As the summer is upon us many people are picking up their lives and their addiction recovery programs and taking them on the road to a new location. Moving, regardless of the reason, is a huge transition in anyone’s life.
When you have a substance use disorder, moving can and will cause stress that at times seems a bit over the top. As mentioned previously, any stressful transition can be managed effectively if you are prepared and mindful of the steps you need to take to prepare. Accepting that you have not handled these situations well in the past is key to preventing a relapse. Without this acceptance, it is way too easy to slip back into unhealthy patterns of behavior. If you convince yourself that you have it all under control, you can let your program slip or slide you are at high risk to lose all that you have worked hard to gain.
Remember, you can do this and you have resources available to assist you. You are not weak or broken, you are empowered now and have the ability to make healthy choices in your life. Remember that your substance use disorder moves right along with you when you move! Don’t get caught in the trap that many do and believe that a move will be only thing necessary to get your life back on track. That is what is a called a Geographic and has proven to be very ineffective in the management of a substance misuse disorder.
Here are a few helpful tips:
- Always check what recovery resources are available to you in your area. AA and or Smart Recovery have online resources to assist you in finding meetings. There are many options out there for you to choose from.
- Make sure you choose a primary care doctor who has a grasp on managing a substance misuse disorder.
- Take an inventory of what has been working for you before you move, i.e., gym, yoga, art classes, acting classes, therapy, etc. Do your best to recreate and establish the same healthy connections prior to your move. The web is full of Meet up groups and community organizations that are well-established and ready and willing to help you succeed.
Always remember that all change creates an element of stress. You have the power to turn it into a positive situation and create an opportunity for growth!