There are often a number of warning signs that precede a relapse. If a person is aware of these 3 common relapse stages they have a better chance of reversing their thinking and can prevent and actual relapse.
Usually emotional relapse occurs first, this is identified when habits and actions are happening that aren’t healthy. Usually at this point a person isn’t thinking about using or drinking but they are behaving in a way that can threaten their sobriety. Examples are: isolation, unhealthy eating, lack of sleep, easily angered, and bottling up emotions. These are warning signs but they can be addressed easily; connect socially with friends, family or people that have your best interest in mind, eat better and drink lots of water, make an effort to get enough sleep and exercise and be kind to yourself.
Mental relapse is usually the next stage. One starts romanticizing past use while forgetting the chaos and pain it caused. You may start hanging out with old “friends” and in places that are triggers. Considering and bargaining with oneself that “one more drink or drug won’t hurt me”. This is also the stage and time when one is usually visualizing where and when they will get high or drunk again. It’s at this relapse stage that reaching out to someone for help is crucial. A friend, family member, or a professional that understands addiction is extremely beneficial.
Call me at 1-829-932-0123 at anytime if you need to talk.
The last of the relapse stages is physical relapse. It occurs when one is actively planning and seeking out drugs or alcohol. If you are calling your dealer, driving to a liquor store, lying to loved ones so you can be alone you are usually within minutes or seconds of full relapse. Unless a great coincidence happens and the right person calls you or interrupts your thoughts during this small window in time a relapse is almost certain. Hopefully you or a loved one can recognize what’s going on and help you get back on the path of healthy recovery.
I and many others have said often that we all have a relapse available to us but recovery isn’t guaranteed. The next relapse could unfortunately lead to jails, institutions or death. Please reach out to me or anyone you trust if you are struggling with active addiction or if you are on the verge of relapse.