Relapse Prevention

Breaking the Complex Cycle of Chronic Relapse

Breaking the Complex Cycle of Chronic Relapse

Chronic relapse can come out of nowhere and start a downward spiral. Click here for tips on how you can break the cycle and learn from the relapse!

It’s a familiar scenario. You collect a month or two of sobriety, but your mindset feels different from the previous times. Maybe you found an excellent therapist who knows how to challenge your thoughts. Maybe you found the perfect treatment facility, and you’re surrounded by people who are seriously ready for making a change.

I’m gonna get it this time, you tell yourself. You happily share your positive changes with your loved ones. Maybe you even get a tattoo to solidify your newfound confidence. Recovery feels fantastic, and you’re ready for whatever obstacles this life could throw at you.

And then- it happens. It comes from nowhere (or so it seems), and then it causes you to spiral out of control. Down that familiar, aching road of chronic relapse. Down into the dumps of hopeless despair, of chronic relapse.

You were sober. And now you’re not. Again. But how did we get here?

Why Chronic Relapse Happens

Addiction is a complicated disease, and recovery is full of tumultuous ebbs and flows.

Chronic relapse occurs when someone continuously enters in and out of sobriety. This individual usually has an intense desire for recovery. However, for a multitude of reasons, he or she is unable to obtain it fully.

We all know that life presents with numerous obstacles. Job loss. Breakups. Medical diagnoses. Financial emergencies. These stressors can impact anyone’s mental health. For someone struggling with substance addiction, however, these stressors can trigger serious self-sabotage.

That said, relapse doesn’t always just happen in the aftermath of such significant and obvious obstacles. It can happen via the insidious series of seemingly small choices, like deciding you no longer need to take medication or spending time with old friends again. Relapse can happen anywhere and at any time- and that what makes preventing it so tricky.

Learning From The Relapse

Relapse is a part of recovery is a common trite in any addiction treatment. In other words, the healing road to sustained recovery is often paved with many difficult setbacks.

If you have relapsed, it’s important to take a step back and asses your situation. What do you believe went wrong? Where did your routine start to falter? What stressors did you experience?

What shifted you from the mindset of recovery to the mindset of substance abuse?

If you can learn from the incident, you can take the steps to create a reasonable action plan for success. This will help you get back on track when similar triggers arise.

Many people struggle with feeling inadequate, ashamed, or embarrassed after a relapse. They isolate within themselves. They return back to old, maladaptive habits. They write off recovery altogether, deeming it as this magical elixir only some people can achieve.

This mentality only perpetuates the cycle of relapse. It keeps people in a sick mentality instead of a mentality geared towards health and healing.

Seeking Appropriate Treatment

Whether we like it or not, recovery often requires communal effort. It can be challenging, if not impossible, to obtain it without peer and professional support. For these reasons, it is often essential to seek out treatment if a relapse occurs.

If untreated, relapse can quickly sabotage the progress made during the period of recovery. Reach out for support today.

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Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Relapse Prevention

August 18, 2021