Relapse is, unfortunately, a common occurrence in the recovery community. There is a multitude of reasons and justifications that your mind can come up with that will convince you to begin using drugs and/or alcohol again. It can be discouraging to find yourself obsessing over substances, even after being separated from them for a time. However, there are ways to combat these thoughts and protect your sobriety.
Anger or Resentment
It is said that resentment us the number one cause of relapse. What exactly does that mean though? It means that people who suffer from substance use disorder cannot get away with staying angry at other people. It is a luxury that should be left to “normal,” or non-addicted people. Resentment and anger can create extreme emotional disturbances within us, to the point of giving up and choosing to numb ourselves with substances. If you notice yourself feeling angry or resentful, reach out. Connect with your sober support system and seek perspective. Take responsibility for your own actions in the matter, and try to practice compassion and forgiveness.
Sadness or Depression
Sobriety doesn’t mean that suddenly everything is perfect. You will likely experience sadness and may even feel depressed at times. When we get sober all of our emotions return, an experience that can be quite overwhelming. Feeling things after numbing ourselves consistently for so long is scary and can cause us to think it’s better if we were loaded. Remember that you are not alone, and there are others you can talk to who understand. Reach out and suggestions on how to cope.
Boredom often leads us to believe that using substances can provide some sort of rush and excitement. Since our dopamine levels are depleted after using substances for so long, it makes sense that we reach for what used to bring us euphoria. However, it is possible to have fun in sobriety and fight boredom without substances. Go out with friends and pick up new hobbies. Get outside or plan an adventure. Get creative! There’s so much more to life than sitting at home.
The “Screw It” Mentality
Often, the decision to use substances is made without considering the consequences. Unfortunately, we often don’t realize that we hardly thought about our decision until it’s too late. Working in treatment and with your 12-Step community towards identifying impulsive thought and behavior patterns is a great way to combat that sense of “screw it.”
Remember that the disease of addiction centers in the mind. Your head may tell you that you have “good reasons” to relapse and its crucial to be able to see through these lies. Talking to people, building a foundation, and attending a 12-Step fellowship is the best way to support your sobriety. If you feel like you need additional support while you build a foundation in your recovery, reach out to Avalon Malibu. Our experienced professionals would be happy to help guide you as you navigate the first steps on your journey to a better life. Call us today at (844) 857-5992.