Published on June 21st, 2019
Having an addiction is a tricky thing. You are always at risk to start using it again, no matter if we are talking about alcohol or drugs. And if you slip, the process is called relapsing. Some people say that relapse is an essential step in the recovery process, but it isn’t a necessary one.
Actually, your life would be easier if you would skip it. Statistics show that the people who get through a recovery process are relapsing at a certain point, and when they do it, they feel guilty and ashamed, and the situation can easily degenerate. You should try to protect yourself and start a relapse prevention process.
The ones who state that relapse is an event are wrong, it’s more of a process. The best way to prevent it, is to fully understand how it works. Physical relapse is preceded by weeks of mental and emotional relapse.
1. Describing The Relapse Process
As stated before, relapse includes multiple steps, first you are dealing with emotional relapse, then you are going through a mental relapse, and finally, you are physically relapsing.
2. Emotional Relapse
During the first stage, you don’t consider using the substance again, but you are dealing with emotions that can set you up for a relapse in the future if you don’t find a way to fight them. Some of the signs of emotional relapse are:
- Sleeping difficulties
- Poor eating
- You skip meeting
- You don’t accept or ask for help
- You defend your behaviour
3. Mental Relapse
Some people compare mental relapse with an interior fight. Part of you wants to use the substance but part of you is aware of the harm it does. At the start, you idly consider the option to start using it again, but slowly this idea is more and more tempting. Some of the signs that you are going through a mental relapse are:
- You are considering relapsing a viable option
- You want to reconnect with the people you drank, or took drugs in the past
- You start lying your family about your habits
- You start meeting your old friends
- You plan consuming substances when your family and friends are not around
4. Physical Relapse
Once you start thinking and planning your relapse, you are quite likely to do it if you don’t do something to stop the process. Going at the store to get a beer, calling your friends to bring you substances are only some of the signs that you are going through a physical relapse. Once you get here, it would be difficult to stop it without getting the specialised help of a centre specialised in alcohol rehab in Birmingham. This is why you should focus your efforts on activities that can help you prevent relapsing.
5. Visual Art
We used the term visual art to list multiple types of media. Art is one of the best ways to express your emotions and thoughts.
- Drawing – sketching can prove helpful when dealing with emotional relapse because it helps you express what you feel. You decide what you want to create, you can draw a self-portrait, create a canvas, or draw abstractly to express your conflicting emotions. At first, you may not understand how moving the brush on a canvas could help you, but visual art is a more effective therapy than you would think. Give it a try!
- Photography – people love photos because it’s a great way to create memories. Photography can be a hobby that takes you outdoors and helps you distract yourself from negative thoughts. Use your camera to take photos of nature and people, take time to get the perfect snapshot. Photography can also help you connect with people who share the same passion; it will keep you away from your old toxic friends that can convince you to relapse.
- Sculpture – no, we are not talking about clay, clay is only a way of bringing to life the things you imagine. You can use wood, metals, recycled materials, and even plastic to create sculptures. Actually, seeking for recycled materials will prove quite helpful because it will help you get out of the house.
It’s another activity that can help you take your mind from relapsing. You don’t have to be a talented dancer, you can take part in a class to acquire some skills. Dancing helps you express your feelings through the moves you make when listening to certain songs. You not only that will free your emotions but you will also exercise.
Exercising is an important part after you stop using substances, it helps your body recover and regain its strength. Taking part in a class will teach you some dancing moves, and will allow you to connect with other people. New relationships are crucial for someone who is trying to stay away from their old friends.
Sometimes the best way to deal with your emotions and the mental fight is to give them a voice. When you feel that your emotions overwhelm you, you should write about what you feel. Chances are you will feel relieved and you will not feel the need to relapse. How can you express your feelings through writing?
- Song Writing – if you love music then you can use all your conflicting emotions to create songs. You may’ve probably heard that some of the most famous songs of the world are based on deep emotions the composer experienced when they wrote music. You can pair up with a musician who is joining one of the recovery groups you attend; it will help you both stay away from using harmful substances.
- Novel Writing – you can use your entire experience fighting with drugs or alcohol to create a novel that could inspire other people. You can tell your story or you can use your life as inspiration and create a fictional world. Take advantage of this opportunity and write the story about how you would’ve wanted your life to be. It will encourage you to follow your dreams and to fight for what you want.