6 Things to Do After You Relapse
After relapses a lot of us don’t know what to do with ourselves next – what steps do we take? It can be a very difficult time for you and it can be helpful to have a guide in what you should do next. I’ve thought of 6 things to do after a relapse.
6 Things to Do After You Relapse…
#1. Be honest with yourself and admit that you relapsed
The first step of the 12 steps of any anonymous fellowship is admitting you are powerless over your addiction and that your life has become unmanageable. This is a critical step in recovering from your drug and alcohol addiction. You can’t get better if you stay in denial and aren’t honest about your problem. Be honest with yourself and accept that you slipped up.
#2. Call a sober support or your sponsor
This can be very difficult, but it is vital to your recovery that you tell someone about your relapse. You may feel uncomfortable and embarrassed about the relapse and it can be hard to open up and tell someone. Remember that your sober supports and your sponsor are there to help you. Keeping the relapse to yourself will only make it worse and people will end up finding out anyway.
#3. Go pick up a white chip at a meeting
Once you’ve admitted your relapse and told someone, the next thing to do is hit a meeting. Picking up your white chip symbolizes that you are starting over again and have admitted that you have a problem. Someone should come up to you after the meeting or you can go up to someone who had their hand raised to be a sponsor. People are willing to help, just go up and talk to them!
#4. Remember to take it slow #ODAT (one day at a time)
Take it one day at a time and don’t be hard on yourself. Try making a 24-hour commitment to yourself to stay sober. It can be overwhelming and very emotional after a relapse, try not to think too far into the future and just commit to 24-hours at a time. If you get too overwhelmed it can cause you to want to throw in the towel and give up; don’t think into the future – stay focused on the here and now. Once you’ve made it through the first 24-hours, make another 24-hour commitment!
#5. Know that it’s okay and things will get better
It might seem hopeless at first, but things will get better. Relapse is a normal part of the recovery process (but it isn’t required) and it doesn’t mean you can’t get back into your program and be successfully sober. Things will get better and it will get easier, just give it time. Stay close to your sober supports and sponsor in the mean-time.
#6. Take suggestions from your sponsor and people in the rooms
The first few days after a relapse are the hardest and most people don’t know what to do with themselves. You probably are questioning a lot of different things and are unsure of how to go about doing things like telling your parents, what to do to keep busy, telling all of your friends and sponsees and more questions like that. Speak to your sponsor and supports and they can give you suggestions on what you should be doing. In the beginning just do what they recommend and forget about everything else. It doesn’t have to all be figured out right away.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-777-9588.