Hi. My name is Crystal. I’m passionate about helping people fight addiction through connection. Today I want to share with you how relapses are a part of the change and recovery process.
A couple of years ago, my son was doing really well with his recovery. He was making such great strides and improvements, and I was just thrilled with what was happening for him. Well, something triggered him just a few days before Christmas and money that he had saved to buy Christmas presents were used to contribute towards his addiction.
Well, when that happened, he felt horrible. He felt tons of shame and a lot of regret. At first, I got a little bit upset, or anxious that he had relapsed. But, then I remembered that I was taught three different things that are super helpful to help move through the process of a relapse.
So, the first thing I learned was to plan and prepare that relapse is part of the recovery and change process. So, knowing this, I was able to reduce my emotional reaction to the relapse and be able to respond to him with love, instead of fear. When we come from a place of fear, we start to get really emotional and we can get angry. And all that does is affect those that are struggling even worse. So, responding with love is super important. And keeping your emotions at bay and being able to go into your analytical skills to respond is very helpful.
The second thing was to identify triggers that take place in order to create that relapse. So, the very first thing is WHO. And we ask, who are the people that might trigger our loved one to go into relapse? The next thing is WHERE. Where are the places that they might be that would make them the most vulnerable to lose control?
The last thing is WHAT are the thoughts and feelings that they might be feeling that might trigger them to relapse. And if you don’t know these things, the best way to find out is to just ask them. In my son’s case, it was a girlfriend breaking up with him that created the trigger, which then made him go to a place with friends that were unhealthy for him that created that place for him to be vulnerable and lose control.
So, the last thing that I learned is to remember that everyone makes mistakes. Whether you’re learning to walk, you’re changing your diet, you’re learning how to communicate or you’re trying to overcome an addiction. And because everyone is learning and through their mistakes, it’s important to show an increase of love and encouragement. And one of the best things we can do is to spend quality time with them
So, if you have a loved one who is in recovery and they go through a relapse, just remember that this is part of the change process. It is part of the recovery process. So, knowing that ahead of time can help you so you don’t overreact emotionally. To help you use your thinking and logic to help them. It will help you identify possible triggers that took place so that they can do something different in the future. And as you respond with love and encouragement, and you spend quality time with them, you will help them on their road to recovery. And as you do this, you will be able to strengthen your relationship and create a bond that will help achieve the goals you are looking for.
So, my invitation to you is to remember that relapse is part of the recovery process. Showing love. Responding with logic instead of emotion. And helping identify triggers will be something that will help strengthen your relationship and be able to help you and your loved one through the recovery process.
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