Contrary to Popular Belief-Relapse means recovery, not failure.

Contrary to Popular Belief-Relapse means recovery, not failure.

Addiction recovery is not an easy process. The truth of the matter is that a lot of people do relapse. What I’m saying is that a relapse doesn’t have to be the end of your journey. You can use it as a turning point to pick yourself back up and make necessary changes to get back to your recovery.  At that point, if something negative occurs in your life, you will be capable of dealing with it in a constructive way to keep moving forward. Let me just reiterate this one more time; just because you experienced a relapse does NOT mean that you have failed. You are NOT a failure. Remember to think about how far you have come.

The reality is that relapse does not translate to failure.

It’s common to feel like giving up after losing all your recovery time, but what I’ve learned from observing relapses in those around me, is that each of these setbacks were fundamental to these individuals success in recovery. It’s understandable to feel like you failed if you relapse. If you’re struggling, I’m sure you can’t help but wonder why you keep relapsing. Right? If you have recently relapsed, what do you think went wrong? Did you find yourself in a tempting or stressful situation? Or were you spending time with people who you know were a poor influence on your recovery?

I know it’s frustrating, but there is a reason behind it. Relapses are usually caused because the individual hasn’t yet mastered healthy ways to deal with emotional distress-often caused by difficult situations or hurtful memories. Every mistake you make serves as a reminder of what you don’t want. And as a result, this then strengthens your willpower. Every relapse will teach you healthy boundaries, make you more aware of your triggers and help you learn how to deal with your emotional pain.  If you’re tempted to give in to a relapse, step back and think how far you’ve come. Think about all of the ways that your life has changed for the better. Reflect on the obstacles you have managed to overcome. Remind yourself that you are strong, and you have so much more you want to achieve in life.

A relapse should remind you why you want to stop using and reinforce your determination to recover. Just believe in your recovery and that you won’t keep relapsing. It’s in that moment that you’ll then begin to understand that relapsing didn’t mean you’d never get clean; it just made you a stronger person from the lessons you learned-so don’t lose hope.


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