Coming Back From a Relapse
You will likely hear many people in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous say things like, “Relapse is not a prerequisite to recovery”, and, “Relapse is never necessary.” Of course, this doesn’t mean that it never happens. In fact, it happens quite frequently. It has been estimated that upwards of 60 percent of drug addicts and alcoholics will relapse into old behaviors after receiving prolonged, professional treatment. In most cases, this relapse is a direct result of a failure to continue with long-term aftercare.
Steps to Take When Coming Back from a Relapse
It is important to recognize that a relapse back into drinking or using does not mean that treatment has failed. It does not mean that the individual in question is incapable of getting sober and maintaining sobriety, either. It simply means that some alteration must be made – that the individual must take an honest and searching look at the way he or she is conducting his or her life, and make necessary changes in the decided problem areas.
- Humble yourself.
Holding onto your ego will only prevent you from bouncing back as quickly as you potentially could. If you fear what others will think of you, what others will say about you, and how others may treat you, you will only be hurting yourself in the long run. Remember that this is YOUR recovery, and shying away from jumping right back in will only affect you. Hold your head up high and inspire others with your bravery and determination.
- Surround yourself with close, sober friends.
One of the predominant reasons as to why those who relapse stay ‘out’ for prolonged periods of time, finding it exceptionally difficult to get back to the rooms of a 12-step program, is simply because they let shame and guilt push them away from those who truly love them. Get right back into your circle of friends. Let them know what happened, and let them know you are serious about your recovery – and that you recognize you cannot do it alone.
- Dive right back into the basics.
Back to square one. And that means a meeting every day, calling your sponsor as much as you need to (once a day often suffices, but don’t be afraid to reach out to as many sober supports as necessary), starting your stepwork over, and opening your ears wider than they have ever opened before. Do what you need to do to get back on track – save your own butt!
- Pick up as many service commitments as possible.
Go to as many meetings as you can and pick up as many service commitments as you can possibly muster. Chair meetings (one or two a week), greet newcomers at the door, and pick up cigarette butts and empty Red Bull cans once the meeting has ended. Do service outside of meetings as well – volunteer at outside organizations, give newcomers rides to the grocery store – do everything you can to stay involved and get outside of yourself.
- Bolster your relationship with God.
Spirituality is often the vital component that those who relapse are missing. Pray and meditate on a daily basis. Explore new ways to foster a relationship with your higher power.
Relapse is certainly never a necessity, but it does certainly happen to the best of us. It is difficult to get things right the first time, and when we do it is an immense and beautiful blessing. And it is possible – it is possible no matter who you are, no matter what you’ve done, no matter how far down the scale you have gone!
Treatment centers in Florida such as ours will certainly help you to set a solid foundation for lasting sobriety, but true recovery comes when you whole-heartedly commit to a long-term program of continuous aftercare. Lighthouse Recovery Institute is always available to provide support and point you in the right direction – simply give one of our trained representatives a call today at 1-866-308-2090.