No one believes I have reformed after being an alcoholic, it hurts

No one believes I have reformed after being an alcoholic, it hurts. Photo | Photosearch

What you need to know:

  • My family members and friends also don't believe that I have changed
  • They keep on reminding me about my past. This is hurting me a lot

Q: I'm 32 and I just came out of rehabilitation after alcohol addiction. I'm stressed because I lost my job and I have a family. My family members and friends also don't believe that I have changed. They keep on reminding me about my past. This is hurting me a lot. Recently, I was overwhelmed because of the stress and I drank alcohol. I felt anxious and sad afterward. My friends are also pushing me to drink. How do I prevent a relapse? Please help because I really want to change. 

Ken, Limuru


A: What you are going through is not uncommon for people who struggle with addiction. Understanding what might trigger you to relapse as well as having a plan to avert the situation is the first step towards prevention. In your case stress seems the top cause of relapses. It's therefore important to evaluate the stress you are experiencing. As much as you cannot eliminate everything and everyone from your life, avoid situations that cause you extreme stress. List all the people, places, and things that cause you excessive stress, and know how to deal with each. For instance, you need to know how you will handle your financial instability, maybe, look for a new job or a small capital to start a business. When a group of drinking buddies asks you to go out it might help to have a specific response ready. Likewise, certain places that remind you of your addiction can be a trigger. Even your family members could be a trigger, especially if they make you feel vulnerable. On the hurt you feel for your family members not believing that you have changed, look for effective ways of handling your feelings. Also, join a support group that will help you deal with these issues. If you do not prepare for these situations ahead of time, you are vulnerable. Try brainstorming ideas or work with your counselor or therapist to come up with a plan.

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