Recovering from substance abuse is a “one day at a time” proposition. While recovery brings great joy and peace, the recovery journey can also have formidable obstacles. For all addicts, relapse is something that is dreaded and must be avoided at all costs. While we may have a rock solid recovery plan in place, relapse does happen and it is a part of the recovery process. It is estimated that 90 percent of those in recovery will experience one relapse in the first four years of their sobriety.
While relapse is seen as a “normal” part of recovery, it doesn’t have to be a part of your recovery. Relapse is not something that happens out of the blue; it is the result of a culmination of behaviors that go unchecked over a period of time. In order to minimize the chances of relapse happening in your recovery, you must be aware of signs and symptoms that can lead you back to active drug use. The following are 7 common signs that you are heading for a relapse.
1. You Stop Working Your Plan of Recovery
Perhaps the strongest indicator that you are headed for a relapse is that you quit working your plan of recovery. In the early stages of your recovery, your motivation to stay clean and sober is high–and you will do everything necessary to ensure your success. However, as you get more substantial recovery time under your belt, you may feel that you have things under control and you start easing up your efforts. You may start skipping meetings, or you may stop calling your sponsor or working the steps. If you are experiencing these events in your recovery, you need to redouble your efforts to work your recovery even more. Addiction is a cunning, baffling, and powerful disease–and it will find weaknesses to exploit in order to gain control of your life.
2. Change in Attitude
We all have bad days or even a few bad days–it is a normal part of living life day-to-day. When we are in recovery and we experience those unpleasant and aggravating moments, we can lean on our program and meeting to help us pull through. However, if we abandon our program and stay stuck in our “stinkin’ thinkin'” we can become more susceptible to use drugs and alcohol as a means to cope with those feelings. If you find yourself stuck in a foul mood and can’t seem to find a way to get past it, you could be headed for a relapse.
If you are isolating yourself from others, it is a definite sign that your recovery is in jeopardy. Isolating can take on many forms. For example, some people may not return phone calls or text messages while others may not leave their home. In your recovery, you need to be fully aware of your isolating tendencies and how they manifest themselves in your everyday live. Once you know these tendencies, you can proactively reduce your isolating.
4. Lack of Self-Care
An essential component of your recovery program is practicing excellent self-care which includes proper diet, regular exercise, restful sleep, meditation, hobbies and proper hygiene among other things. When you look and feel your best, you are providing the optimal environment for your recovery to flourish. These activities help you feel good naturally, but when you start “letting yourself go” things can start getting dicey. Don’t get me wrong; we all have days where we don’t feel like going to the gym or we may want to have that greasy double cheeseburger. When those feelings start happening on a regular basis you start to feel its effects–and when you feel your worst your old addictive thought patterns emerge at full force.
5. You Are Seeking Out Old Friends and Places
Recovery can give us immense confidence and pride, but we can become too confident–and that can spell trouble. A classic example of this mindset is when we start seeking out our old using friends and start hanging out at our old stomping grounds. We may feel confident that we can “hang”, but the people that you used to do drugs with in the past would love nothing more than to see you starting using again. If you are starting to have those thoughts, make it a point to hang with those who are in recovery and find others who are supportive of your sobriety.
Denial is not only a huge part of addiction, it can also play an integral role in relapse. You may start denying that you are feeling stress and you may try to rationalize what you are feeling to yourself and others. Telling yourself that everything is fine when it isn’t in reality will lead to a meltdown down the road if you don’t address the underlying causes of why you feel the way you do. Seek help immediately, whether it is through your counselor, a sponsor, your 12-step group or family and friends.
7. You Are Not Being Grateful
Perhaps the biggest key in staying clean and sober is keeping humble and grounded. Gratitude is king, and being grateful for what it truly most important in your life RIGHT NOW keeps you on the right path. Once you lose touch with those feelings and start focusing on your faults or the faults of others you aren’t working a program of recovery–and it will only be a matter of time before you fall back into your drug use. Stay grounded, stay humble and ask for help when you need it.
Are you worried about relapse in your recovery? If you are seeing the signs of relapse right now and need help in finding ways to deal with those feelings in a healthy manner, contact Addiction Information today and speak to one of our experienced and compassionate representative. We are able to provide you the information and tools you need to regain your confidence, and if you are in need of treatment we will work with you to find the best treatment options that fit your needs.
Call Recovery Hub today and take charge of your life.