Are you headed towards a relapse?

Are you headed towards a relapse?

Are you headed towards a relapse?

Unfortunately, many drug addicts and alcoholics in recovery end up relapsing. Every once in a while, I will meet someone who was a “white chip wonder”; meaning that they’ve only picked up one newcomer chip and have maintained sobriety ever since. There’s a reason these people are called “wonders.” Most people don’t stay sober the first time around. Some get caught in an endless cycle of relapse, treatment, and short periods of sobriety before they finally “get it.”

Contrary to what some people think, relapses do not just happen out of the blue. In fact, if you were to ask a recovering addict and alcoholic about their last relapse, they can usually identify a pattern of behavior that led up to the actual act of using a drug or drinking. Here are some signs you are headed towards a relapse.

1. You stop doing the things that got you sober

One of the first things that happens when you are headed towards a relapse is that you stop going to meetings and stop helping others. Usually, there is some justification of this behavior. You may tell yourself you are “too busy” or you may blame other people in the community: you don’t like the fact people pray or everyone talks too much about their past substance abuse.

However, once you’ve worked 12 steps, you don’t go to meetings to listen to the speaker or other people in the meeting. Your purpose is to go to meetings to help other alcoholics, and to create a fellowship for the newcomer. Even if you haven’t worked 12 steps, the most important thing about meetings is to be helpful to others in recovery. Even someone with 30 days can help the person with one day. As for being “too busy” to sponsor or go to meetings, remember your priorities. Recovery is more important than anything else you have to do, because you don’t have anything else if you don’t have sobriety.

2. You stop praying and meditating

Conscious contact with a higher power is crucial for an addict or alcoholic in recovery. Usually when you are headed towards a relapse, you stop praying and meditating. You may, again, think you are “too busy” or you may have resentment towards a higher power. When we lose that conscious contact with a higher power, we begin to feel restless, irritable and discontent. We seek other things to fill that spiritual void like shopping, sex, attention, or food. These things do not last in the long term.

3. You stop taking your inventory

When we are caught up in fear, resentment, selfishness, or dishonesty, we are supposed to immediately ask God to remove it, call someone and tell them, make amends quickly if we owe them, and turn our attention to helping others. This is how we keep these negative feelings from building up, and how we keep ourselves unblocked from God. When we aren’t constantly checking our behavior, it is easy to get into a very unspiritual and negative mindset. We often start acting out at this point without noticing the underlining behaviors such as gossip, anger, deceit, and righteousness. We nurture our resentments and start keeping secrets.

Be mindful of your thoughts, actions and the kind of program you’re working. Relapsing can be prevented but you must be 100% conscious of what it is you’re feeling and doing. If you feel like you’re heading towards a relapse pick up the phone and call your sponsor, a friend in recovery, or your bestfriend. Call someone that you know works a solid program and can help you get back on track.

If you’re a Palm Partners Alumni and feel you might be headed towards a relapse please contact our Alumni team.

Alumni Department

Tim Price – Alumni Outreach Coordinator

Feel free to call or e-mail 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

Julia Davies – Alumni Coordinator

Feel free to call or e-mail 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

  • Contact me with anything from just saying hello, event inquiries, referring a loved one, or questions about getting involved with our Alumni program.
  • Call me at (202) -494-0627
  • jdavies@palmpartners.com

If your loved one is in need of addiction treatment, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.