Relapse can be a dirty word with a bad reputation but it happens more frequently than people think. Fear of a person’s life collapsing following relapse may occur but it does not mean person has failed. Learn how to stop relapse before it happens and learn what to do it if it happens so a return to recovery can begin.
Step One: Admit the Slip-Up
The first step is to admit powerlessness over the addiction. It is not possible to help oneself if a problem ‘does not exist.’ Being honest with oneself by admitting the slip-up happened can pave the way towards recovery.
Step Two: Commit for 24 Hours
Make a 24-hour commitment to stay sober. Bad feelings may arise, but do not dread facing the problems. One day at a time is a good mantra to promise oneself regarding drinking or drug use. Each day is a new one which focuses on moving forward and not looking behind.
Step Three: Connect with Spirituality
Putting faith in God or a Higher Power can be a tremendous help by connecting with one’s inner spirituality. It does not have to be what everyone else thinks it should be, it is a personal experience which deepens one’s own understanding of spirituality to include meditation, prayer or other ways of connecting.
Step Four: Admit the Slip to Someone Else
Do not keep the slip-up from loved ones. Fight the shame and admit to trusted loved ones what happened. It may be difficult to face family or friends with the information but it is helpful for long-term recovery.
Step Five: Go to a Meeting or Counseling
Get to a meeting, preferably 24 hours following the slip. Call an addiction coach, counselor or other therapist and ask to meet immediately. It is important to speak with someone who can explore why the slip happened and provide resources and tools to deal with triggers more effectively.
The steps can be helpful in getting back on the wagon and making a 24-hour commitment to sobriety. A slip does not mean all is lost but it becomes a learning experience. It may be possible to have another slip up as recovery is a process with many ups and downs. Examine exactly what caused the slip, what lead up to it and what must change to be able to stand on solid ground in recovery. Focus on staying sober one day at a time and not worrying about what happened in the past. Take it one step forward rather than looking at steps backward. Tomorrow is a new day to begin again.
Recovery happens one day at a time. If you are ready to enter treatment and recovery from addiction, call The Villa to find out what resources and tools exist to support your journey. We are here to guide you towards a healthy, long-term recovery.