Relapse is a common but difficult part of the recovery process. So many of us experience it. We’re told that it’s nothing to be ashamed of, that it’s a normal part of the recovery process to be expected, and that beating ourselves up will only make us more likely to engage in our addictive behaviors to cope with the pain of our self-judgment. We have a hard time forgiving ourselves, even when we’re advised that we need to have self-forgiveness and self-acceptance to fully recover. We have a hard time not inundating ourselves with shame, even though we know it doesn’t serve us. All the disappointment we feel in ourselves can end up holding us back, because we’re giving it all our energy and focus, rather than choosing to focus on how we can do better moving forward.
When we relapse, we can use the experience not as a reason to be unkind to ourselves but as a reminder of why our sobriety is so crucial. We’re reminded just how important it is to us to be clear, present and conscious. We’re reminded just how far off track our urges can take us. We’re reminded how much happier we are when we’re doing what is best for ourselves and working towards our goals. We remember the sting of defeat and the bitterness of disappointment, and moving forward, we have a visceral, tangible reminder to help us stave off addictive urges as they arise. We can choose to think of our relapses not as evidence of our failure but as motivation to try harder, to love ourselves more, and to never give up.
The treatment programs at Riverside Recovery, including the Intensive Outpatient Program, are designed to help you achieve your goals in recovery and to prevent relapse. Call (800) 871-5440 today for more information.