, you may feel less reliant upon time spent with your counselor but avoid the temptation to skip sessions, meetings, or check-ins. Consistency and knowing you have the constant support of a trusted advisor will help keep you committed to your recovery, especially as you face these and other roadblocks.
Remember that the road to recovery is not paved smooth. It will be full of unexpected turns and hurdles, but with focus and determination, you’ll achieve your goals and build the strength needed to lead a healthy, sober life.