Recovering from an addiction is one of the hardest endeavors a person can endure. But for even if rehab is successfully completed returning to everyday life can be daunting. It’s difficult to go back to the life you had before rehab when so much has changed for you. Many people worry about relapsing and the fear of that can cause a lot of anxiety. If someone has experienced relapse they may think it’s the end of the world and lose confidence in continuing their journey to sobriety. Here are some reasons why relapse does not mean you’ve failed at a chance for a sober life.
** Addiction is a disease: It’s easy to forget that addiction is a disease that affects the way your brain works. Relapse is a way to manage addiction, not a failure to manage it.
** Addiction is common: The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) claims that “ 40-60 percent of addicts will relapse”. That’s a high number and while it may seem daunting for most people the truth is that this percentage shows just how common relapse is.
** Recovery is complicated: The journey to sobriety is filled with complications and mistakes and each time you learn what works for you and what needs to be changed. You’re not just fighting addiction and avoiding using certain substances, you’re creating new defense mechanisms and coping mechanisms. Relapse is a good place to recognize what part of your plan needs to be changed.
** Relapse is a sign: When recovering from an addiction, there will be a lot of events and incidents along the way. How you choose to view these occurrences will make all the difference. Relapse is often a sign that what you think has been working is actually not effective and it’s time to revisit your recovery plan.
** Relapse is a process, not an accident: Recovering addicts may feel that relapsing a mistake to avoid. It’s actually a process that will teach you a lot about where you currently are in your journey and what changes needed to be made. Relapsing is not an accident that you need to fix, it’s a shift in the road that requires different attention. ** Relapse is part of recovery: Because relapsing is so common, it’s a big part of the recovery process. Addiction specialists and counselors may even expect it so they might already have a plan of action in place for if it does happen. It’s always a good idea to connect with your support team to discuss any worries you might have in this regard.
Addiction is a complicated disease. It’s not just about avoiding using certain substances. It’s also not something that your body endures. You are also investing mentally and psychologically and understanding your fears and possible complications in advance can be very helpful to your journey. One of the most anxiety-inducing issues and most common is a relapse after recovery. It’s important to remember that relapsing is part of your journey, not an unpleasant side effect. If you do relapse, take some time to consider where you are on your recovery journey and what are some things that maybe need to change. Maybe it’s friends, family, a new job, or a lack of a job that you love. There could be many reasons why you relapsed and the most important thing you can do is first to forgive yourself and remember that it’s all part of the journey to sobriety.