Recovering addicts who experience a relapse often have similar things to say about relapse. For most recovering addicts, relapse is very discouraging. It can leave many people disheartened with their recovery and want to give up. Others have the ability to overcome a relapse and try again. If a relapse is going to happen, it is far better to develop the attitude of overcoming the relapse to start again than it is to give up. It is this perseverance and resilience that leads to positive outlooks on relapse.
The idea that a recovering addict should be making progress instead of perfection is very valuable. Recovering from addiction is difficult and sometimes, the pressure to have a flawless recovery is so stressful that a person may relapse under the weight of their expectations, whether real or perceived. Rather than enforce perfection on one’s self, it is far healthier for a recovering addict to see their recovery as a gradual uphill climb rather than a leap to a high point. It is far more important to make continuous strides than it is to never make mistakes.
Many people who relapse feel discouraged and want to punish themselves. They feel that they have broken something that they cannot get back. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Relapse is, simply put, a chance to start over again with more understanding. In fact, the spirit of endurance in the face of relapse is a critical part of recovery. The truth is a majority of recovering addicts experience a relapse of some variety. It should never be a source of shame or discouragement, but rather a renewal in your commitment to your recovery.
The saying “tomorrow is another day” is a cliche, but it is an effective cliche. If you have relapsed, simply accept responsibility for your relapse and remember what you learned in your addiction treatment. Sleep on this insight, then wake up to restart your recovery on a brand new day.