Working through the process of addiction recovery involves encountering a wide range of emotions and obstacles to overcome. When people relapse, many of them have thoughts that tell them they have failed at their recovery process, and they feel a strong urge to give up on their goals.
According to the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 80-95% of individuals going through treatment for nicotine, alcohol, or heroine experience at least one relapse point within their first year of treatment. Looking at this statistic, you can see that relapses are a common part of the recovery process. This does not mean you should fully expect a relapse to happen or use the prevalence of relapse as an excuse to not take your recovery seriously. However, if you encounter a setback, it is important to understand how to recover from it and move forward with your progress.
1. Understand the Setback
Observing the situation and mindset that you were in when you relapsed is the first step toward redeeming your recovery progress. An understanding of the actions that lead you to the point of relapse is important to develop because it can help you avoid making the same mistake in the future. We often learn the most from our failures. Taking a relapse and turning it into an opportunity to learn immediately places you on the right track to success after this encounter.
So much of the recovery process is willpower and self-control. If you can control your thoughts after a relapse and channel them into achieving your goals, you have added that much more to your drive toward success. The process of recovery as a whole provides many opportunities to learn about yourself and find the person that you are and want to be. Use your relapse as a steppingstone in recovery and take two steps forward after your step back.
2. Review Your Recovery Plan
Reaching a point of relapse can be a sign that the current strategies you are using in addiction recovery are not working well for you. Reviewing your recovery plan, changing some aspects of it, and implementing new strategies may help you to avoid future relapses. Recovery plans are meant to change, and they vary between individuals. Customizing your plan to suit your personal needs and keep you focused on success can help you avoid falling back into the state of relapse.
Reviewing your recovery plan and making necessary changes can also give you a fresh perspective on your recovery process. After experiencing a relapse, you may find you have a very beneficial fresh start to clear your mind and reaffirm your goals.
3. Set Expectations for Yourself
Having regained motivation to continue in your recovery process, you will likely realize how important it is to maintain a set of expectations for yourself. On the other side of a relapse, you have a new understanding of how important accountability is in addiction recovery. After reviewing your recent relapse, determine negative mindsets you may have indulged and behaviors you may have engaged in that led to your relapse. Holding yourself to firm expectations that will help you avoid similar situations can keep you from making the same mistakes in the future.
Relapses are often influenced by social groups, parties, and other people who take part in your addictive behavior. Setting expectations to avoid these settings, surrounding yourself with supportive individuals, and understanding when to walk away from a situation are all expectations you can hold yourself to.
4. Keep a Positive Attitude
This step ties in with all of the previous steps but is also the most important. When overcoming a relapse, you may find it easy to fall into a negative emotional state and dwell on the mistakes you have made. Of course, it is good to understand what went wrong and how your choices impacted the relapse. However, pushing yourself down emotionally over the matter will only make recovery harder.
To make it through addiction recovery and live without relying on a substance, you have to be okay with who you are. Reinforcing thoughts that uplift your self-appreciation can help you move past your relapse and maintain success for the remainder of your treatment.
Remember that the process of recovery is never a straight line. Setbacks happen often and do not mean you are incapable of success. Following these simple steps can help you regain your focus on recovery and move past the setback you have encountered. Be honest with yourself and your treatment team, reach out with any issues you may be encountering while overcoming your relapse, and allow yourself to continue your hard work.
Stepping back into the process of recovery after experiencing a relapse can cause a great deal of stress. Individuals who experience relapse often feel the desire to give up on their recovery and feel that they have failed. However, it is common for people to reach the point of relapse while going through recovery, and there are steps you can take to regain your recovery focus. Understanding the events that led to the relapse is the essential first step because it can help you learn from your mistakes and avoid them in the future. Armed with this understanding, you should review your recovery plan and make any necessary changes. Then set expectations for yourself. Hold yourself accountable for your future actions. Most importantly, keep a positive attitude and appreciate the successes you have had. To learn more about how to move past a relapse and continue with recovery, call Dream Recovery at (949) 732-1960.