The term ‘relapse’ has negative implications to it, but the fact is that relapse is common in individuals who are on the road to recovery from alcohol addiction. Many people feel that when they relapse, it means they have failed. However, you should never give up. Keep trying to achieve a sober life. The key is to identify the triggers that can help prevent you from these occurrences in the future.
Realize That Relapse is Not the End of the Road
If you or one of your loved ones is in the recovery process from alcohol addiction, you need to understand that relapsing is very common. What does the term relapse mean? It means that you return to your previous state. If you had a period that was drug or alcohol-free, it means turning back to your old habits. These actions can be frustrating when you have had extended sobriety. It’s a fundamental feature of addiction that most people will relapse at least once. It is frustrating both for the addict and their family. However, it’s imperative to pick up the pieces and begin again.
Look at other examples throughout life. Many people try and try to get things they want, and they often fail. Think of an infant learning to take their first steps. They will stumble, fall, and pick themselves back up again. The same can be said of addiction. You will stumble, fall, but you should pick yourself up and start the process over. You are not going to be perfect, so do not put such expectations on yourself. It’s not about falling; it is about what you do after you fall that counts.
Finding Strength To Begin Again
You must remember that addiction is a disease. It’s never going to go away completely. You may control it for the duration of your life, but you must be actively involved in your sobriety. As a recovering addict, you and your family must understand that a relapse is not the end of the road. You must find the strength to pick up the pieces and start your life over again. Don’t get the mentality that you’ve fallen and there is no hope. You can beat this. Arm yourself with information so that when these times come, you will know what to do. Here are some things you can do to help when you relapse.
• Pursue Professional Help
Many resources are available to help you. Consider 12-step programs and someone who is familiar with an aftercare plan. Getting help after you relapse is of the utmost importance. You will have a better chance of quickly recovering once you stumble.
•Enter or Re-Enter A Treatment Program
Quickly getting help is the key to fighting addiction. The longer you allow this disease to control you, the harder it will be to recover. There are rehab centers with trained staff to help. They know what it takes to beat an addiction successfully, and they provide you with the support you need. You may need an extended treatment plan that gives you more than a couple of weeks of intense therapy. Your individual needs are accessed, and you are given an individualized plan for success.
•Go back to Your Relapse Prevention Plan
If you have been in rehab before, you will have an aftercare plan. This comprehensive plan is set in place to keep you from relapsing. Once you relapse, revisit the plan to make sure you are following it verbatim. You must do exactly as it says. Part of aftercare includes ongoing therapy and attending support group meetings. You will never be cured. Alas, you must continue the journey day by day.
Identify Your Triggers
You must learn to identify your triggers as a relapse does not come out of anywhere. You may feel those old cravings start creeping up again. Addressing these triggers will help you to avoid future relapse. It may take going through a setback to be able to pinpoint your triggers. What is a weak spot for one may not be for another person? For example, some people cannot hang out with friends when there will be drugs or alcohol present as the temptation is too high. For others, a life-changing event such as a major illness or the death of a loved one can push them over the edge.
Furthermore, it’s vital that you are accustomed to your boundaries. Get family and friends to help when you feel the intense cravings returning. Give them your cash, credit cards, and keys to the car. If you think relapse is imminent, then you need to do whatever you can to minimize the damages.
Know the Signs of a Relapse
Identifying the signs of relapse are vital to stop this backsliding before it occurs. Some common symptoms may include:
•Congregating with Old Friends Who Drink Alcohol or Take Drugs
•Disconnecting from your Support Network
•Having Access to Drugs or Alcohol
•Reminiscing about the Euphoria You Felt While Intoxicated
•Relationship Troubles or a Breakup
•Family Members Relapsing
•Boredom, No Schedule or Lacking Social Interaction with Others
•Not Dealing with your Problems