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Understanding Remission 

What is Remission?

Addictions, like any other illness, have cycles and periods of variation that impact our experience with them. Addictive patterns aren’t always consistent, and how we feel can change drastically from one phase of our addiction to another. One of these phases, which can bring us a great deal of confusion and turmoil, is remission. This term refers to any period when we’re not actively using our drug of choice. Periods of remission can last for days, weeks, months, even years. During that time, we can feel as though our addictions are no longer a problem for us. We might no longer feel we have to identify as addicts. Our tough life circumstances may have cleared up. We might not be struggling financially or emotionally anymore. A longer remission might leave us feeling peaceful, happy, or even on top of the world. We may feel as though we can finally handle our thoughts and emotions without turning to our drug of choice to help us cope.

The Crash After the High

It’s important to understand that a period of remission can precede a crash or a breakdown. That feeling of peace we experienced in the absence of our addiction can give way to even more sadness and fear than before. In turn, we might experience a spike in our addictive patterns. After the remission is over, we find ourselves using substances even more frequently and excessively. We might have intense mood swings, and we might feel unable to control or make sense of them. Because that lull in our usage was only a period of remission, we may be putting ourselves at an increased risk when we start using again. Overdoses and other potentially fatal miscalculations are often the results of the crash after a period of remission.

Complacence in Our Recovery

During remission, we tend to stop being vigilant. We start easing up on ourselves and relaxing our strict rules around sobriety. We might decide that we can use our drug of choice in moderation because we think we’re no longer afflicted with the same severe problems. In light of our temporary sobriety, we decided we were never really addicted at all. We pick up our drug of choice and enjoy it without feeling guilty or nervous. Using again doesn’t even feel like relapse, and we become complacent in our recovery work. These risks are why it’s important to understand the cycles of addiction. We have to stay on top of ourselves and remain diligent with our sobriety, even during remission. If we think our work is done, we’ve still got a long way to go.

Are you ready to take the first step on your journey to recovery? Call The Guest House today! 855-483-7800.