When it comes to addiction recovery, relapse is a feared topic because many people believe that relapse means that a person is “weak” or has “failed”. In fact, relapse is quite common, and should be considered a normal part of recovery – after all, you’re only human, and little “slips” may occur here and there. If you’re taking part in a reputable treatment program, your healthcare team will work with you to create a plan of action for preventing relapses; however, this doesn’t not guarantee 100% that you won’t have one, as sometimes certain situations arise, and you may learn of a new trigger that you weren’t aware of before.
If a relapse occurs, you may want to conduct an analysis of your relapse with a therapist or a recovery leader to find out exactly what factored into the event. Below are vital steps you need to take in order to make this the best learning experience possible:
Step 1: Write down your experience. If you have a recovery journal, explain how you were feeling the day of, take note of any major life events or stressful situations that occurred around the time of the relapse. In addition, write how you felt after you relapsed.
Step 2: As you review what you wrote down, underline anything that seems off to you – were you hanging out with someone you typically wouldn’t spend your time with now that you’re in recovery? Was there a stressful conversation that occurred between you and friend that may have upset you? Were there any thoughts that triggered you? Looking back through your journal can help you identify any patterns that seem to lead you towards relapse.
Step 3: Write down an action plan for alternative ways you could have handled the situation. If you were stressed, what is a healthier option you could have done? Write down the names of people you will reach out to, and a specific action plan for what you plan to do should this arise again.
Step 4: Allow yourself to breathe. Forgive yourself for relapsing and recognize that you are a human being and you will make mistakes sometimes. Vow to keep working hard and moving forward in your recovery – you CAN do this!
Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.