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Relapse is a scary thought to many people who are working through recovery. Especially for those in early recovery, the idea of relapse can cause paralyzing fear. It can make you want to not do anything, try new things, go places, or meet new people for fear that you may end up in a situation that you are just not ready for.

Those are all understandable fears. Continue to work with a mental health professional as you journey through sobriety. If you have experienced relapse, know that you are not alone. Here are a few steps you can take if you have experienced a relapse.

Connect With Professional Support 

One of the first things to do after a relapse is to connect with a mental health professional. If you have been working with someone throughout your recovery, call and set up a time to talk through the situation. It is their job to help you work through and understand your situation.

If they have been working with you since treatment, they will understand your journey. If you have not been working with a professional, that is perfectly okay as well. Reach out to a mental health care provider and tell them about your situation. They will be able to work with you and help you to recenter and get back on track with your goals.

Call Your Loved Ones

If you have a strong support group of friends and family members, you may find it beneficial to call them and tell them how you are doing and what happened. Your loved ones want to support you, and they will be a great source to lean on if you are struggling.

For many people, talking through the situation helps to better understand it and why it happened. What lead up to your relapse? Did you notice any triggers ahead of time? Did you have a plan in place for that situation? If you did, can you see why it did not work for you in the moment? When you can talk about these questions with a loved one, you can see the situation more clearly.

Feeling the love and support of your friends and loved ones can help you focus on your self-worth and desire to move forward. For some, relapse can bring forth feelings of shame and can lead to isolation. Connect with loved ones who can help you to remember your journey and your worth.

Acknowledge Your Feelings 

Acknowledge how you are feeling. Try to look below the surface and acknowledge what is being felt deep down. When you can acknowledge how you are feeling, it can be easier to work through those emotions.

Try to be open and honest with a mental health professional. Talk about how you felt before and after your relapse. Are you struggling with your emotions? What healthy coping mechanisms are you going to utilize?

Relapse is hard. It can be challenging physically and emotionally. One of the first steps to take is to pause and acknowledge how you are doing. When you do this, it can help you to know what specific help you need at that moment.

Remember Your Goals

Goals are a huge part of life. When you have goals, you have something to focus on and push for. When relapse occurs, it can be easy to forget about your goals. It may also feel as if you are unworthy of your goals or that you have failed.

Remember how far you have come in your journey. Relapse is not failure. Recovery is a journey filled with highs and lows, challenges, and accomplishments. Remember your journey and where you are headed.

Find Your Center

Relapse can feel overwhelming. It can feel as if events are spiraling out of control and going at a pace that you cannot stop. Step back and pause. Take a breath. Finding your center is key to calming your mind and body. Try out activities such as yoga, meditation, or anything that helps you find your center and calm your mind. When you can find your center, you can better focus on your journey and zone in on your goals.

Being able to calm your mind and body is a great skill to have. This is something to work on as you journey through recovery, even when you are doing well with your goals. Try new activities and explore how they affect your well-being. Work with a therapist who understands your journey and mental health issues. They will be able to help you focus on your struggles and work towards being able to find your center and inner calm.

Relapse is a scary thing. It can cause feelings of shame and increase the likelihood of isolation. Understanding what steps to take after a relapse can help you work through that time in a healthy and productive way that enables you to get back on track with your goals and aspirations. Everyone is on a unique journey, and working through relapse may look slightly different for everyone. If you find yourself relapsing, reach out to professional help and connect with your loved ones. Feeling supported can significantly help you to work through tough times. You may also benefit from finding your inner calm and focusing on your goals. Here at The Guest House, we know how frightening and overwhelming relapse can be. We are here to help and support you. Call us today at (855) 483-7800 to learn more about how we can support you on your long-term recovery journey.