Updated: Sep 1, 2022
Relapse does not have to be part of your story.
Relapse can, unfortunately, be common with some people in recovery, but you don't have to buy into the thinking that you're going to relapse at some point.
Over 11 yrs into my recovery journey and after helping hundreds of people get clean and sober I have identified two time periods when people most often relapse. The first is obvious, it's early recovery.
Years of active addiction put us on a course of creating and avoiding problems.
That and the fact that changing from active addiction into healthy recovery is hard enough by itself and it can sometimes feel like the perfect storm. But no matter the mess someone has created, recovery is possible and the choice to recover is always the best one.
Struggling to step into recovery, and stay in recovery? Check out this amazing story of a friend of ours stepping into recovery after decades of active addiction.
The second time that I see people relapse is a not-so-obvious one, and that is when life gets good again. When life gets good again we can sometimes fall into the trap of thinking, "I got my life back in order. I can manage my drinking and using now."
Let's say you fall into one of these categories and you've relapsed, first of all, it's OK. I'm not condoning a relapse, but you are still loved and recovery is still worth it. Also, know this...you may have lost your sobriety date but you didn't lose the experience you gained.
If you're really ready to change, take accountability and responsibility as fast as you can. The sooner you face it, the sooner you get past it. Admit your wrongs and start getting back to what you know works.
One of the biggest things I emphasize with my clients when it comes to relapse prevention, or what to do if you relapsed, is the importance of daily habits and discipline.
Just about every time I talk with someone that has relapsed I ask them what their daily spiritual fitness was like and almost always they admit that it was few and far between, or nonexistent.
If you feel yourself in a bit of shape, spiritually speaking, the best way I have found to get back into clear thinking and actions is by getting back to the daily disciplines of reading, writing, praying, and talking with people in recovery.
So you might have relapsed, but you don't have to dig that hole deeper. Rock bottom is simple, it's where you decide to stop digging. Call someone and admit what's going on, and start getting back into spiritual shape today.
And remember this...
God loves you, forgives you, and wants you to be happy even more than you do. He is on your side. He is the best partner you'll ever have, and remember, "No one that matters is keeping track of your failures." - Mike Maeshiro
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