A relapse is the recurrence of any disease that has gone into remission or recovery.
Beating any addiction is hard, but someone at some point has successfully beaten every addiction. If you’re on the road to overcoming your addiction or heading off to drug rehab, you may be worried about a relapse. What happens if you start using again?
The best advice I’ve ever gotten is “don’t worry about it so much.” After rehab, sometime it can feel like everyone is watching you, waiting for you to relapse. Like it’s the only thing on anyone’s, including your own mind. This is not healthy. If you happen to use again, if you happen to relapse, it is not the end of the world, it’s a minor step backwards, which can easily be overcome if you handle the relapse in the right way.
You do not need to use, you don’t have to use, and you don’t want to use. But if you do, realise it, and put the word relapse to it. And most importantly, tell people about it, your family, your support, tell the people who know what you are going through, and remind yourself, that you have not fallen back into active addiction. You used, now you are stopping again. Don’t be hard on yourself; this breed’s negative self-respect and can turn that relapse into active addiction.
Be kind to yourself; be truthful with what you are doing, and what you have done. Many people have relapsed and fallen back into addiction, but at the same time, many people have relapsed, noticed it, taken accountability, and chosen for it to be a minor thing and have quickly gotten themselves back onto the path of sobriety.
The thing about relapse, I have heard lots of people after leaving rehab say is that they are focused on it, worried about it, and worried what others will think. This leads to unnecessary stress, that in itself can lead to a relapse. But as I have just said, if you know that, if a relapse does happen, that you can still successfully move forward and that it is a minor hurdle, that stress can be removed, leading to a relapse being less likely, and more manageable.
Be strong! And be honest! If a relapse does happen, notice it, deal with it, and move on, don’t let it consume you.