Relapse is a common experience in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) and mental illness. Although relapsing may feel as if you are backpedaling, you could also view it as a chance to deepen your relationship with yourself and your healing.
If you are struggling with SUD or any other mental illness, you may be familiar with the experience of relapse. You may have personally experienced it, know someone else who has, or are wondering if you will encounter it as you begin your recovery journey for the first time. Although relapse is often associated with self-judgment, shame, blame, and guilt, it is important to remember that relapse is a normal and expected part of recovery, as healing is a nonlinear process.
Normalizing relapse is not permission to relapse or the certainty that you will. Instead, it is a friendly reminder that there is nothing wrong with you if you do relapse, and it does not mean you have failed.
Throughout your healing journey, it is crucial to lean into self-acceptance and practice radical self-compassion.
Radical self-compassion is the act of acknowledging challenging times you are going through and the pain you are experiencing and giving yourself the same compassion you would offer a friend.
Doing this may feel difficult at first, but your self-compassion “muscle” will grow stronger as you continue to practice it and become more comfortable being kind to yourself.
This practice can increase your feelings of self-esteem, motivation, self-worth, resilience, all of which can amplify your recovery and overwell wellness.
Shifting Your Mindset
If you relapse, you might think you are losing any progress you have made in recovery. However, what if this was not the case? Just as missing a workout one day does not erase all of the days you have exercised in the past, relapse does not negate all of the progress you have made before relapse happened.
What if relapse allowed you to get to heal and know yourself on a deeper level?
Relapse can be frustrating, but it’s important to realize that it is a normal and somewhat expected part of recovery from substance use disorder and mental illness. At Avalon Malibu, we recognize that relapse is common during the recovery process. We are here to support you as your healing unfolds with unconditional positive regard. Our treatment team will support you throughout your treatment and guide you through the ebbs and flows of healing, including relapsing. If you are ready to begin your recovery journey, we can help. Call us at (844) 857-5992.