When a person is in recovery for drug or alcohol addiction, the first relapse can be a powerful lesson. That lesson is that “You have not failed, You have only learned.” What does this mean?
It means a drug relapse does not equate to failure. It happens, and it’s pretty normal to relapse if you are recovering from addiction. Of course, the goal is to prevent relapse as much as possible, but do we learn to walk without falling? That would be rare. When a baby learns to walk, the baby must learn to crawl first, and then, it learns how to stand, and finally, after a few falls here and there, the baby takes the first step of a lifetime. That is also how recovery works. You must crawl, and fall a few times, to finally get it right.
However, people often view relapse as a failure because they focus too much on the “drug use” aspect. They might believe the individual doesn’t really want to recover. Or alternatively, the recovering individual might be too hard him or herself, and become bombarded by guilt, shame, embarrassment, humility or self-helplessness. These powerfully dark emotions often lead to depression, anxiety, stress – which perpetuates the vicious cycle of relapse and addiction all over again…
Every person is different, so it’s important to really understand what triggers that specific person to relapse. Just remember, it’s all trial and error. If you or someone you care about relapses, remember, take note of what may have caused the relapse. Were you in a certain negative setting? Were there a particular group of people around you who may have influenced you to relapse? Did something happen that triggered your relapse?
All of these questions and more can help you improve on your recovery. And next time you feel a relapse coming, you’ll be prepared to stop it dead in its tracks, and maintain your sobriety like you always knew you could. Best of luck!
Florida Center for Recovery – Addiction Treatment Center: 866-910-0417
Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Recovery