One of the most significant challenges to overcome in addiction recovery is relapse. After starting your recovery journey, you might find yourself in a situation that leads you to drink or take an abusive substance. Relapse is a common occurrence. However, it does not have to discredit your progress on your journey to getting sober. Relapsing is a challenging setback, but there is always a way to reclaim your sobriety and get your life back on track.
What is a relapse?
A relapse occurs when a medical condition worsens after initially improving. Addiction relapse is when a person in recovery starts using again. This can happen once or several times.
How to Deal with Relapse in Recovery
Believe it or not, relapse is prevalent. Those in addiction recovery often experience at least one relapse. More than two-thirds of those in recovery will relapse multiple times before getting sober. Even under difficult circumstances, there are healthy ways to deal with relapse in recovery.
Various factors can lead to a relapse, including stressful events, significant life changes, triggers around people or places an individual associates with addiction, or an inability to work through negative emotions properly. It is essential to have a plan in place when any of these scenarios arise. However, relapse is still possible even with a preemptive plan laid out. Therefore, it is imperative to learn about and understand your addiction triggers.
If you have recently relapsed, your primary focus should be getting sober again. One or more relapses do not indicate you will never be able to get sober. Addiction triggers can wreak havoc on your progress. However, relapse prevention therapy is a valuable tool. This form of therapy focuses on three primary areas: behavioral or lifestyle changes that are conducive to recovery, coping skills, and cognitive therapy.
Supporting Your Recovery
There are many lifestyle changes that you can implement to support your recovery. Practicing self-care by eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep can make a positive impact. Additionally, exercising regularly can reset your focus, so you are not tempted to drink or use drugs. It is beneficial to learn coping skills to manage your emotions healthily, especially those considered as triggers. Many rehab centers also teach cognitive behavior skills to prevent relapse.
Getting sober again can be a lengthy process. You have likely already been to AA or other community support groups. You also probably have a sponsor who can hold you accountable. Your sponsor is an excellent person to confide in when you relapse because they understand the recovery challenges and can help you make proactive choices to prevent another one.
Furthermore, coping skills are an intricate part of recovery. Experiencing triggers without relapsing can also be challenging because it might feel easier to numb your emotions with drugs or alcohol. However, learning how to address negative emotions and manage stress during these difficult situations is essential in recovery. Cognitive behavior therapy can lend a hand by teaching you proactive ways to confront stress and emotional triggers.
The Journey to Recovery
Relapsing does not mean you will have to go back to a treatment center. However, in some cases, it is the best option. Whether you relapse once or multiple times, recovery is not beyond your reach. If you or a loved one is looking to reclaim your sobriety, contact Momentum Recovery. We’re here to help you every step of the way on your road to recovery.