The Super Bowl is an exciting event for football lovers and many people enjoy Super Bowl parties at home. Other people may watch the game from a sports bar or be lucky enough to have tickets to attend the game in person. Wherever you are during the game, chances are there may be a lot of drinking involved. For someone who loves football, but is recovering from a drug or alcohol relapse, the excessive partying might take a lot of maneuvering to avoid. Coping with the temptations and triggers of a Super Bowl event will take a well thought out plan in order to survive unscathed. Relapse can be a tricky thing; sometimes it is short-lived and the individual is able to quickly bounce back to sobriety. But there are other people who have a much more difficult experience and may fall victim to addiction once again. Some never recover from a relapse, and that is why it is so important to avoid it at all costs. How does someone cope after a relapse? Below are some tips to help a recovering addict stay on the right path:
- Guard your thoughts and emotions carefully. If you find yourself in the rut of thinking negatively, get out of it. Don’t allow yourself to dwell on negative thoughts and emotions such as: anger, resentment, sadness, shame, guilt, etc. Maybe you watched the Super Bowl with some friends and memories from the past came back and put you in a negative mood. Be aware of your thoughts and feelings, and if you are not thinking rationally, stop everything and immediately deal with the problem. Don’t give in to the negativity, but instead, find a healthy way to address your problems. If you need help then ask for it. Talk to your counselor, trusted family member or friend. Don’t allow negative thinking to make you give up on yourself or life and use that as an excuse to start using drugs or alcohol again.
- Coping with cravings is difficult, but not impossible. Maybe you were really tempted during the Super Bowl game because some people were drinking and smoking pot. Maybe you slipped up. You know you don’t belong in that kind of an environment. Your focus should be on staying sober and the company you keep is very important to your recovery.
- Understanding why you relapsed in the first place is very important. Whatever the reasons were that provoked you to use drugs or alcohol will still be there to provoke you again if you don’t get to the bottom of it. Find out what the reasons were and deal with them. Don’t give them another chance to trip you up.
- Take an assessment of your life, and if there is anything that still threatens your sobriety, you have to get rid of it. If there are any thoughts or habits that could provoke a relapse, they have to be abandoned. Use imagery and positive affirmations to stay on track. Write down positive thoughts and post them around your house where you will always see them. Use self-empowerment techniques to stay strong, motivated and focused.
- Forgive yourself for your mistakes and learn from them. Don’t beat yourself up because you made a wrong choice. You survived your mistake and have been given another chance at life. If there are acquaintances that have a low opinion of you because of your addiction, try to avoid them as much as possible. Who you are now is not determined by your past mistakes. Perhaps during next year’s Super Bowl these people will see how far you have come and begin to realize your worth.
- Keep relapse prevention techniques fresh in your mind so that if you experience triggers, cravings or temptations, you will be able to handle them.
- Stay connected to your support network: counselor, therapist, recovery fellowship, family, friends, faith, etc.
- Avoid high-risk relapse situations by remembering the acronym HALT: Hungry, Angry, Lonely and Tired. Eat well, guard your thoughts and emotions, socialize and get enough rest.
- Always be honest with yourself and don’t allow self-deception to have a place in your life.
- Finally, and most importantly, take it one step at a time. Break your day up into moments and celebrate small victories. Recovery is a long road, but it is possible with focus and determination.
Recovery is an active part of changing from the former lifestyle to a new, healthy one. Focus on changing for the better and begin to enjoy your new life. Be proud of yourself. If you are starting fresh after the Super Bowl, today is a wonderful day to begin that journey.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.