Relapse is a medical term. It signifies getting the disease again after you have completed the treatment and got cured. Not you must start the treatment all over again. Addiction is a disease. That’s why recovered addicts can relapse.
Sometimes, you relapse while on a recovery program or while attending AA meetings regularly. Not a surprising thing, say doctors. Many patients, who are on the verge of getting cured or under treatment, go back to square one.
Looking through a medical expert’s eyes, relapse is no big deal. It happens and there are ways to deal with it.
However, looking through a recovering addict’s eyes, relapse is a disaster.
All your recovery efforts go down the drain. Tools like Sobriety Calculator seem useless. You may even feel shameful, guilty, or angry with yourselves. Some may feel hopeless and conclude that they can never go off alcohol.
Relapse triggers all kinds of emotions in a person.
Again, doctors would like to intervene and assure you that relapse is a common phenomenon during recovery. You must not brood over it. Instead, work upon it and restart your recovery.
That’s a practical and smarter way to deal with relapse, say addiction experts.
Important things to do
The first thing to do is search for “AA near me.” If you were attending meetings before but stopped during your relapse stages, join again.
It is at this time that you need a strong support system more than ever. Being with recovering people is more likely to make you resolve again to quit drinking.
At the same time, you must immediately stop seeing your alcoholic buddies or visiting places that serve alcohol.
“If you seriously desire to quit alcohol, this is one step you will take. If not, then you were never serious to quit drinking,” says one of the AA members.
Signs of relapse
Usually, other people observe the signs in us better than we ourselves. Yet, if you know what the signs are, you, too, can be self-aware and pull yourselves out of the relapsing situation.
Watch out for the following signs:
- Talking or remembering more about your alcoholic days.
- Starting to hang out with your alcoholic buddies or places that serve alcohol.
- Getting the urge to isolate from people.
- Wanting to miss an AA meeting in Texas more and more.
- Indulging in secretive behavior
- Becoming depressed and anxious
- Not following the 12 steps or losing interest in therapy programs
- Beginning to get doubts regarding your recovery
- Questioning your decision to quit drinking
- Feeling over-confident about your sobriety
- Not eating much or eating too much
- Taking back your confession that you were an addict
- Deviating from the healthy routine that was fixed in your recovery program
- Failing to cope with your emotions
- Starting to use other substances
Please act as soon as you notice any of the above signs.
Share your signs with AA members. They would tell you how to deal with them. There are people who have experienced these signs and come out successfully. It is common to find such people in meetings.