Relapsing is tough to accept when it happens. Your hard work feels wiped away when you fall back into step with an old addictive habit.
But, hold on, don’t give up on yourself. Though it’s more serious than a one-time slip-up, you’ve not failed in your endeavor for sobriety. And all is certainly not lost.
Unsurprisingly, due to the amount of disappointment attributed to relapse, it is a commonly misunderstood part of addiction recovery. You may want to blame the recovery program, stress, society, or even the person staring back at you in the mirror. However, it’s more important to understand what the relapse means to you and how to execute a quick comeback. Consider the following:
Are Your Body and Mind Out of Alignment?
Firstly, you’re likely asking yourself why the relapse happened. Despite what others might tell you or what you’re possibly telling yourself, the answer is not simply because you can’t stay sober. Really, the word “can’t” is superfluous in your situation.
Rather, consider that both your body and your mind are in recovery mode. Ridding your entire being of a negative substance and its effects takes a long time. This means that your nervous system, cognitive function, and mental strength are all under repair. Further still, memories imprinted on your mind and body can resurface, triggering a relapse.
It’s essential to acknowledge this intense and all-encompassing process could be a primary reason for your relapse.
Are you Operating One Step Ahead of Recovery?
In recovery, it’s critical to locate exactly where you’re at on your recovery path. It’s not uncommon for recovering addicts to get ahead of themselves. Rather, they get ahead of their unique recovery pace.
While you should celebrate each victory, it’s important to safeguard your sobriety from overconfidence. Thinking you could handle temptation or falling for the “just one” lure is fairly common.
Also, people often relapse on a different substance than their usual drug of choice. For instance, cocaine addicts may justify reaching for an alcoholic beverage because alcohol wasn’t their original addiction.
Some fail to realize that a substance itself isn’t the root of addiction. Rather, it’s rooted in a mindset. Even so, because of the body’s involvement, recovery is far from a mind over matter situation.
Take Action Quickly
For a quick and effective comeback from a relapse, your primary focus should be to move quickly. Rather than succumbing to shame, guilt, or depression, reach out to your support circle immediately.
To move forward and continue on your recovery path, avoid trying to sweep it under the rug. The relapse happened for a reason, but you can embrace that reason and move on toward recovery. This relapse will serve as a blip in your progress toward healthy living, it is not an indictment.
Directly following a relapse, many recovering addicts adopt false beliefs like, “I can’t do anything about it now” or “All is lost, so why even try again.”Consider this when you prolong getting back on track. You don’t want to compound the problem. Furthermore, acting quickly translates to others your true desire for sobriety.
Reassess Your Recovery Strategy
Recovering from a relapse doesn’t happen simply by doing the same things you were doing before. Instead, your support circle will likely encourage you to examine your recovery strategy.
Perhaps you need to cut ties with certain people or find a better way to manage social pressures. Maybe relapsing exposed hidden triggers and now you need to figure out a way to handle them. Or it could be that you relapsed because you haven’t fully developed the mental skills needed to properly cope with stress and anxiety.
When you commit to intense introspection, it also displays your deep dedication to sobriety. The next step is following through. Solidly learn the skills vital for keeping you on your recovery path.
If you’re ready to take the next step towards sobriety, please look over my specialty page on addiction treatment and contact me soon. I can help you navigate the complex emotions that may be roadblocking you and support you as you improve your life.