ABTRS understands the fear of relapse experienced by those in sobriety. After all, you have put in time, energy and focus to recover. The fear of trying so hard only to experience a relapse.
It is not uncommon to have nightmares about relapse. Maybe you try to hide it in the dream or attempt to justify the using. The fear of returning to one’s old, self-destructive behaviors is a very real issue for many people in recovery, especially early sobriety.
Relapse is an experience, not a defining moment. Sometimes relapse is a part of the journey—sometimes not. It is important not to justify a relapse with the excuse that it is part of the journey because it is not a requirement. Just as important, do not beat yourself up about a relapse.
Relapse can be a teaching moment about triggers, stressors or key identifiers that healthy boundaries are not being upheld or met by friends, family members or coworkers. Learn what you can from the experience and move on with your recovery.
The danger of relapsing is always a fear of death and further devastation and demoralization. Some people relapse and die from the first dose. Others may slide further down into the abyss of addiction, losing everything gained and anything that was not lost before.
It is not uncommon for those who relapse to rapidly accelerate their using and progress in their drug of choice. For instance, an Alcoholic who relapses may progress to using meth daily.
Relapse is appropriately feared by those in recovery. However, if a relapse occurs, it is not the end of the world if the individual reaches out for help and gets back on the sobriety wagon as quickly as possible.