incredible-marketing Arrow

Alcohol Is Everywhere: How to Manage Lasting Recovery

It seems that no matter where you go in the world, alcohol is present. When overcoming addiction to alcohol or other substances, the presence of alcohol in social situations can be triggering. How can you cope with this ever-present reminder of your fallibility and still stay focused on recovery?

The key to maintaining recovery in the face of alcohol’s pervasive presence in society is to remember your goals and that alcohol is never a good idea. No matter your diagnosis or if you believe you have overcome your trauma and that one little drink is safe, alcohol will set you back emotionally and physically. You have come so far in your recovery. If you struggle with the use of other substances, alcohol lowers your inhibitions and might make you more apt to use again or to engage in other problematic behaviors.

Situations That Make Recovery Difficult

Many situations in your life can detract from your well-being, but some are more likely to create an urge to return to old behaviors. You were probably told to avoid the people, places, and things that were part of your lifestyle when you were abusing alcohol or drugs. 

Yet, avoiding people, places, and things is not always possible. Some situations you will face no matter how hard you try to avoid them. While it is possible to avoid some of the following situations, there will come a time when you cannot. Having a plan for coping with triggering situations will help you succeed in recovery—today, tomorrow, and the next day.

#1. Peer Pressure

During childhood, you probably experienced peer pressure to do or say things that were not healthy for you. Perhaps you felt unable to stand up for yourself. You may have believed then that peer pressure was only experienced by children.

Unfortunately, you might still face peer pressure as an adult. Your friends and family members may not understand why abstinence from alcohol is so critical to your recovery. In these instances, you may want to seek out recovery resources. You need peer support, not peer pressure, in your adult life. Recognizing you will face peer pressure at certain events or from certain people will help you be proactive instead of reactive and more capable of refraining from alcohol use.

#2. Celebrations

While in recovery, you may find celebrations to be triggering events. Not only is there peer pressure, but there can also be pressure from within yourself to want to engage more with the celebration. It is difficult to go to a celebration and not engage in all that is involved with the celebration. You may find yourself looking on or cut off by some people who do not understand how important your sobriety is to you. 

Do not be dismayed by the pressure you find within yourself or from others. You can make it through these celebrations. In the early stages of your recovery, you may want to take an accountability partner with you or have a quick getaway plan if the situation becomes too stressful. 

#3. Fights

A problematic aspect of recovery is dealing with disagreements with others. Fighting with your loved ones can set you back emotionally and return you, psychologically, to some of the traumas that you have worked so hard to overcome. Arguing and fighting with loved ones can cripple your recovery, making you more likely to turn to alcohol or drugs or to engage in unhealthy behaviors. 

You must try to remember that reverting to old behaviors or turning to alcohol to cope will only hurt your recovery and might make the argument worse. The best thing you can do in these situations is request space, give space, and try to reconvene with an open mind and a willingness to work things out.

Achieve Recovery One Day at a Time

The easiest way to be successful in recovery is to remember it can only be achieved one day at a time—sometimes, just one minute at a time. Walking away, giving yourself space, and allowing yourself to breathe can help you achieve recovery in that minute and for that day. 

Do not give up on recovery because you are faced with difficult situations. Instead, recognize that difficulties are going to arise in your recovery journey and focus on how to be proactive about coping with them. Being reactive will not help you achieve lasting recovery. So, stop, think, and then respond with your recovery goals in mind. If you are struggling, reach out for support. Ask for help, and take life one day at a time.

Alcohol is pervasive in our society. The easy availability of alcohol can make our recovery difficult. It seems that no matter where you go, alcohol is present. We are encouraged to use alcohol to help us celebrate, commiserate, or just provide relief from our current circumstances. We cannot escape all situations where alcohol might be present, but we can be proactive and make plans to remain abstinent when people around us are drinking. At The Guest House, we offer support for every aspect of your recovery, including aftercare through our Alumni Program. We know recovery is difficult and that after you complete your treatment, you may need continued support. If you or someone you know is struggling with trauma, mental health conditions, or addiction, help is available. Call The Guest House at (855) 483-7800 and learn how we can help you on your recovery journey.