How to Come Back After a Relapse
You’ve relapsed. Okay, you must accept that it happened, regain yourself, and get back on the path to a sober recovery. In reality, many addicts in recovery relapse at least one time; many have done so 2, 3, or 4 times before they stay on the right track for good. One of the biggest challenges that you must deal with is that you must face what happened.
There is a common tendency to blame yourself and to think that you should have been able to avoid relapsing. Doing this is negative, self destructive and overall counterproductive. You must find a more positive constructive way to face yourself after a relapse.
Respond to your Relapse ASAP
Delaying a relapse is never a good idea as it will only cause more problems and prolong the situation. You should instead, respond immediately after you have relapsed. Try to avoid thinking that you will fall back into a downward spiral and there is nothing you can do about it. This is not true; you can get back on the right track to recovery provided that you take right steps. You have slipped and now you must double your efforts to overcome any cravings that you may have. You may not hold all the answers, but as long as you have the desire to move on and continue with your recovery, then you can get past your relapse.
Come Out of Your Depression
Many times addiction and depression go hand in hand. If you experience depression during a relapse, recovery can be more difficult, but with effort and strength it can be done. It is important to deal with your depression, especially after you have relapsed. It may be a good idea to speak with a psychologist or counselor to help you deal with any problems, including depression or other mental problems. Self help groups can be extremely beneficial for not only relapses, but for any negative feelings. You must be ready to work hard and for a while; this is because depression will not simply go away overnight. However, there is always a root cause of the depression, talking with professionals or those that support you may be able to help you find this cause and then get a handle on it.
Begin to Make Changes
Perhaps you relapsed because you thought you could have ‘just one drink’ or ‘use only one time’. Or maybe you relapsed because you went out with some of your old drinking or using buddies. Whatever the reason may be, you now know that it did not work out as you had wanted it to. If it had, you would not have relapsed. These things that made you relapse, these temptations, are your triggers. You now must be ready to make changes by becoming more aware of these triggers and avoiding them completely.
It may help to visualize the changes you plan on making; you may do so by making a list of people, places and things that cause cravings or urges. Write down what you can do whenever one of these situations may occur. Keep this list with you; use it to navigate your way through any obstacles that may threaten your sobriety.
Rebuild your Support System
A common reason why addicts relapse is because they did not have an adequate support system, maybe you can relate. In any case, without a strong support system, you are at a greater risk for relapsing. If you are thinking to yourself that you do not have anyone to support you, do not let yourself get discouraged, you can always attend support groups and start building a strong support team and system. Always remember that there are support groups in nearly every part of the world, these groups can be so valuable, especially if you have no support outside of them.
So, you have had a relapsed. It doesn’t mean that you must give up or that it is the end of the world, even if you have relapsed multiple times. You are not beyond help, you just need to work out any problems that you may be having, find strong support, and stay positive. Most importantly, do not give up. Use your relapse as a positive opportunity to learn something from it; by learning, you will build up a better defense to better cope with any threatening relapse situations in the future.
If you or someone you know has relapsed and need help getting on the right track again, please contact The Cabin Chiang Mai today. For more information on relapse prevention and recovery, please take a look at our other blogs.