Lapses and Relapses happen to most people who stop using their substance of choice, and it does not mean the end of the recovery process or that the person has failed (though many define this as a failure to themselves).
If you are struggling with sobriety in any form, thinking that you have failed after a lapse or relapse is normal and it does not make you a weak person. In fact your thought says you are human. No recovery, for any person, is perfect and no one can delineate how recovery is going to go for any particular person. Some achieve recovery and never engage in their addiction again, even though they always think about it. Others still achieve recovery, but on a road that presents many challenging.
Yes, there is always a chance of lapse or relapse, for all who embark on the recovery journey. In the definition of “lapse,”
- a temporary failure of concentration, memory, or judgment.
synonyms: failure, failing, slip, error, mistake, blunder, fault, omission, hiccup; slip-up
If you pay attention, the first word TEMPORARY. Also, read the synonyms. Although “failure” sounds terrible, the words “mistake,” “hiccup,” or “slip-up” makes this error very human. A lapse is simply what the definition says – a temporary breach in recovery, which is totally reversible.
What the definition of relapse says?
- (of someone suffering from a disease) suffer deterioration after a period of improvement.
synonyms: get ill/worse again, have/suffer a relapse, deteriorate, degenerate, take a turn for the worse
Although the definition of relapse sounds much more unpromising, as you read words like “deteriorate,” or “take a turn for the worse,” just like a lapse, relapse is reversible. Just understand that it means you need to reach out, and you need to get help. There is always help and always hope. Just keep going and keep following your path. Addiction treatment practitioners can help you develop coping strategies and build networks so that you can learn from the experience of others and do things differently next time. Long term abstinence is possible but it can be challenging to achieve and could possibly require several attempts.
At Florida Center for Recovery, our Chronic Relapse Program is designed for individuals who have struggled to maintain recovery despite their previous attempts in treatment. We assess each client’s high-risk situations and develop individualized treatment plans.
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