The discipline and willpower that drives rehabilitation does not power down when one is discharged from addiction treatment centers. No journey to recovery is perfect; there will stumbles, roadblocks, and mistakes along the way. Upon backsliding, many may get discouraged that all the work and effort put forward has all been for naught. Seeing relapse as a failure can be the springboard launching one into quitting altogether. It is important to realize relapse is not a reason to give up or to end the recovery; there is still have a choice of whether or not to keep going. If you have relapsed, there are a ways to get yourself right back on track to recovery.
The first thing you need to do after having relapsed is immediately tell someone. Whether this person be a sponsor or a loved one, acting immediately after can help you avoid any further trouble. If you keep it in, you may let your addiction get into your head and cause you to think you cannot do anything about it. Do not let a negative attitude stop you. Having the support and help of others can help you face this relapse and get back on track.
It is also important you understand what happened and why you relapsed — what was your trigger. There is a difference between failing and relapsing; by failing you are giving up and not trying to get back on track. You must also analyze why it is you reverted to old habits. Help take your emotions out of the situation so you can process the relapse perhaps by writing your observations, triggers and feeling on paper. Make a list, and help yourself look at the entire picture. This is not a time to beat yourself up about or be negative about it. Finding the reasons that caused you to stumble this time can help you avoid them next time.
After having initially relapsed, it can be easy to struggle with feelings of shame, anger, disappointment or even guilt. If you let this overpower you, it may lead to another relapse later. Once it passes, you must accept responsibility but realize the road is ongoing. You need to forgive yourself and not let this mistake define the rest of your journey. Relapse is only a fender-bender on the highway to wholistic wellness and your best living; it may slow your travel for a few miles, but stay with the flow of traffic, things will speed back up. Taking part in behavioral health services may be able to help you forgive yourself.
Move Forward, With a Plan
One final way to get back on track is to move forward but with a plan. Once you have recognized what went wrong and forgiven yourself, it is time to move on. Get the help that you need to solve the cause or identify and avoid personalizing or owning the trigger that caused you to relapse. It will help you continue on your recovery process to develop a plan of action. Now that you know what to avoid and have it written down, it can help you avoid those situations in the future. You can move forward and continue on your recovery track despite your relapse.
A relapse should not be the end of all that for you. It is possible to get back on track from your relapse; you must tell someone immediately, understand why, forgive yourself, and then move on. A relapse could actually make you stronger in the end and help you continue in your recovery with steadfast discipline and willpower. One hour at a time.