When an addict decides to go to rehab or agree to do so then they have decided that they want a second chance. There are those who recover well and move on into doing something better with their lives while for others that is not the case. There are those who relapse on their path to recovery.
It is crucial that people in recovery avoid relapse because:
* If people return to alcohol or drug abuse there is no guarantee that they will ever get the motivation to quit again. This means that they will have squandered their only chance at a rewarding life.
* For some people a relapse back to addiction can mean a death sentence. There is only so long that the body is able to put up with the abuse of this type of behavior.
* A relapse will reduce an individual’s self esteem. The lower their self esteem the harder it will be for them to stop again.
* The family and friends of the individual can be deeply impacted by this relapse. It will have meant that all their hopes will have been dashed, and they will find it difficult to trust the addict ever again.
* Many people have found that when they relapsed after a period of sobriety things felt worse than before. This is because the individual has tasted when it means to be free but now they are trapped again.
For a recovering addict to avoid relapse there is need for them to know the triggering factors. This is so that they can contain any situation that may trigger them to slip back or simply avoid.
What Triggers Relapses?
Although relapse is common and normal for recovering addicts, it is important to understand what leads to a relapse so that you can do everything necessary to avoid or minimize it. What triggers a relapse will be different depending on the individuals, but there are some commonalities. Emotional factors are important, for example. Stress, fear, frustration, depression, anxiety, and other emotions can lead to a relapse because using drugs or alcohol represents a coping mechanism. To avoid or minimize the impact of a relapse, be aware of emotions and help your loved one learn ways to cope with feelings that don’t involve substance abuse.
Another important trigger for most addicts is being around people and places that remind them of using. Sometimes this means old friends. It may be necessary for your loved one to cut some people out of her life for this reason. She should also avoid the places, such as bars, where she used to drink or use drugs. Going to parties where people are drinking socially can sometimes be a problem for addicts, especially early in recovery. If necessary, avoid these for a period of time and hang out with her in alcohol- and drug-free zones.
You should not feel like it is the end of the world when you relapse. You now know your weakness and therefore are at a better position to oppose it. there are strategies to follow so as to pick up your pieces when you relapse.
Listen to the right people.
If you’re like me, you’re convinced that you are lazy, ugly, stupid, weak, pathetic, and self-absorbed when you are depressed or have given into an addiction. Unconsciously, you seek people, places, and things that will confirm those opinions. So, for example, when my self-esteem has plummeted to below-seawater status, I can’t stop thinking about the relative who asked me, after I had just returned from the psych ward and was doing everything I possibly could to recover from depression: “Do you WANT to feel better?” Indicating that I was somehow willing myself to stay sick in order to get attention or maybe because fantasizing about death is so much fun. I can’t get her and that question out of my mind when I’m pedaling backward. SO I draw a picture of her, with her question inside a bubble. Then I draw me with a bubble that says “HELL YES, DIMWIT!” Then I get out my self-esteem file and read a few of the affirmations of why I’m not lazy, ugly, stupid, weak, pathetic, and self-absorbed.
Make time to cry.
I’ve listed the healing faculties of tears in my piece “7 Good Reasons to Cry Your Eyes Out.” Your body essentially purges toxins when you weep. It’s as if all your emotions are bubbling to the surface, and when you cry, you release them, which is why it is so cathartic. Lately, I’ve been allowing myself 10 to 15 minutes in the morning to have a good cry, to say whatever I want without cognitive adjustments, to let it all out, and not to judge it.