Guilt is defined as “the fact of having committed a specified or implied offense or crime.” As an action, to guilt means to “make (someone) feel guilty, especially in order to induce them to do something.” Unfortunately, guilt which comes from a relapse doesn’t always inspire someone to do something about it. Instead, the guilt can be more convicting of that “implied offense or crime” and essentially imprison someone within their guilt. Guilt and shame can become toxic inhibitors of recovery until they are approached directly. After spending money, time, and energy on treatment, many are painfully disappointed in themselves when they relapse. Relapse can happen, but it does not always have to. However, when relapse does occur, the most important thing is to get back into a program of recovery as soon as possible. Not everyone will have the ability to go back to residential inpatient or any other level of treatment. They might find they have to pick up the tools they momentarily put down and start again. Here are some suggestions for working through that guilt as soon as possible and getting back to sobriety.
Let Yourself Off The Hook
Yes, you relapsed. You can call it whatever you want: messing up, screwing up, throwing it all away. The only way you “waste” your treatment and sobriety experience is by not going back. You have to let yourself off the hook and remember that the disease of addiction is a chronically relapsing and remitting disease. Staying in “remission” from addiction long term is possible, but relapse is also likely.
You Need To Know You’re Worth Sobriety
More importantly you need to know for yourself that sobriety is worth it. If you are teetering the edge of coming back or not, you might find yourself asking many other people what you should do, should you go back, is it worth it, etc. A million people will give you a million opinions. You have to be the one to form an opinion of your own, make a decision, and take action.
Relapse Didn’t Happen Overnight
Relapse is a process, not an episode. Meaning, that your decision to pick up and use again didn’t happen in an instant. It’s likely you were thinking about it in different ways for some time. By getting back to treatment, therapy, or recovery support meetings, you will be able to see where your relapse came from and how to avoid it in the future. Though relapse didn’t happen overnight, sobriety does. In fact, it happens in an instant. One minute at a time, you have to not pick up. It can start right now.
If you are struggling to get back to recovery, Aurora is here to help. Aurora Recovery Center offers a full spectrum of care from medical detox to sober living to help members grow through recovery. For more information, call us today at 844-515-STOP.