Sticking to your relapse prevention plan is part of the process of recovery and overcoming substance use disorders. Understandably, this can sometimes seem challenging, and you may want to falter. However, as part of your daily routines, it is worthwhile to get into the habit of asking your essential relapse prevention questions.
What Is Relapse Prevention?
Relapse prevention is a vital part of your recovery. Whether you are just starting addiction treatment or have entered aftercare, you need to have a plan to help you address your carvings and triggers that could cause you to relapse.
The process of identifying triggers and learning the skills and coping strategies you can use to overcome them is often referred to as relapse prevention. However, it is much more than just surviving. Part of relapse prevention is also learning to put your needs first and personalize your recovery to reduce the risk of relapse.
What Relapse Prevention Questions Should I Ask Myself?
Even though recovery is a personal experience and process, there are several common relapse prevention questions you should be asking yourself daily, including:
Do you feel overwhelmed, over-stressed, or anxious?
Stress, anxiety, and a general sense of feeling overwhelmed can lead to relapse. Therefore, you need to be able to identify these feelings and apply the appropriate self-care to alleviate them. For example, some people find meditation or soaking in a hot bath a great way to reduce these feelings.
Do you feel depressed?
Depression can be common for some people with co-occurring disorders. Their depression could have led to addiction or vice versus. Other people can start to feel depressed when they do not believe they are progressing as fast as they thought.
You need to determine why you feel depressed, so you can address it. So, if you feel depressed, the best place to start is by talking about it at group meetings or during individual counseling.
Have you started isolating yourself away from others?
Isolating yourself is one of the worst things you can do when in recovery. You need a support network to help keep you encouraged and motivated. Aside from group meetings, consider other group activities, such as sports, book clubs, or game nights.
Have you stopped following your structured routine?
Another essential part of recovery is sticking to a structured routine. It is perfectly acceptable to alter and adjust your routine as your needs change. However, deciding you are not going to do something or completely disregarding your schedule is not beneficial for your recovery.
Have you become overconfident in your recovery?
Some people make the mistake of becoming overconfident in their ability to remain sober. They may deliberately put themselves in situations where alcohol and drugs are present. They might start re-associating with former friends that misuse substances. However, overconfidence can lead to relapse, so it is best to take things slowly.
Are you bargaining with yourself about drinking or using drugs?
Our thoughts, minds, and cravings can be our worst enemies when we are in recovery. Suppose you find yourself bargaining by telling yourself you can handle a drink or using drugs just this once. This is a clear warning you are on the path to relapse. You may need to develop new coping skills to compensate with help from your support network.
Have you noticed your attitude about recovery seems less important?
As you progress in recovery, it is normal that you may no longer believe you need to stick to your aftercare plan. You may feel it is no longer as important as it used to be. However, this just means you need to update your plan and adjust it to fit your current needs.
Are you skipping meetings and individual counseling?
Meetings and individual counseling are essential to recovery, especially in the early stages. Even as you progress, attending regularly can continue to help keep you motivated and focused on your sobriety.
Do you feel resentful towards others in recovery who are progressing faster than you?
We are our worst critics and often set unrealistic expectations about our recovery. So, it is understandable when we hear others talk about their progress in recovery. We can feel resentful that we are not keeping up.
However, it is vital to remember recovery is a personal journey, and each individual will progress at a different pace. So, do not beat yourself up if you are not moving as fast as you think you should. Instead, be thankful that you have made it through another day and remained sober.
Are you skipping daily exercise and falling back into unhealthy eating habits?
Daily exercise and eating a healthy diet are vital to healing the body, mind, and spirit after addiction. It is okay if you allow yourself to have “cheat days” occasionally. However, if you are gradually backsliding, you must take steps to get back on track.
What If I Relapse? Then What?
You need to remember relapse is not the end of your recovery journey. The important thing to do is to acknowledge the relapse, then take the appropriate steps to understand your addiction better and regain your sobriety. Just remember you are not alone. Many people in recovery have also relapsed at least once.
Relapse Prevention and Recovery Support in Nashville, TN
When you need further assistance improving your relapse prevention plan or relapse and are looking for recovery support, you can count on Detox Nashville in Tennessee. We offer access to holistic therapies, aftercare services, and medically supervised detox should you relapse. Please feel free to contact us today to learn how we can help you on your recovery journey.