Early recovery is an exciting and venerable time for many people. The moment someone decides to stop using or drinking they are in recovery and at risk of relapse.
Relapse is often thought of a specific event (i.e. using a substance or drinking), but it’s actually an extended process that consists of three stages: emotional, mental and physical.
While you’re not thinking about using, your emotions and behaviors are setting you up for a possible relapse. These relapse “pitfalls” are:
Emotional relapse could also be a sign of Post-Acute Withdrawal (PAWS). This post explains PAWS and its signs and symptoms.
Ambivalence is a common state in early recovery, as part of you wants to use and the other part is resistant Early stages of mental relapse consist of simply thinking about using, but as it progresses it begins to manifest as:
If you do not use your coping skills or reach out to someone once you begin thinking about relapse, like a therapist or sponsor, relapse is almost inevitable.
If you are noticing these signs and symptoms in yourself or someone you know in recovery, seek help and reach out to a therapist or sponsor.