The risk of addiction relapse is always present for recovering addicts and there are many situations or emotions that can trigger one. Most recovering addicts are aware of feelings and emotions that could trigger a relapse and they know what to avoid, especially in the early days. They will usually steer clear of parties at which alcohol or drugs will be present; alcoholics will not head to the pub for a night out and neither recovering alcoholics or recovering drug addicts will spend time with friends who are still drinking or using drugs. It just makes sense, especially in the beginning.
However, over time, recovering addicts may become complacent and their resolve could start to slip. There are a few warning signs that a relapse may be on the cards, so watching out for these can help you avoid it.
If you find that you are making excuses for your behaviour or actions, then it could mean you are on the verge of a relapse. Recovering addicts who find themselves constantly coming up with reasons why they have been late in from work or making excuses as to why they have not attended their support meetings could be about to relapse.
If your life is spinning out of control and you are suffering from anxiety or panic attacks, you need to get help immediately. If you find yourself engaging in compulsive behaviours such as gambling or excessive shopping, then you need to get your life back on track as soon as possible. Speak to your counsellor or therapist and explain how you are feeling.
Glamorising the Past
You have noticed that you are starting to think back to the days when you were drinking or taking drugs with fondness. You begin to miss your old friends and are wondering if alcohol or drugs really were the cause of your problems – maybe it was something completely different and nothing to do with these substances at all. You think that maybe you would be okay to social drink; after all, you are completely fine now so how would one or two drinks harm you?
In the early days of recovery, you were conscious of trying to make an effort with your loved ones and could have spent time trying to rebuild relationships. You took on more responsibility at home and were sticking to your commitments. However, now you have found that you are failing to fulfil any of your responsibilities and cannot meet any deadlines at work or home. You are doing other things that you know are not good for you, and you are neglecting other important commitments.
You have started to neglect your personal hygiene. You have stopped brushing your hair or changing your clothes every day and, if you are feeling ill, you avoid seeing the doctor. If you have found that you have no interest in taking care of yourself, this is a strong indication of how you view yourself and your recovery. You need to get help straight away if you are no longer looking after yourself as you should be.
If you are a recovering alcoholic, you may think that you could switch to cannabis or prescription medication to make you feel better. As long as you avoid alcohol, where is the harm? Or maybe you are spending all of your time gambling online and have become obsessed with this. All you are doing is switching one addiction for another, which will take you right back to where you started.
If you notice any of the things we have mentioned above, you need help immediately. Call Addiction Helper to speak to a qualified advisor, therapist or counsellor. We can provide you with advice and support to help you through this tough time.