Maintaining Hope after a Relapse
Addiction is a daily battle. Keeping the hope alive that you’ll be addiction free is a daily battle. Relapsing is disappointing but it certainly not the end of the world. Embrace that you lost the battle but don’t give up. Resolve that today, right now, you’ll do better. You can do this.
Relapse is part of your recovery. It sound strange but it’s true. Unfortunately, the most common reaction to relapse is that the battle has been lost forever. That’s simply not true. If you mess up at work or school, do you throw in the towel and give up? No. You take a moment, regroup, and go back at it. If you’ve hit a wall, you ask for help. You figure out what went wrong and where it happened and resolve to fix it. The same is true of a relapse. Step back, talk to someone and figure out how to start again.
The period after a relapse can be a time of great disappointment and shame. Keep reminding yourself that your relapse doesn’t define you. Your determination to push through and get back on the road to sobriety is what defines you.
In order to stay true to the path of sobriety, you must get rid of any ambivalence towards your recovery. Having a lackadaisical attitude towards your recovery simply sets you up for failure. You must commit completely to being sober. You have to be willing to do whatever it takes to have a successful recovery.
It is vital that you maintain your confidence in yourself. Do not allow any previous relapses to diminish your confidence in your new attempt to stay sober. Remind yourself that most people who have a successful recovery also have a history of repeated relapse. You are worth every investment you make into yourself.
The period after a relapse can be a time of disappointment and shame for both an addict and their loved ones. Feelings of being let down or being a disappointment to loved ones can overwhelm and drown out all the good things that have been accomplished. Don’t let the relapse define the next period of sobriety. Finding someone to talk to, whether a therapist or a sponsor is a good idea. Sponsors are an incredible resource since they’ve often been exactly where you are.
The most important thing is to be persistent. Stand up and try again. You can do this. You can stay sober. When you believe in yourself, a whole world of possibility opens up.