As we discussed in our previous article, there is only one true cause of relapse: making the decision to pick up drugs and alcohol again. Relapse isn’t reserved for those who are addicted to chemical substances. Those who are living with other mental illnesses, like eating disorders, depression, anxiety, or behavioral issues, can also experience relapse into problematic behaviors or patterns of thinking. The overarching theme is frequently the same. Something in external life caused extreme stress internally, overwhelming the brain and stimulating a regression to old thought patterns. Whether it is falling into a depression, going into a binge, or picking up drugs and alcohol again, relapse happens. Be aware of these common causes of relapse.
Taking On Too Much Too Soon
Early recovery is meant to be a time for transition. After treatment, intensive therapy, or however we are incorporating recovery into our lives, we start to feel better. At times, our eyes can crave more than our spirit can handle. Taking on too much too soon is a recipe for disaster. High expectations for what you can handle lead to crushing disappointments- not because you can’t handle responsibility, but that you are not ready to handle all responsibility at once. Thinking that you’re failing, you aren’t capable, or that you’re not perfect now that you’re in recovery is a fast track to relapse.
Lack Of Support
Everyone needs someone. You need at least one person in your corner telling you that you can recover, you can grow, and you can persevere. Too many people find themselves alone in the world, abandoned by their family, having abandoned their friends, and otherwise disconnected from personal relationships. Thankfully, recovery is a big world of shared struggle, strength, and compassion. Too often, people continue their patterns of isolation in their recovery, convincing themselves they are alone, unloved, unwanted, and unsupported. Old behaviors and thought patterns can start to feel like old friends and become tempting.
Hanging With The Wrong Crowd
Equally as problematic as being completely alone is being surrounded by the wrong people. You might have had friends who encouraged your addiction, made you feel bad about yourself and influenced your depression, stressed you out and spiked your anxiety, or manipulated you in some way. Though these people aren’t good for your recovery, you can feel drawn to them anyway. Spending time with them hurts your spirit and your recovery. For whatever underlying reasons, you may not feel like you can break away. The stress of toxic relationships along with the lack of support you really need can cause you to look at relapse longingly, turning it into an escape.
You can build a life of recovery which no longer necessitates escape. With the O’Connor Professional Group by your side, you can custom create the recovery life of your dreams. Our concierge behavioral services are designed to fit your unique needs, empowering you to recover. Call us today for information: 617.910.3940