Your recovery journey is likely full of ups and downs. When you reach negative points within your recovery, there may be a higher potential of encountering a relapse. That is where creating a personalized relapse prevention plan comes into play. Creating an outline helps you remain sober by identifying triggers, warning signs, and coping mechanisms. As you play through the tape of your recovery, this plan can be incredibly beneficial.
Playing Through the Tape as Part of a Relapse Prevention Plan
Playing through the tape is a term borrowed from American sports that encourages players to continue competing until the last whistle, even when losing. This concept can also be applied to sobriety at Destiny Recovery Center. Using your coping strategies and relapse prevention plan, even when all seems under control, to stay motivated and accountable is a part of this. If you encounter a relapse, your tape can still continue playing forward.
Components of a Relapse Prevention Plan
By understanding the format of a relapse prevention plan, you can see how each component of this plan plays a role in your recovery journey. As your tape plays forward, you will likely be able to utilize all of the outlined components. While you may not use them all the time, you likely will at some point through your recovery.
Acknowledge Your Triggers
The first step of developing a relapse prevention plan involves recognizing your triggers. Triggers refer to people, places, and situations that create triggers for you to engage in substance use again. After these are identified, you can implement strategies to help manage them effectively. When you are first in recovery, you may not fully understand what your triggers are. Being able to recognize these can help you recognize the potential onset of relapse before it occurs.
One effective strategy for dealing with triggers is avoiding them altogether. If there is something that brings out feelings of anxiety in you, try staying as far away from it as possible. Avoiding triggers is not always doable. Therefore, it is important to have coping skills in place for each of your main triggers.
When your triggers arise, have a plan in place to help you deal with them at that moment. If one of your triggers is a specific song, you may try to meditate through the song if you are not able to escape it or sing a different song instead. You may have to experiment with different forms of coping to find a solution that works well for you and your triggers. Have an action plan ready for yourself to engage in when these triggers arise to help set yourself up for success at Destiny Recovery Center.
Make a List of Coping Skills
In the moment of encountering a high-stress situation or trigger, it can be incredibly difficult to manage the stress at the time. Having a list of coping skills ready to review can help you quickly implement a solution without having to put much thought into it. You may choose to outline some of the following coping skills:
- Reach out to a member of your support system
- Engage in meditation
- Go for a walk
- Take a deep breath
- Listen to your favorite song
- Utilize grounding techniques
- Re-focus your mindset
- Engage in a creative/enjoyable hobby
As soon as warning signs arise, immediate steps must be taken. Add or adjust these skills to help ensure you are well-prepared to take action when needed.
Outline Your Support System
Along with outlining appropriate coping skills to utilize during a high-stress situation, it is also important to outline members of your support system. These will consist of individuals that you feel comfortable reaching out to during these situations to seek support from. It is beneficial to discuss with these individuals beforehand, explaining how they can best support you if you do feel the need to reach out. While you may have a mental list of these people, writing them down can help you avoid feeling flustered or making an impulsive decision within a moment of need.
Keep Your Plan Updated
As you continue through your recovery journey, the aspects of your relapse prevention plan may change over time. It is important to reassess this plan regularly and update it as needed to ensure it outlines the skill that is appropriate for your needs. Laziness in upkeep can lead to a higher risk of relapse down the road.
Moving Forward With Your Relapse Prevention Plan
Now that your relapse prevention plan is set up, it is essential to practice playing through the tape. Doing this means continuing your coping strategies and following through with your plan even when things appear to be progressing well. As your tape plays through, analyze how you could apply these skills and how they can continue to benefit your long-term sobriety. This can also be a great way to find additional skills or resources to add, as you may not have thought of everything when initially creating your relapse prevention plan.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, creating a relapse prevention plan can be a valuable tool in achieving and maintaining sobriety. Don’t hesitate to take this important step towards a healthier and happier life. Start creating your relapse prevention plan today and commit to playing through the tape to achieve your goals. Remember, you are capable of overcoming any obstacle and achieving long-term sobriety. The skills outlined in this plan will help you to do so. To learn more about how a relapse prevention plan can help you play through the tape of your recovery and lead you to long-term success, reach out to Destiny Recovery Center today at (909) 413-4304.