When you face off against addiction, you are involved in one of the most challenging personal battles a person can face. Addiction is never an easy feat, and it can demand the very best of you. Despite that being the case, relapsing during recovery is almost certain to bring feelings of guilt and shame. You no doubt regret the relapse, but it is important to note that you can very much come through the other side. Your relapse is not permanent – you can regain control and return to normalcy soon.

Relapses come in many stages. They can result from a feeling of anxiety and tension in your life – an inability to cope with current circumstances. It could be an emotional response to a serious issue in your life that has left you feeling like you have lost control. However, a relapse can also come from a place of false confidence – you feel as if you have so much control over your addiction that you can take the substance without returning to addiction.

Most of the time, though, a relapse can begin with emotionally blind reminiscence. You look back on the ‘good old days’ when you enjoyed your substance. You promote the company you kept and the activities you took part in. You see these as times that should be missed. As you know, once you come out the other side of a relapse, though, this is a false memory. 

Relapses can be hard to overcome, but you can do it. Here are some tips to ensure that you can avoid seeing a relapse as permanent.

Introduction at Support Group Meeting - Overcoming a relapse

Understand that relapses are a part of the journey

On average, 40 to 60% of people who try to beat an addiction will relapse. These are far more common than you think. So, you need to give yourself leeway for the fact that many people beat their addiction on the third, fourth, or even fifth attempt. It is very rare to overcome addiction on the first attempt.

Understanding that relapses do not make you a failure is important. It is a common part of the journey, and you need to have patience that you will eventually come out the other side.

Speak with others about your relapse experience

If you have relapsed, it is foolish to hide it. Tell the people who hold you accountable. Do not simply pretend that it did not happen. Remind yourself that you will not be judged harshly if you are honest that you have relapsed. People will understand.

They can also help you build a plan of action to make sure that you can avoid a similar fate in the future. Working out why you relapsed is very important, and speaking with the people who care about you most can help you to understand why you relapsed.

Do not disguise the reason for your relapse

You will know within yourself what emotional state you were in when you relapsed. Please do not pretend that this was something other than it was. Be honest with yourself about the reasons and the cause of your relapse. If you are honest, it is easier to accept the presence of the issue and then do something about it. The sooner you are honest about why you fell off the wagon, the easier it is to build a barrier to avoid falling down that route again.

Undergo a medical evaluation

When you are relapsing, you will find that your tolerance for your substance of choice is nowhere near as strong as it was. This means that if you return to your old quantities, you run the risk of medical damage and even an overdose. If you do relapse, you should immediately seek medical support. They can help to minimize the impact of the substance and ensure that you can be kept safe so that the substance you have taken does not put your life at risk. 

Need help overcoming a relapse? Expert support is available

The main thing to remember is that if you relapse, help is available. If you have not already done so, seek out an alcohol detox specialist like Innovo

Speaking with a professional and joining a detox program can give you valuable insight into the reality of relapse. Then, you can better understand your circumstances so that you can work toward building resistance against the potential for a relapse recurrence.