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Learning From Relapse

Feeling Our Emotions

When we’ve relapsed, our instinct is often to try and move on as quickly as possible, to forget about it so that we don’t give it too much of our energy and cause ourselves to relapse again by thinking about it too much. We don’t want to dwell on the pain of our relapse, and all of the embarrassment and shame, and feelings of disappointment and defeat. We do want to let ourselves feel all of these emotions and all of the things that are usually too painful and scary for us that we don’t want to allow ourselves to feel. Our addictions have grown out of our emotional patterns of fear and resistance, our tendencies to suppress our pain and avoid our feelings altogether. Our mental health issues are a manifestation of all of this unhealed pain, festering within us that isn’t receiving any of our mindful energy and loving light. We can’t allow our relapses to make us shut down, to stop ourselves from feeling our painful emotions, because when we do this, we close ourselves off to learning from our experiences. We want to let ourselves feel everything that comes up for us when we relapse because in feeling all of it, in moving through it, we open ourselves up to healing.

Nothing Wasted in Recovery

One of our most painful emotions around relapse, one that many of us can easily relate to, is that of regret. We regret the mistakes we’ve made. We regret leaving rehab early. We regret giving up on ourselves. We think we’ve forfeited all of our hard work and wasted so much time, but in reality, none of our recovery work is ever wasted. Every bit of healing work we do ultimately contributes to our recovery, even when we take some steps backward, even when we make mistakes and do things we’re ashamed of. No time we spend healing ourselves is ever time wasted. We can learn from every aspect of our recovery, every challenging experience, every time we hit rock bottom, every time we relapse, every time we disappoint ourselves.

Exploring Our Experiences and Emotions

To help ourselves learn from our experiences with relapse, we can ask ourselves some exploratory questions. Why did I relapse? What was I thinking and feeling when I relapsed? What was tempting me? What was triggering for me? Was I tempted by seeing someone else using? Was I triggered by a specific memory of something someone said to me? What am I resisting by using my drug of choice? Am I avoiding a certain painful issue or trying to forget a particular traumatic experience? Is there a toxic habit, recurring pattern, or unhealthy relationship that is causing me to relapse repeatedly? Why am I still attached to my drug of choice?

The caring, compassionate staff of The Guest House is here to support you as you start your journey to recovery and healing. 

Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.

3230 Northeast 55th Avenue Silver Springs, FL 34488