You have put forth a lot of effort to get to where you are today in recovery. Despite your efforts, you may relapse at some point.
Relapses can cause many individuals to feel ashamed of themselves. You become very upset at your lapse of self-control. These are common feelings to experience after a relapse. However, indulging in a narrative that says you cannot manage recovery is unproductive in the long run.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to get back on track after a relapse. Use the following techniques to help you overcome shame and regain motivation and confidence in your recovery journey.
#1. Address Internal Conflict From the Relapse
You likely are experiencing high levels of internal conflict from your decision to engage in substance use again. Throughout your recovery journey, everything you have worked toward is to avoid this action.
It can be difficult to understand why your relapse occurred and address the conflict that this choice brings to your internal abilities. To address this conflict, think about what you are most disappointed about.
Discovering the aspects of relapse that led you to self-disappointment can help you learn from the experience. Acknowledge that we all make mistakes. Understand that the internal conflict you are feeling is a normal response to that mistake occurring.
It is important to address the feelings that arise internally after this occurs. Doing so helps you recognize where you want to be in the future. Usually, the feelings after relapse are negative. These negative emotions can reinforce the idea that this is not where you want to be in the future. This reinforcement can bolster your motivation to continue if channeled appropriately.
#2. Accept Your Relapse Mistakes
Throughout your life, you have likely made mistakes that still cause you some form of grief when thought about. We all have made mistakes and felt self-shame for our actions.
Think about the mistakes you have made that you feel you are still holding onto. Accept them as they are and address each one from a learning perspective. Learning how you can make adjustments in your future to avoid repeating the same mistake is one of the only things we can do to help better the situation.
It is important to accept your mistakes and forgive yourself. Dwelling on your mistakes only causes further disruption within your emotions, increasing the opportunity to make a mistake again.
By accepting your past, you can move forward with a clear head. This doesn’t mean that you are classifying your mistakes as actions that are okay. Instead, it allows you to learn from them and address them head-on, so they no longer take a toll on your well-being.
#3. Remember, There Are No Wins Without Failure
It is important to remember that there is no opportunity to win without failure. Think about the successful people that you look up to. Each one of them has encountered multiple failures before getting to the state they are in today. And they still likely have failures to come.
Life is a cyclical process of learning. You can learn from one mistake to avoid making that same mistake again, only to encounter a different form of failure. However, this is not a negative thing. You then learn from that failure and continue the process. After learning enough about what not to do, you eventually have the tools you need to succeed consistently.
These rules apply to all areas of life, including recovery. If you encounter a relapse or fail to appropriately apply a coping skill, use the opportunity of failure for growth. It is easy to feel upset when we fail to accomplish something. However, this is the greatest way to further our knowledge and abilities. Remember this throughout your recovery journey to get you past points of hardship.
#4. Reassess Your Treatment Plan
Once a relapse has occurred, it is a great time to reassess your treatment plan. Try to find any holes within your plan that potentially could have helped you prevent the relapse from occurring. Discuss what situation led to your relapse and what you could have done differently with your treatment team. You may need to implement new steps into your plan or adjust some of the concepts that are already outlined.
If you have not yet created a relapse prevention plan, this is a great time to do so. This can help you to address the specific instances that may have led to relapse so you can avoid the same issue happening again. If you already have made a relapse prevention plan, use this as an opportunity to revise it. Because a relapse occurred, some changes need to be made to your relapse prevention plan that you will utilize in the future.
There is no shame in readdressing your plan. The plan specified to you will likely change multiple times throughout your journey to ensure that it is perfectly suited to your needs. Changing your plan is not a form of consequence. It is a form of addressing issues that may have been missed previously. Allow yourself to accept these moments that may be difficult to accept and use them to benefit your long-term recovery. You’ve got this!
Recovery is full of ups and downs. At some point, you may encounter a relapse. This can be a devastating moment, as it goes against your goals and wishes in recovery. You may notice that you are feeling high levels of shame and self-disappointment after you experience a relapse. This may lead you to feel unable to continue with recovery. It is important to address these feelings and work to overcome them. Your mistakes can be used as a learning opportunity to improve your success in the future. To learn more about how to address these feelings of shame when relapse occurs, reach out to Dream Recovery today at (657) 216-7218.