Those who are dealing with any kind of an addiction know the difficulty that comes with the recovery process. Part of this is the potential for a relapse. A relapse occurs when the recovering addict resumes old habits; it could be anything from “just one drink” for an alcoholic or a full-blown return to drugs for a drug addict.
But relapses don’t just happen. It takes some time to get to that point, and typically there are signs to warn you that you may be headed for your bad habits again. Knowing what leads to a relapse is the best way to prevent them before they occur. Your behavior will change gradually rather than dramatically at the beginning of a relapse. A few of the ways you can tell if a relapse is imminent include:
• Skipping your recovery or support meetings
• Rationalizing your addiction or thinking that life was better then
• Hanging out with old friends you used to drink or use with
• Frequently thinking about drinking, using, or whatever else the addiction was
If you begin to notice these signs, a few things you can do include:
• Call your sponsor. If you are in a program like Alcoholics Anonymous or Gamblers Anonymous, you will most likely have a sponsor. Part of his or her job is to help you through these rough patches and remember why you wanted to quit in the first place. If you don’t have a sponsor, call a supportive friend or family member.
• Do something do distract yourself. Make a list of things you can do instead when you’re tempted to relapse, and turn to the list before you start using again. This can include working out or going for a walk, watching a movie, playing with your children, hanging out with friends, or anything else.
Relapses can be prevented if you know what to watch out for.