Are you struggling to understand how you can overcome relapse? Not everyone relapses, but many people do. Some even think of it as a natural part of the recovery process. For that reason, a big part of recovery is accepting that there may be risks of relapse. Even more importantly, you must understand that relapse does not mean failure. Relapsing does not signify your treatment was unsuccessful or that you can not overcome it.
Along with reentering recovery, you may also need to cope with feelings of guilt after relapse. That may be easier said than done. However, treatment should have given you the necessary tools to manage these complex emotions. You can effectively overcome relapse with these tools and other relapse prevention techniques.
Before discussing relapse in more detail, it’s necessary to emphasize that relapse is not a failure. That includes if you experience one relapse or experience them frequently. Recovering from addiction is challenging, and addiction can also cause the development of other mental health conditions, which may lead to some experiencing frequent relapses.
While your experience with addiction is unique, it may still be similar to others. Meeting someone with a similar experience can allow you to connect, bond, and support each other through recovery and potential releases. However, if you experience relapse more than a peer, it does not mean your recovery is inferior. You can not compare your journey with the journey of another person. Certain factors are likely at play that put you at an increased risk of relapse. Focus on these contributing factors so that you can deal with them and reduce the risk of relapse.
As mentioned, other mental health conditions can contribute to frequent relapses. When co-occurring disorders are involved, dual diagnosis treatment is vital. Dual diagnosis focuses on treating both mental health and substance use disorders. Treating substance use disorder (SUD) without focusing on other mental health conditions is like putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. It is only a matter of time before other problems present themselves.
Another factor is boredom. Too much free time can lead your mind to wander and think about substance use or other bad habits. Similarly, isolation and loneliness can do the same. Avoiding boredom and loneliness is critical in avoiding relapses.
There are several ways to manage the factors that lead to a relapse. A relapse prevention plan is essential to handling these factors and overcoming relapse. Relapse prevention skills that can help you include:
These relapse-prevention skills may help you prevent and overcome relapse, but what steps should you take after a relapse occurs?
Having a contingency plan to follow if you experience relapses is excellent, but some may not have one. If you do not, here are a few steps you can take post-relapse:
A lot of men in recovery experience relapse. You are not an inferior person for experiencing them more than others. The best thing to do to overcome relapse is to move forward. Do not hesitate to consider another recovery program for more support or help to overcome relapse.
Addiction is a complex disorder that men spend years recovering from and finding freedom from. With that being said, relapse is sometimes part of that journey. While some people do not experience relapse, many do, and going through a relapse does not indicate that you are a failure. Relapse typically occurs because of several contributing factors. These include stress, loneliness, boredom, trauma, and co-occurring mental health conditions. Identifying these factors and recognizing triggers are two crucial skills to overcome relapse. Other steps can help you overcome relapse, and there is no shame in requiring more support from family, friends, support group members, and treatment facilities. For help, call Healing Pines Recovery at (720) 575-2621.
The first step can be the hardest. Fill out the form or call us at 720-706-7980. You will be connected with a Healing Pines Recovery specialist who can answer your questions and help you get started.