Coming Back After Relapse

Friend helping friend after a relapse.

Maintaining sobriety for any extended period of time is certainly no easy task – copious amounts of effort and dedication go into recovery and staying sober. Recovery becomes a major part of everyday life, and especially for newcomers, constant upkeep is essential. This means daily incorporation of meetings, working through the steps with a sponsor, and cautiously avoiding any high-risk situations that may put you in danger of relapse. Unfortunately, the vast majority of newly sober individuals will relapse within the first 1-3 months of sobriety. This upsetting fact stems from a multitude of factors, some of the more common that are listed below:

Common Reasons For Relapse

  • Complacency within the program.
  • A general attitude of “I got it”.
  • Lack of a comprehensive aftercare program/lack of structure.
  • Returning home to the same environment.
  • Experiencing loss or major change within early sobriety.
  • Boredom.
  • A belief that now you can have “just one”.

Whatever the case may be, relapse is an unhappy part of the stories of many recovering addicts and alcoholics. Because relapse is common (though never necessary), it is equally as important that one knows how to get back into the rooms as quickly as possible as one knows how to prevent relapse in the first place. Here are several things you may want to keep in mind if you have relapsed and are having difficulty showing your face again based on feelings of overwhelming guilt or shame.

Coming Back After Relapse is Brave and Admirable

  • No one will judge you. The vast majority of men and women in the rooms, especially those with multiple years of sobriety, have most likely slipped themselves at one point or another.
  • Coming back will help out others. You may provide someone with the strength or motivation they need to come forward after a relapse themselves. Returning after a relapse is brave – it is an act that everyone will respect.
  • The sooner you get back, the more likely you are to stay sober. Think of yourself and your own wellbeing, not what your peers will think of you.

Returning after a relapse is a noble act, one that will be admired by peers and cause close friends relief. We all tend to fall down from time to time, and it is much easier to stand back up when we have those close to us helping lift us from where we fell.

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