Recovery is not a ‘one size fits all’ process and relapse doesn’t mean failure or that you are an addict or will always be an addict. You might feel a lot of guilt and shame when you relapse or you might even feel like a failure, but don’t beat yourself up, because relapse or ‘slip-ups’ is a great opportunity to learn something that will help you next time around. Relaspe means that there is a lesson for you to learn, new tactics for you to apply and more work to do on yourself. It’s a realization that you have been trying but that avenue that you tried did not work for you so you’ll need to try something different.
Maybe next time instead of pouring a glass full of wine, pour it half full, that will lessen your chances of over drinking. Maybe instead of drinking in the afternoon where there’s a high probability that you’ll drink for hours, drink closer to bedtime when there is less time to spare, thus less opportunity to drink excess.
Relaspe is about learning what didn’t work for you and making necessary adjustments. It doesn’t mean that you’ll never overcome or that you are doomed.
It’s important to count your wins and acknowlege when you have done well, maybe for instance when you were sober for a whole month, that’s an accomplishment! Think back on that period when you accomplished (in this example, being sober for 1 whole month), what do you think are the attributes that contributed to you being sober? Was it your environment, was it engagement with your family, was it during some special event or period in your life? What can you do to recreate that environment to foster a positive outcome? Think about it and write down on a piece of paper what you can do to foster the atmosphere for you to achieve success (whatever success may look like for you).