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3 Necessary Ways to Bounce Back Fast After a Relapse

Relapse can, unfortunately be, part of the story of recovery. For whatever reasons, the personal journey of some people on their path to recovery falters sometimes once, sometimes dozens of times, before they are able to continue walking in abstinence without losing their footing. People have different life circumstances that lead to relapse, different lessons to learn, and different ways that they come back from that relapse.

If you have recently experienced a relapse, you can come back to recovery. There are many obstacles to overcome, the first of which is overcoming your pride. Women relapse every day. Some make it back to recovery quickly, some take more time. Before your life gets swept away in drugs and alcohol again, follow these three suggestions for getting back on track.

  1. Embrace your mistakes, because they happen: Perfection is something we are actively working to let go of as a idealized standard in our life. Mistakes are a natural part of life. Some of our greatest inventions in life have been the result of mistakes! Mistakes happen, and relapse is just that: a series of mistakes. We start making mistakes in our recovery long before we pick up the first drink or drug. Ultimately, picking up a drink or drug is the greatest mistake. We make these mistakes because we haven’t quite learned how to make a better choice than drugs and alcohol. Learn what you can from this experience and put it to good use in the rest of your recovery.
  2. Reflect on your relapse: You might not want to spend another minute thinking about the fact that you picked up drugs and alcohol again. However, spending some time in honest reflection can help you prevent this event from happening again in your life. Start as far back as you think you can and work yourself right up to the moment you picked up a drink or a drug. What happened? Who were you with? What did you change? Did you start harboring resentments? Why do you think you made these decisions which lead from relapse? The most important questions you can ask yourself are: What lessons did I learn? What are positives I can identify from this difficult experience? How can I grow from this experience moving forward in my recovery?
  3. Own it: You relapsed. That’s the end of it. You made a decision and it wasn’t your best. You used drugs and alcohol again, lost your “sobriety date” and you might have to start over. In more ways than you can recognize now, this will help you in the future, as long as you own it and learn from it. Tell someone immediately. Get to a meeting and check in as a new comer. Go back to treatment if you need it and start over as soon as possible. By owning it, you give yourself permission to get into action and make a change.