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Relapse Prevention Tools

Sometimes preventing relapse feels like the hardest work we’ll ever do in our lives. We’re consumed with fear of all the horrible consequences that will befall us if we relapse, many of which we’ve already experienced, so we’re all too familiar with the pain and hardship relapse can bring with it. On top of that, we’re feeling self-doubt and insecurity about our ability to stay sober. We’re questioning our strength, our willpower, resilience, and perseverance. We might not have much sober time under our belts, and sobriety might be an entirely new, and very daunting, part of our lives. As part of our recovery, we’ll want to think of some relapse prevention tools for ourselves that we can turn to in moments of weakness, temptation, doubt, and fear.

Keep A Journal

It can sound simple, but sometimes the simplest things are the most effective. When we relapse, we tend to feel spikes in our anxiety that immediately precede it. We might feel mood swings, panic, and an inability to relax and slow down our minds. Having a journal to turn to and write in can be instantly calming and soothing. It can give us a huge sense of relief, release, and detachment from our painful thoughts and feelings. Writing in a journal can help us to organize and make sense of our thoughts, many of which are confusing and bewildering for us. When we see them in writing, they start to feel less scary and overwhelming. They start to become clearer and easier to manage. We can use writing as a calming tool to help ourselves work through the intense thoughts and emotions of relapse so that we can move through them without turning to our drug of choice for comfort and without falling back into old destructive patterns.


When we learn to be mindful, we become better able to observe our thoughts and feelings without reacting to them and without acting on them and doing something we might regret. We can look at our painful thoughts and distance ourselves from them, refute them, and reject them. We don’t have to believe our temptation and addictive urges telling us we’re too weak to refuse them. We don’t have to believe our anxious thoughts telling us we’re not strong enough to get through them. We can apply our skills of mindfulness, peaceful detachment and thought observation to keep us from falling into the trap of relapse.

At The Guest House Ocala, our recovery programs include many experiential modalities including traditional therapy, conscious connected breathwork, equine therapy, somatic experiencing, art in healing, grief therapy, mindfulness and other forms of therapy. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.