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Why Relapse Isn't a Failure

Relapse is a terrifying word. It’s rarely used in a positive light. The word comes from the Latin “re,” meaning “back,” and “labi,” meaning “to slip.” When we use the word “relapse,” we are talking about slipping back into something we have climbed away from intentionally. The list of behaviors we can relapse into is endless. When this happens, we can often easily shake it off and move forward. However, this isn’t always the case.

Relapse and Substance Abuse

For those who struggle with substance abuse, relapse is a terrifying word. Relapse often occurs in the world of substance abuse and recovery. Often the threat of relapse alone is used as an excuse not to treat substance abuse at all.

Avoiding treatment because of potential failure is a terrible excuse. However, substance abuse doesn’t need a compelling excuse to keep a tight hold on its victim. After all, substance abuse is terrible for us. Why wouldn’t we be willing to embrace a weak reason to keep it in our lives?

For those who are on the path to recovery, the threat of relapse always feels like it’s always looming overhead. Studies show that the pattern of substance abuse stays ingrained in our nature even after treatment. Because of this, relapse always feels like it’s waiting for us to let down our guard just once. It succeeds far more often than we would like to think.

What Relapse Can Do for Us

Relapse isn’t a failure. Failure isn’t as prevalent in this world as we’d like to think. It’s very rare to find a specific task we can genuinely fail at. Failure is not accomplishing something and not being given a chance to try again. We may not accomplish something many times, but we are often given many chances to try again.

Relapse is things not working out the way we intended. That description can be given about most things in life. Rarely do things go as we planned. However, that doesn’t mean we get to give up. Instead, we get the opportunity to be more prepared for the next time.

When we relapse, we get to see what we might have done wrong and make plans for how we can avoid those missteps in the future. Relapse is the opportunity to view our previous climb and see the slips in the road that we can avoid in the future.

How to Learn From Our Experiences

Professional help is an invaluable resource for our journey in recovery. There is just as much insight to be gained from a licensed health professional when healing from relapse as there is in initial treatment for substance abuse.

When it comes to our setbacks, we tend to be too hard on ourselves and decide giving up is best. Treatment can give us the insight and support we need to learn from our mistakes and move forward. The only way we can actually fail is to never try again. That’s how substance abuse wins.

The threat of relapse is never a reason to avoid treatment in the first place. It’s also never a reason to give up on recovery. Relapse can teach us many lessons about living a life free of substance abuse. To be truly successful in recovery and life in general, you have to be willing to grow. Growth often means temporary setbacks. When relapse happens, The Guest Hosue can help get you back on the path to wellness. Call us today at (855) 483-7800 for more information.