If you have recently experienced a relapse during addiction recovery, you may be going through many different emotions. Anger, confusion, and disappointment are all common when you relapse, but where do you go from there? Dealing with a relapse means finding ways to get back on track and avoid letting this derail your recovery.
Below are some positive steps to help make that happen.
Know This Happens to Everyone
A relapse can make you feel lost and alone. However, you should know that most people experience a relapse at some point during recovery. Most experts consider relapse a natural part of any addiction recovery effort. It’s such a common issue because recovering from addiction is a complex process. Learning new habits is much harder than you think, so give yourself some time to really get healthy. Use this negative experience as a stepping stone to improve your recovery and figure out what you can do to make things better. Don’t isolate yourself or feel like this one mistake has to throw all your efforts off track.
Reassess Your Recovery Plans
In many ways, a relapse often points to some problems in your treatment plan. Maybe you need to add some therapy to get to the root of your addiction. Or, maybe you just need to make some changes to commit to healthy habits in other areas of your life. Exercise, for example, has been shown to improve sobriety in recovering addicts, and a healthy diet can aid your recovery as well. More than anything, however, you need to find positive ways to relieve stress in your life, especially at home. Stress is the most common trigger for addiction, so try to create a stress-free sanctuary in your home to reduce tension and boost your mental health. Many people in recovery have found it beneficial to add meditation to their overall treatment efforts. Set up a meditation space in your home so you can focus on positivity and peace.
Reach Out for Professional Help
Addiction is a complex problem with many physical and mental aspects, so you cannot expect to recover alone. Effective treatment requires the aid of experienced health professionals, from your primary healthcare provider to specialized counseling. Therapy can be especially important in fighting addiction. The majority of addictions begin with some unresolved mental health issue or trauma, and it takes a skilled professional to help you get to the root of the problem. So, if you have not spoken with a counselor, make an appointment as soon as possible and keep the therapy going to address your mental health.
Be Open with Loved Ones
It’s not easy to admit your mistakes to your family and friends. But being open about your relapse can be important in reducing the stigma around your relapse. Try to pick a time when everyone is calm to address your relapse. Depending on your relationships and history, you may have to deal with some anger and other unpleasant emotions. Just try to keep the conversation focused on the positive and make it clear that you want to succeed. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your loved ones when it comes to getting back on track again.
Learn to Forgive and Just Move On
We all make mistakes. Some are harder to reconcile than others, but if you want to have hope of staying sober, you have to forgive yourself. Acknowledge your mistake and the pain that it has caused. Apologize if necessary, assess what went wrong but do not dwell on the past. After all, you cannot change it, and constantly thinking about your relapse will only cause more problems for your recovery. So, make amends, admit your mistake, and move on to more positive steps.
One mistake does not have to define your recovery. You can learn from your relapse and figure out better ways to help you stay sober in the future. Take a deep breath, take some time, and then get back to fighting your addiction again
Courtesy guest post from Bethan Hattan @ Preventaddiction.info