Whether you’re an alcoholic or know of someone who is one, staying sober is no walk in the park. It takes a lot of support, willpower, and positive thinking.
Even with all that, unfortunately, relapses still happen. The good news is, though, that even if you start drinking again, there is still hope.
Not every road to recovery is a straight one. What counts is that you pick yourself back up. You can do this by finding the help you need to regain and maintain your sobriety.
1. Don’t Continue to Drink
After getting a taste of alcohol after being sober, you may struggle with stopping. That’s why you must get rid of any alcohol right away.
In your mind, you may think that because you already slipped up that it won’t make a difference. But that’s where you’re wrong. Just because you had a drink doesn’t mean you have to get addicted again!
If you can’t do it yourself, call a friend to get rid of the alcohol for you. The sooner it’s gone, the sooner you can get on the road to recovery.
2. Head to a AA or 12-Step Meeting
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings exist for a reason. They’re there to help offer you support when you relapse. And, while you’re working at remaining sober, they encourage you to stay on that path. There are also other 12-step meetings you can attend.
If you recently messed up, don’t continue to beat yourself up. Instead, head to an AA meeting immediately. There, you can tell other people in the meeting what happened. Talking about it can help you cope with your feelings and admit what needs to happen moving forward.
Do you have an AA mentor? As well as going to an AA or 12-step meeting, you should call them as well. Depending on how close you are to them, you can have them meet you there or come to your house prior.
3. Get a Strong Support System
Having a solid support system is the key to your recovery. Your support system should consist of many people.
Get a Mentor
As mentioned, a AA or 12-step mentor can be there for you throughout your recovery. Whenever you feel like drinking, a mentor is only a phone call away. They can also provide you with the tools you need to cope with your addiction.
Get Paired with a Therapist
Besides a mentor, you may also want to consider going to therapy. It would be best to go to a therapist who specializes in treating people with addictions. Different therapists have various specialties.
Get paired up with a therapist that you feel understands you. Connecting with the right counselor ensures you feel motivated to continue your treatment. In addition, you can learn to recognize triggers and fight through them using the right tools.
Rely on Supportive Friends and Family
Friends and family members may not understand what you’re going through. But they can be there for you. Make sure your support system consists of non-judgemental family members who’ll listen.
Since you’re likely already being hard on yourself, you don’t need others to cast blame on you as well. So, confiding in friends and family who offer unconditional love is vital.
4. Use Cannabis to Cope with the Cravings
Many people replace one addiction with another. But you have the power to prevent this from happening. Not only do therapy and meetings help, but there are other things to help you cope with the cravings.
For example, you can use cannabis. Medical marijuana can ease your anxiety and take your mind off craving alcohol. It has a calming effect, and you can ingest it in various ways.
You don’t necessarily have to smoke cannabis to benefit from this plant. Veriheal has an excellent article about how to use cannabis without smoking it. At a glance, a few methods are vaping, oils, and tinctures.
A study in 2014 cites cannabis as being a suitable substitute medication for alcohol. Of course, studies are ongoing. But using medical marijuana to help you get through a relapse may be a good option for you.
5. Stay Hopeful
Addiction affects everyone differently. When you reach the point where you get a hold of your alcoholism, that’s excellent news. As hopeful as you feel now, it’s essential to maintain your hope and optimism.
At times, you may feel tempted to give up. Don’t let negative thoughts creep in and tell you you’re not good enough or that you can’t do it. Therapy can help with this, as can attending your meetings.
Hope is what will keep you going. So, maintain faith in yourself, and if you are religious, rely on your God. Only then will you be able to prevent relapsing in the future.
This is just a broad overview of what to do after a relapse. Depending on how bad the relapse is, you may need to detox. If that’s the case, get in touch with a doctor. They can offer advice on what needs to happen next.
All in all, don’t be ashamed to admit you need help — this is what will get you through the hard times.
You’ll become a stronger and more resilient person by doing all that you can to succeed. Believe in yourself because you can and will make it through this!