Coping with Relapse
Addiction relapse is when someone returns to using substances after a period of sobriety. While the word “lapse” is classed as a brief slip, a relapse is when someone makes a complete return to using substances. There are two different types of relapse; a traditional relapse when somebody makes a conscious decision to use a substance, or an accidental relapse (also known as a “freelapse”) when that person unintentionally uses the substance. It’s important to note that relapse can be a part of the process of recovering for good, but what are the best ways to cope with relapse?
Do Not Shame Yourself
The most important thing to remember is that just because you have relapsed doesn’t mean that you are a failure. People work hard towards recovery and relapse has occurred because of a period of intense stress. The most important thing to recognize when you have relapsed is that you have taken a step back because you can take two steps forward and one step back, which means that you can start to make positive steps in the right direction.
The Right Ways for You To Cope
When we experience a relapse we must remember that there are important ways for us to deal with it.
Focus on Gratitude Practices
Gratitude is a very common practice these days and has a number of benefits on the mind. More than just a glass-half-full mentality, practicing gratitude can help you to truly make the most of a situation where you have gone into relapse. Many people who undergo a relapse are conscious they feel they’ve made a massive mistake and that their world is crumbling. But looking at it from a perspective of gratitude can help you realize there are amazing things that have happened despite these results, for example, the fact that you have come this far.
Talk About It/Write About It
Many people feel they still need to keep their temptations a secret even if they have been through the recovery process. Talking about it doesn’t just help them to realize they’re not the only ones experiencing these emotions, but they can use the other person as a sounding board. Likewise, getting it out through a practice like journaling is an amazing way to achieve some perspective.
Another way to calm your mind and your body is to become more mindful. People who experience addiction can find themselves looking forward rather than staying in the present. Similar to gratitude, it can help you understand what you have achieved and how far you’ve come.
Learn From Your Disappointments
Many people who have relapsed realize that they have disappointed themselves, and this can be enough for many people to step away from the substance itself. For example, people who have realized they put their family through a lot can be enough to help them step away.
When someone is going through addiction recovery, sometimes relapse is inevitable, but this is where extra help can be invaluable. Support such as Peaks Recovery can be beneficial because it doesn’t just help people going through the recovery process but can be great for people who have had a relapse and need a little extra support. Relapse is nothing to be ashamed of, and it’s a sign that you are human.