Relapse is Common in Alcoholism and Addiction

Emotions and Attitudes Can Spark the Fire

Far too often the actions of others and the influence of circumstances lead alcoholics and addicts to relapse. Rather than thinking it through the patterned solutions found with mood altering chemicals in earlier times take over. Alcohol is nearly always at hand or as close as the nearest bar. Drugs may be a little more challenging if lines of contact have been disrupted but these are easy to restore. The best way to avoid flare ups and returns to old solutions is to be on constant alert for Relapse Attitudes. These are some of the leading sparks and triggers. You may be able to compile your own additions to the list and post them for your reference.

Next time you begin to feel edgy, restless and unsure of your sobriety please consider a few of the things that could set you off. Just a few are contained in the following list.

Relapse List of Starters:

  • I can’t change the way I think. I’m not as bad as: (name)
  • Sobriety is Boring. I’ll never drink or use again
  • I’ve changed everything. Now I can substitute!
  • There’s got to be a better way than this.
  • If nobody else cares why should I? I wish I was happy.
  • I owe this one to me! I can do it myself without help.
  • I don’t care I’ve already lost everything.
  • Don’t think! Things will never change.
  • My problems can’t be solved.
  • I’d rather be drunk or high than be like this.
  • If I move everything will change for me.
  • I like my old friends and they understand me.
  • I can do things differently and still drink.
  • Nobody knows how I feel and they don’t care.
  • I’m depressed and feel hopeless. I can handle it!
  • Why try again it’s useless.

When the alcoholic or substance abuser lets confirmed knowledge and experience lapse it is only a matter of time before old dependencies come into play.

Mood altering drugs do perform their work and they prove it time after time. It’s only after the invisible line is crossed that all control goes out the window. Then, our emotions and attitudes have taken over again and we know the eventual outcome.

Alcoholics and addicts cannot start all over again. They can’t expect new solutions when the same chemicals are back in play leading us down the same paths. Abstinence is the mode we must follow and once we have attained it all else will work with us. To invite old patterns of thought and conduct back into our lives is not only an admission of failure but we open the door to relapse usually at a more intense level.

Review this list and consider some mental tricks you may be playing on yourself. It is possible to insert warning flags into the mind. This list would be a good place to start that process!