For those of us returning to our lives after in-patient treatment, some environments can seem daunting to return to. School can often be one of the most challenging areas, since it contains many different influences on our physical and emotional wellbeing. But like all areas of our lives, we do not need to be afraid of returning to our education. Once we successfully do that, we can learn to adapt to any environment for our recovery living. Here are a few tips to avoid relapse in a school or college environment.
Surround yourself with positivity
A sad truth of most school environments is that negativity tends to travel fast. Whether it is finals, teachers, or relationships, tense emotional situations can arise and therefore make the urge to relapse stronger. To help avoid this, it is best to keep together one or multiple friends who can help keep you motivated and accountable. We need friends to encourage us, whether they are old friends, new friends, or teachers who can be our friend when no one else can. A sad fact for many students dealing with addiction is judgment and ostracization from their peers. Some of these peers might even have been former friends. The important thing to remember is that you are not blameworthy or a bad person, no matter what someone tells you. It hurts to be seen negatively, but it is okay to be hurt; you don’t have to hold it in, because that builds up anxiety that can lead to a possible relapse. What you really need is at least one good friend to believe in you. One person who is there with you and can understand that the addiction is not your fault and that you are working to get better. With just one person by your side, student or teacher, you will have already won half the battle.
Take precautions to avoid high-risk scenarios
As mentioned before, Schooling often creates stressful situations. Some of those situations could be emotional, while others could be brought on by the stress of your studies. Recovery is a journey to overcoming substance abuse through readjusting to your previous life, not staying absent from your life. One thing to do is to regularly participate in stress-relieving activities, such as sports or art programs during or after class. Another thing we suggest is to make a trust-worthy teacher or administrator aware of your concerns, and how you might need to receive certain accommodations and assistance for your work. That way they can help the school’s administration understand where you are coming from. These can be small things like extra time on homework, or reminding your teachers to not bring on any stressful triggers.
If you require any further assistance with adjusting to your school or college environment, please give Recovery Care Partner’s sober companion services a call. We are always here for your sober-living needs.