If you have tried to give up alcohol or drugs, but you relapse, then you are not alone. Statistics show that as many as 80% of people who try to quit smoking will relapse at least once before achieving long-term sobriety.
In some cases, this may be a temporary error, and we call it a slip in the recovery circle. It differs from a full relapse in that the person will immediately regret their actions. This may be the result of something that happened impulsively or someone’s attention was shaken in some way. However, its ultimate feature is the individual’s desire to correct mistakes immediately.
In contrast, relapse indicates that a person has returned to the old way of behavior. It is most often used to describe a person who has been awake for a period of time and then relapses into alcohol or drugs, and it is difficult to stop.
Causes of slips and relapses
In some cases, people will slip and fall because they do not have the tools to overcome certain emotional conditions. They may have had a bad day and use this as a reason to start drinking again. Or, they may be overwhelmed by cravings that often occur during early recovery.
In other cases, people use alcohol or drugs to “punish” those around them because they “force” them back to their old behaviors. It allows individuals to blame other people instead of admitting that addiction is their own problem.
The point of slipping is that regret is almost immediate. The problem arises when the slip becomes a full recurrence and a complete abandonment of sobriety. When this happens, the ability to reverse the situation becomes more and more difficult for the following reasons:
- Once a person starts drinking or taking drugs again, his or her ability to make rational decisions decreases.
- The person’s sober motivation at first may be very low, which makes it more difficult to recover a second time.
- Relapse usually confirms to the individual that he or she can not Overcome addiction.
- Those who supported the recovery in the first place may be reluctant to do so a second time.
- Some people deceive themselves into thinking that when things are “better” and they are in a “stronger place”, they can wake up again.
- Others will convince themselves that they need to reach the “lowest point” to be fully awake, but they don’t understand that this is just a strategy to buy time and make the same behavior permanent.
How to deal with a slip or relapse
The best way to prevent the recurrence of slips is to take immediate action. This is something you cannot accomplish alone, and you or those around you should never underestimate the seriousness of the mistake. Regardless of whether the error is “serious” or “minor”, this is a clear sign that something went wrong, and there are problems that need to be resolved, so as not to make the mistake again.
Commitment to quit smoking is not enough; you need to explore the reasons behind slips and first understand what triggers slips. Without some serious reflection, if the same problem reappears, you will not be able to avoid making mistakes again.
In the end, it is no good to feel guilty about a mistake. The important thing is that you take it seriously and admit that it was a mistake, and you can learn something from it.
On the other hand, if you have experienced a relapse and are now committed to recovering again, you need to keep the following in mind:
- Instead of feeling guilty, it is better to work harder to achieve and stay awake.
- The fact that you recommit means that you understand the depth of your addiction.
- Don’t be ashamed of your mistakes, but face them and determine what you need to do to avoid making them again.
- Don’t feel that you have lost everything and returned to the first day. Everything we do in life shows that our recovery is moving forward. A person who has been sober for a few days often experiences sobriety in a more profound way than a person who has been sober for many years. Use this feeling to promote your recovery.
And, most importantly, remind yourself that the only real failure is to give up yourself. do not give up.