(310) 694-5590 ext.100 info@rebostx.com

Written by Phong Dao

Originally appeared on monkme.com

Common Symptoms Leading to Relapse

The game of sobriety is not always an easy one. There are some bumps along the road and plenty of obstacles. Though relapses can be a part of your journey, it doesn’t mean you have to have another episode again.

Relapse is a process, and there are many relapse symptoms and warning signs that precede actually picking up a drink or drug. There are common traits that can lead to this behavior.

Spiritually we are so comfortable with that old story of dependency, in our fear and lack of strength we slide back into drinking or getting high. The new story of sobriety is unknown and a bit scary. That is understandable. So we should be aware when these episodes could happen.

Often traits such as the following lead to relapse:

  • Dishonesty
  • Avoidance- defensive behavior
  • Impatience
  • Elevated stress
  • Depression
  • Cockiness
  • Use of other mood altering chemicals
  • Easily angered
  • Change in attitude
  • Impulsive and compulsive behavior
  • Isolation and lonely behavior
  • Lack of discipline
  • Complacency
  • Lack of structure
  • Euphoric recall of past binges/use
  • Reacquainting with old places and old friends
  • Finding faults in programs and therapists

Know that these traits do not cause relapse. It is the combination of many things. The action to ingest alcohol or drugs is a choice. These traits are highly connected to making this weaker choice of intoxication. Take stock of your truth. Allow yourself to objectively view your actions, thoughts and behaviors.

Gather data internally and externally. Work with a therapist, so that you may have a clearer perspective of your actual behavior.

Major Traits to Watch For

1. Return Of Denial.

In recovery, one of the first and toughest challenges is to accept that there is a problem. This denial takes a process to witness and face. To finally acknowledge the issue, allows us to push and move forward from them.

In sobriety, this denial can return. This form is tricky and not easily spotted. Ideas of previous binges, results and bouts of being “not so bad” become prevalent. We start to glorify the high and forget the broken relationships. Starting to rationalize that it was the job or environment that caused the drinking brings us a step closer to picking up that wine bottle.

2. Stopping of Treatment or Self-Help Groups.

If we stop working and evolving, we dwindle away by standing still. At the beginning of a sober life, we must create and foster healthy relationships. We must have a system of support to help guide us through the emotional waves. Self groups and continued therapy is critical to success. Once we stop, we easily lose site of ourselves and become sucked into the “rat race.”

There are many studies that say the longer the treatment, the better the outcome. They also show that you are less likely to relapse with a strong support network. This is one of the most common and powerful traits among relapses.

How long? There is no one answer. A solid foundation of support is needed. So until you can rebuild your relationships and/or create new ones, therapy and groups are necessary. Your moods and emotional status should be strong and stable. You should have a clear sense of power from your mind, body and soul.

3. Urges And Cravings (Thinking About Drinking/Using)

This sounds simple. But it can be so subtle that we forget to watch for it. As soon as we start to get urges and cravings, we need to reflect and understand why. We easily dismiss it feeling overly powerful and ready. We live our hectic lives and rarely take time to relieve our stress and tensions.

Take this time. When we are faced with urges and cravings, find the answers to why these exist. Allow yourself to understand you want to revert to such maladaptive behavior. Understand the glorification or repression of such past memories.

Common Relapse Thoughts and Attitudes

Often the psychological world can be a confusing one. It takes a lot of reading and training to understand some of the concepts that drive us to relapse. However, there are easy cues that also show us that relapse may be coming.

If you hear yourself or hear others say things such as the following, be mindful!

  • I’M BORED…
  • I NEED TO RELAX…
  • I CAN DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY…
  • NOBODY NEEDS TO KNOW HOW I FEEL…
  • NO ONE KNOWS HOW I FEEL…
  • I CAN HANDLE IT…
  • I CAN’T DO IT…
  • I CAN DO IT MYSELF…
  • I DESERVE IT…
  • I’M NOT AS BAD AS…
  • MY PROBLEMS CAN’T BE SOLVED…
  • I WISH I WAS HAPPY…
  • I DON’T CARE…
  • IF NOBODY ELSE CARES, WHY SHOULD I…
  • THINGS HAVE CHANGED…
  • I CAN SUBSTITUTE…
  • THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT…
  • I CAN’T CHANGE THE WAY I THINK…
  • IF I MOVE, EVERYTHING WILL CHANGE…
  • I LIKE MY OLD FRIENDS…
  • I’M DEPRESSED…
  • I SEE THINGS MY WAY ONLY…
  • I FEEL HOPELESS…
  • WHY TRY…

This is just a small listing of the possibilities that may lead to relapse. These commonalities can forewarn us when a relapse may occur. Any other warning signs you can share?

Give us a call or come visit our Addiction Treatment Center In Los Angles California

Common Symptoms Leading to Relapse
Rate this post