A relapse which happens after a period of sobriety can be a major disappointment for people.
Some people who pick up on the spur of the moment manage to avert disaster by withholding themselves right away. This isn't called relapse but a slip.
In many cases, however, a person will completely go back to regular addiction. The chance to be sober again will never come for many. It is important that every effort is made to avoid relapse because it can be a death sentence. Going back to addiction usually doesn't happen suddenly. When a relapse is likely, there is usually some warning sign of what's coming. A person might be able to avoid catastrophe if he or she is able to recognize these revealing signs.
The most usual signs that an individual is sliding towards relapse include: Isolation: When the individual begins to stay away from others.
They begin to keep secrets and even tell lies. Those that go to AA gatherings might stop doing it or they might not feel the desire to share.
The feeling of being stuck in recovery: frustrations overcome people when they begin to realise that they are not making any progress during the recovery.
Lack of concern in recovery: As if they have run out of motivation or just a lack of interest individuals no longer do the vital things that ensure they stay sober.
Rage and bitterness: The individual blames those around them because life in recovery is not turning out to be what they expected. The person will get an excuse to start using again based on such emotions.
Denial of problems: it is quite common for people in recovery to deny that they are having problems with life away from the addiction. They may try to convince other people about it, but they will not be able to fool themselves during their lives. An obstacle to the recovery can also be the problems that are not dealt with.
Negative thinking: The individual is extremely negative about life outside of addiction. It is as if they are trying to get an excuse to relapse.
Overconfidence: Pride comes before fall is a common and famous saying. Being full of yourself about your recovery process may be self-sabotage. Such a person could find themselves struggling with addiction in a very short time because they're likely to become complacent. Former addicts are most vulnerable when they become feeling overconfident because recovery demands commitment.
Feeling incapable of managing: This is an indication of a forthcoming relapse. People are often unable to think rationally when they feel overwhelmed. They begin to feel extreme discomfort, which can lead them back to addiction.
Romancing about the drink or drug: this is the stage when people begin to remember the times they were happy by being a substance abuser. They may begin to long for the last days. It's easy for a person in this situation to see the past as something more splendid than it really was. People will overlook how greatly they desired to recover from their addiction.
Addiction replacement: People might begin acting unstable in a new way in an attempt to get away from their troubles. They can become preoccupied with their work or might start overly working out. Another mind-changing substance might be the choice of some people.
Acting like a dry drunk: This means that individuals continue behaving like they did when they abused drugs or alcohol although they don't. Such individuals may relapse more easily as they have a weak dedication to sobriety.
Spending time with old friends: it can become highly dangerous if the individual drifts back to spend time with your previous drinking or drug using partners. Relapse due to peer pressure occurs when people have a weak recovery.
Frequenting Former Hangouts: If you have a good reason to be there, there is no problem for a person who's well rooted in the recovery to got to a bar. Going to drinking venues so as to get indirect pleasure from looking at other people drink alcohol is risky. Loneliness is also not a good reason for you to visit these places. In AA, it is said that sitting in a barber shop for a long time guarantees you a hair cut.
Keeping a tab on the warning signs of a return to addiction can be understood well enough if the context of the relapse process is considered.
Before people relapse they go through this sequence of phases. Prior to using the drugs or alcohol, the process originates in a person's mind. These steps offer a helpful illustration of the way things usually develop, even though these steps won't occur with every individual. The relapse process goes something like this:
When progress in recovery stops for the individual.
This occurs as a result of being faced with a task they feel incompetent or reluctant to deal with. They try to ignore the signs that they have quit making progress. Life becomes unpleasant because of this delay in progress. In order to deal with this, the individual turns to maladaptive coping techniques. Although it is easy for an individual to hide their internal uneasiness, it nonetheless continues to build up unrecognized.
This internal pain will then be exhibited when a trigger situation offers a chance for this. Since these issues have been building up for a long time, a simple argument could result in an overreaction even if the argument is over something trivial. Increasing emotional turmoil will be experienced by the individual during this stage. This is a kind of discomfort that they would once have fought with by turning to substance abuse. In sobriety, these feelings may make the person feel vulnerable. Living life normally becomes much harder with all the issues bubbling underneath the surface that will be preventing the person from thinking clearly.
The emotional unrest could become more pronounced to other people. Anger and agitation will become manifested more frequently. They may act in an inconsistent way. In order to maintain the sobriety the person who has reached this level will quit doing the things they need to do.
Feelings of being overwhelmed and unable to stay in control will be constant. They spend a lot of time thinking about how alcohol or drugs at one time give them the opportunity to escape from the difficulties of life. The motivation to remain sober is presently not significant enough to prevent them from relapsing.
If warning signs of imminent relapse are recognized by someone, they might have to do these steps to prevent it:
Concentrate on their hopes and desires in recovery and why they decided to stop with their addiction. Now might be a great time to go back and read your recovery diary if you have been writing one. The top priority in your life must be staying sober. All other jobs should be relegated into the background until the individual is feeling secure and sober. This is not a good time to make life-changing decisions or to accept new obligations.
It is essential to the individual to share their fears about a relapse with an individual who is willing and able to listen and offer good advice. Talk to your sponsor about what you're facing in case you're part of a 12-step program. Make an urgent appointment with your counsellor if you have one. If you have left the rehab recently they would definitely have an opportunity to contact someone out there. Avoid being by yourself and find someone that you can talk to. People who belong to a fellowship are provided advice to increase the regularity of their attendance during this time, which is highly vulnerable. Recommendations are also made that they discuss their concerns while sharing during these meetings.
During this time, it is advised to avoid old drug using or drinking buddies without exception. If you're an alcoholic and feeling weak then this is not the best time to got to a place where you can easily access alcohol. Taking a wrong turn somewhere in the recovery is the reason that makes people relapse. There lies great importance in going over their steps to find out where this happened. A therapist or an individual who is highly reputable in their own recovery can be immensely beneficial to conduct this investigation with. You should also ready stories about recovery that will inspire you at this point. You can abstain by seeing how others did it before you. People can also utilize dependency recovery resources that can be found on the Internet. Look for addiction help lines that are open 24/7.
Individual should certainly consider using one of these helplines if they are feeling vulnerable to relapse.