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Common Mistakes Made in Addiction Recovery

By on Jan 5, 2024 in Blog, Mental Health

Addiction is a damaging disease, not just to your body but to your mental health, confidence, and overall emotional well-being. It changes the way your brain processes information, your view of the world, and even your view of yourself. That is why, beyond anything, you have to consistently work to control thoughts and build a positive way forward every day.

Many people struggle with one concern. “Why do I keep making the same mistakes in addiction recovery?” Know that you’re not alone.

Some of the most common mistakes include:

  • Trusting that everyone will understand that addiction is a disease.
  • Believing that you can handle exposure to substances without risk of relapse.
  • Trying to do too much too fast because you just want to get back to your life.
  • Going back to the same relationships, thinking they will be different.
  • Overworking yourself, believing that now that you’re sober, you can handle anything.
  • Feeling negatively about yourself, including believing that you may not be good enough to be sober.

What mistakes do you frequently make? How do they impact your ability to move forward with your recovery?

Recognize Your Need for Mental Health Support

As you consider why you keep making mistakes like the ones listed above, stop the blame and consider your brain – how has it been impacted by the substance? You also need to think about how your mental health has been impacted.

Here is a very real fact to consider: 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. who have a serious mental health problem have a substance use problem, according to data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. This includes anxiety, depression, personality disorders, and schizophrenia.

If you’re struggling with a co-occurring disorder (substance use disorder and a mental health disorder), it can cause changes in the way your brain takes in and processes information. If you are constantly having negative thoughts about yourself and your overall ability to remain drug-free, or you are struggling with negative emotions, that’s going to put you on the road to making bad decisions. You need to deal with your mental health, too. Therapy is an excellent way to learn about your thoughts and emotions and gain some control over them. 

The Role of Stress

Mental health aside, stress in itself can be a big factor in a person’s ability to recover from drug and alcohol addiction. Proper stress management means that when difficult situations arise (because they will), you know how to react and take action. That can seem like a simple thing, but it’s rarely easy.

Many people turn back to drugs and alcohol or make other bad decisions when they are faced with a significant amount of stress. Do you have a healthy way to alleviate the stress? Perhaps you have learned about the importance of sleeping on a set schedule, eating nutritious food, and getting exercise. Are you putting those tools into your daily routine? What about going for a nice swim at the rec center, spending some time laughing with good friends, or just relaxing and engaging in self-care?

The key here is that stress, when not managed, will affect your ability to make decisions. Learn to recognize stressors in addiction recovery so you can overcome them.

How to Stop Making Bad Decisions in Recovery 

Here are several steps you can take immediately to start seeing improvement in your ability to recognize and avoid bad decisions:

  • Talk to your therapist to get out your thoughts and to work through what’s happening and why.
  • Keep a journal to write down what you are feeling when you make those decisions and the circumstances around them. Find the pattern so you can address it.
  • Change the habit that keeps putting you in the path of continued mistakes.
  • Consider meditation when you are feeling overwhelmed.
  • Know when to seek out help.

You are not alone in your battle against drug and alcohol addiction. However, when you know you are making mistakes and you cannot seem to break them, it may be critical to reach out for professional help. Here in Lafayette, Louisiana, we can help. 

Let Victory Addiction Recovery Center Help You

At Victory Addiction Recovery Center, we create a strong foundation of support for our clients in many ways. If you find yourself struggling with mistakes, you can always come in to speak to a therapist. And if you are an alum of our treatment program, you have access to our CaredFor App, an online platform that helps you connect with others facing the same challenges. Contact us now to learn more about getting treatment for addiction. 

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