Distress is a part of everyone’s lives. When physical, psychological, or social anguish becomes too overwhelming and there is a lack of healthy coping mechanisms and support, relapses may happen. The relapse of a loved one could seem as though it were a plotted-out event, or it could catch you blindly. However, relapse is a slow progression with distinct signs.
No one wakes up in the morning thinking, “Gee, today would be a great day to relapse!” Instead, emotions and associated behaviors unconsciously set a person up to relapse. Denial, as an example, plays a huge role in emotional relapses.
An important acronym utilized in recovery is HALT: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. Often, these four situations are relapse triggers. If you notice any of the following signs in a loved one, they may on the verge of an emotional relapse:
- Hiding their emotions.
- Spending most of their time alone.
- Avoiding self-help meetings or not sharing when they do attend.
- Concentrating on others instead of themselves, which can be in regard to other’s issues or how others are distressing your loved one.
- Self-care, such as eating and sleeping, have declined.
During a mental relapse, there is a battle of “Use”/ “No, don’t use” raging inside your loved one’s mind. As time goes on, the need to escape trumps the necessity to stay clean and sober. Look for the following to help recognize a potential mental relapse:
- Cravings for drugs of alcohol.
- Memories of, or seeking out, things associated with their active addiction lifestyle (people, places, and things).
- Romanticizing prior use or stating that the consequences to their use were not that bad.
- Haggling, deceitfulness, or scheming.
- Looking for ways in which he or she could relapse or even hints of stated plans to relapse.
Relapse Prevention and Treatment
Signs of either mental and emotional relapse can lead to physical relapse. If you are in the beginning phases of a relapse, it is crucial that you seek treatment that can help you to identify what is going on in your mind, as well as with your behaviors. To gain sobriety, you will need to make a lot of changes in your life; the people with whom you associate, the places you may frequent, and the things you might do for fun will all need to change. In the past, bending the rules may have encouraged your continued use of alcohol or drugs. In sobriety, you will need to stick to the rules. They are there for a reason.
You will need to develop a life where it is easier to not use than to use. As difficult as it may be, maintaining honesty and asking for help when you need it can be your saving grace. Allow yourself to know that self-care is not selfish. It is a needed aspect for reminding yourself you are good enough to deserve a sober lifestyle.
The earlier help is sought out, the better probability of maintaining your sobriety. Working with trained professionals at the Discovery Place in Burns, Tennessee will allow you to gain healthy coping mechanisms. Developing a lifestyle that supports your recovery does not need to be done alone.
Family support encourages individuals to stay sober. That does not mean that, as a loved one of someone in an alternative treatment program, you are not also in a tough situation. At the Discovery Place, we know how much family really matters.
With programs designed with long-term recovery in mind, such as, “30 Day”, “Long-Term”, “Continuing Care”, and “Family Matters”, you have more than enough tools to set you on your path towards recovery. If you or a loved are in need of a Tennessee long-term drug and alcohol addiction recovery program, call Discovery Place at 1-800-725-0922.