If you’re an individual who has just been released from rehab, you may be feeling overwhelmed and alone. You’re once again faced with life’s battles, but this time without drugs or alcohol. Your body may be reacting in ways you don’t understand, and one of the things you may be faced with is the depression that comes with recovery.
According to HelpGuide.org, “Addiction is common in people with mental health problems.” It’s estimated that 50 percent of those affected by substance abuse suffer from a severe mental disorder. On the flip side, giving up a substance can trigger a disorder, such as depression.
If this sounds like you, you’re not alone and there’s nothing “wrong” with you. The right tools and support can make all the difference. Here are four ways you can cope with depression during post-addiction recovery:
#1: Stay Out of Harm’s Way
Stay away from the risky situations that could harm your positive thinking patterns. The negative people, places, and things of your past could easily resurface and cause the want to use again. It’s often best to avoid encounters with the people you’ve used with in the past, and refrain from driving or walking through areas where you once had access to drugs or alcohol.
Stay out of harm’s way because allowing something that reminds you of your past to get in your way will only open the door to harm. It also encourages relapse.
Relaxing is sometimes easier said than done, but in the case of coping with depression and recovery, relaxation is crucial. There are many ways to relax; perhaps you enjoy reading or painting. You can take a walk, go swimming, or spend a day feeding animals at the zoo. Many use meditation as a strong point of relaxation.
No matter what you do to relax, be sure it’s something you truly enjoy. Make time for it every day because without relaxation, you’ll become aggravated, tired, and possibly want to use again.
#3: Stay Positive
With depression, it’s easy to fall into negative thinking. Try to find the best in every situation so that you can stay positive. If you stumble on music, movies, or anything else that reminds you of using, don’t linger. Immediately move on to something more positive, no matter how much you might want to stay.
Stay away from negative people and situations that invite negative thinking or nostalgia because you’ve come too far to give depression or relapse a foothold!
When you used, how often did you lie? It’s not uncommon. In fact, it’s part of how your brain justified the actions to getting a fix. You might have told so many lies that you eventually convinced yourself you were telling the truth. Now that you’ve gotten honest about staying clean, you must stay honest in everything you choose to do.
Lying again will only add stress and aggravation, leading to greater depression and wanting to use.
Never be afraid to seek out help from a close friend or family. Find a support group in your area and attend meetings regularly. Stay positive, stay out of harm’s way, stay honest, and relax. You’ve got this!