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Emotional Relapse is Just the Beginning


The general public understands relapse as using substances, after being sober for a certain amount of time.  Practicing abstinence from drugs and alcohol is difficult.  An addict will have cravings and triggers which can lead to relapse.  Many of the triggers begin with emotional misunderstanding.  Reality becomes difficult and stressful.  The individual wants to forget and numb the feelings.  The person in recovery can practice recognition of triggers coping skills to strengthen the recovery.  Emotional relapse is one of the first signs.  Difficult mood swings and overwhelming feelings will bring on cravings.  Stress is a top trigger, too.

The brain has neurotransmitters which send signals to connect various parts of the body.  The signals are on pathways.  Drugs and alcohol alter the pathways.  The result is unstable emotions, racing thoughts, anxiety, depression, etc.  To redirect the pathways, the addict has to learn to instruct themselves away from bad behaviors.  The difficulty of building new attitudes and fighting old habits is extreme.  Having support and coping skills will ease the difficulty.  

Noticing when emotions are getting out of hand is when the individual should grab some coping techniques.  Writing down the feelings is an easy way to put the mind at rest, express possible reactions, and realize the emotion is temporary.  Using artistic techniques is also common.  Taking time for regular expression can relax the mind and help avoid overreacting to small situations.  Stress relief is vital for a healthy life balance.  Being too lazy or bored can turn into a trigger.  The balance between being busy and relaxation will support mood stabilization.  

Emotional support can come from a therapy group, AA meetings, one on one therapy, and many other networks of people.  Instead of expressing feelings to paper or oneself, the individual can talk about emotions to someone who has a similar situation.  Empathy and understanding can grow between two people and create a new healthy relationship.  Each party involved will feel less alone.  Loneliness can be a difficult trigger to overcome.  Support from other family and friends can mend old relationships.

Emotional relapse can be just as dangerous as using a substance.  The effects of both examples will change the addict’s path.  Going back to the beginning of treatment and therapy isn’t going to be easy.  Relapse prevention plans can be helpful.  Working with someone to prevent further demise will bring the person in recovery back on track.  

Although relapse is scary, Resilient House has a wonderful Alumni Program which can help you avoid using substances again.  We can help and support you to have a long and successful recovery.  It’s time to live.  833-change1 (833-242-6431)