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You've Relapsed. Now What?

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Breathe. No matter how far you are in recovery, it can happen.

I have had two relapses in my many-year recovery journey. Both times felt awful but I also learned many lessons. I also would not be where I am today without the help I sought after each relapse.

In order to have a “successful” relapse, you first have to recognize you are having a relapse and acknowledge what is happening. If you cannot say out loud you are struggling, you cannot move forward. Just like any other recovery tool, honesty is key. If you are honest about symptoms, thoughts and urges, you can figure out what caused the relapse or what you need to do to help yourself.

Just like the rest of recovery, getting past a relapse does not happen overnight. The relapse may have happened that fast, but unfortunately getting back on your path can take longer. If you have been in recovery for a while, you may have some tools or resources you can turn to. They may or may not work this time.

That is OK. Use what works and leave what does not. 

A relapse is not the end of your recovery. It is also not an excuse to continue on a road of negativity and destruction. Relapses are an opportunity to learn more about yourself and your disease. Embrace the present moment with hope for the future. I am rooting for you and your journey because I know this is not the end. This is an opportunity.

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Thinkstock photo via AkilinaWinner.

Originally published: February 17, 2017
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