Recovery is a long journey and unfortunately, for many, relapses are a part of it. Here are some ways you can be proactive and recognize when a relapse might be on its way.
If you find yourself suddenly longing for the “good old days” when you were in addiction, this might be a significant warning sign of a potential relapse. If you find yourself reaching out to friends or places that you used to spend time around, this might be a similar indicator. This romanticization of what your time in addiction was like essentially acts as a blinder to all the reasons why you chose to quit drinking or taking drugs.
Since recovery is a long process, having overconfidence in your ability to stay sober can sometimes be an indicator of a potential relapse. Particularly if you begin to cut off your supports, stop following your recovery program or surround yourself with triggers for substance abuse, you might be tempting yourself more than you realize. It’s important to stay focused and cautious in your recovery and avoid testing your boundaries.
3. Defense and Denial
When someone begins to ask questions about your recovery process out of love and concern, do you find yourself becoming defensive rather than open and honest? Your support network is there to do just that—support you. If you find yourself pushing them away out of anger or frustration, this could be a warning sign of a relapse.
4. Increased Stress and Anxiety
Drugs and alcohol often serve as unhealthy coping mechanisms for those living with an addiction. Therefore, if there is a significant increase of stress and anxiety in your life, ensure that you’re coping in a healthy way so that you don’t relapse. Always be sure to stay connected to your support network and remember that they are there to guide and help you throughout your recovery process.
Feature image Michael Chen