Had A Relapse? On Fostering the Motivation To Return To Healthy Habits, Rehab
Sobriety is an ongoing process that comes with many challenges – for some, there is a real risk of relapse and returning to old habits and behaviors. But relapse doesn’t have to be the end of the line – learning from a setback can help you gain the tools you need to avoid the same response in the future.
After A Relapse
If you’ve spent a fair amount of time in treatment, relapse can feel like a devastating failure. Many addicts, however, do experience at least one relapse before achieving long-term sobriety, and some have many.
But it is not how many times you relapse, but your actions that follow that dictate success or failure during the recovery process. Moreover, you haven’t truly failed until you give up.
Relapse can become an essential learning experience that can help you identify missteps you took on your path, such as hanging out with friends who enable or encourage your habit. During treatment, you are unlikely to be able to predict every trigger you will ever encounter, and therefore, you may be unwittingly exposing yourself to situations that led to a relapse.
After experiencing a relapse, however, you can begin to design a strategy for dealing with triggers to help you avoid relapse in the future. Having a relapse is not the end of recovery – it’s an obstacle on the way to long-term sobriety with which many people must deal.
Rebooting The Recovery Process
Many of those who relapse are tormented by feelings of shame and helplessness. But these feelings only serve to increase the likelihood of more abuse – the downward spiral of addiction.
Instead, take heart, forgive yourself, and take steps to gain control of the situation before it gets worse. Talk to a friend, sponsor, or counselor who understands the risk of relapse and may have experienced it themselves. Do this as a way of gaining a different perspective and advice about moving forward. In short, ask for help.
The experiences and knowledge of others can help you decide your next steps, but remember, you are the one who has to put in the most effort to get the recovery process rolling again. Those close to you may insist that you return to rehab – but ultimately, that is a decision you will have to make yourself.
Regardless of whether you decide to enter rehab again, you should immediately return to the habits that promote recovery, not hinder it. These include seeing counselors and therapists on an outpatient basis, participate in a former treatment center’s alumni activities, attend group meetings and avoid those who enable or support your addiction.
Get Help Today
If you or someone you love is abusing substances, please seek treatment as soon as possible. There are many resources available to help you or your loved one.
Please call us today at +888-380-0342 for a free consultation.
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology