Changing Colors and Avoiding Relapse
The changing seasons and sweep of the calendar may not seem like a big part of your life, but they can be some of the most dangerous times in recovery. You definitely notice the shorter days and less light of waning summer and autumn’s arrival. The sun is not as intense and is setting sooner. Your body may be reacting to it. Some people are invigorated by cooler weather and the leaves changing colors. Others feel only the dread of winter approaching. Of all the seasonal changes, the change from summer to autumn seems to be the one most fraught with peril. Pay attention to how you are feeling and how you are reacting. Do you have good routines? Are you afraid of relapsing back into addiction? Do you think you need something to face the coming winter? Most people have 12 years of school to set a pattern of “fall is a fresh start.” But when that part of life is over, you may feel at loose ends. You flail about, looking for any pattern and some of the old, dangerous ones might come to mind. It might be something as simple as “it’s football season and that reminds me of drinking at games.” Now the thought patterns or behaviors from that time are coming back. The memory may be harmless or it may be a trigger. Step back. Look at and listen to yourself. Why are you thinking the way you are thinking? Where did it come from? If you have to, reframe the season. Throw out everything you associate with it. Fall is here. There’s great weather, some pretty colors and different things to do. What can you do that you couldn’t do before? What new tradition can you start? What’s a great thing to have in a sober life that you couldn’t have before? Ask yourself these questions and plan out the season ahead. Addiction recovery makes every part of your life new again and every season. If you’re out of a routine or are making unhealthy choices in the face of autumn changes, get help. Stepping Stone Center for Recovery is ready to help. Just call our admission counselors at 866-957-4960 for help 24/7.