During addiction recovery, you’re completely changing your priorities. You’re putting down drugs and alcohol in favor of a life of renewed sobriety, health, and possibility. As you go through this transition, thinking about using again is not uncommon. Addiction used to be the most essential thing in your life—it makes sense that it would pull at you occasionally. However, if these thoughts become more constant, you may be at risk of mental relapse. Contact BRC Healthcare today at [Ditect] to learn more about mental relapse in addiction and how to avoid relapse by enrolling in our relapse prevention program in Texas.
What Is Mental Relapse?
Relapse consists of three stages and is defined as the recurrence of a disease after marked improvement. These stages include:
- Emotional relapse
- Mental relapse
- Physical relapse
Before someone ever touches drugs or alcohol again, several factors trigger an internal battle. Typically, a significant life event or several minor stressors will combine to push one’s thoughts toward using again.
One of the most significant hallmarks of mental relapse is nostalgia—painting one’s old days in an overly positive light. Instead of focusing on how substance use destroyed their relationships and lives, it’s tempting to think about fond memories and old friends associated with drugs and alcohol. The glamorization of these people, places, and things can take over one’s thoughts and plant the seed of returning to active addiction.
How to Avoid Relapse
Without immediate intervention, the results can be disastrous. Luckily, there are steps you can take to stop the process of mental relapse in addiction.
Talk About It
Above all else, don’t be afraid to talk about your feelings. This scenario is precisely what sponsors, meetings, and loved ones are here for. They want nothing more than your sustained sobriety. When your mind chooses to overlook logic, it can help ground you and work through your impulses safely.
Get a Change of Scenery
Believe it or not, boredom and loneliness are two major risk factors for mental relapse. If you find yourself reminiscing about your using days, take the day into your own hands and make a change. Take a brisk walk to get your blood flowing, drive to pick up a favorite meal, or make plans with sober friends. Distract yourself from troublesome thoughts with healthier behaviors.
Go to a Meeting
If your regular meeting isn’t convenient to the time or place where you’re feeling these impulses to use again, try a new meeting. Seeing new faces and hearing new stories can be welcome distractions, and as always, you can share how you’re feeling without fear of judgment.
Use Your Journal
Writing about your feelings can help you process temptations and emotions independently. Suppose you must organize your thoughts before speaking to a friend or professional. In that case, this is an excellent opportunity to unpack your internal dialogue and list all the positives of sobriety.
Take an Exercise Break
When you’re feeling overwhelmed or stuck in your head, going for a quick jog or heading to the gym can be helpful. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins and occupies your body and mind. This is another healthy distraction to substitute for continued reflection on drug or alcohol use.
Know When to Ask for Help
We encourage you to remember that no one does the work of addiction recovery alone. The pull of drugs and alcohol may become stronger and occupy more and more of your thoughts as time passes. If this is the case, we strongly recommend that you contact our team for immediate help. It’s much easier to stop mental relapse in its tracks when you’re working with highly-trained professionals.
Avoid Mental Relapses in Addiction with BRC Healthcare
Mental relapse is a common yet severe phenomenon in addiction recovery. At BRC Healthcare, we provide the resources necessary to help you avoid mental relapses in Texas. To learn more about our programs or speak to a representative, reach out today at 888.559.2036.