When we relapse, it feels like we should give up hope. That moment when we start with a drink, we realize we have struck down our sobriety and we continue binge drinking in regret. When the alcohol withdrawal symptoms kick in again, we wonder what the point of even trying to be sober again is. After all, if we could fall off the wagon once, who is to say we won’t do it again.
It’s in this moment, we must realize that we are human. We are all bound to make mistakes at some point, and sobriety isn’t something we achieve and get a permanent gold star that we keep unless we have a relapse. We will make mistakes and struggle with drinking. There will be dark times in our life and we’ll find ourselves alone with a bottle and making a decision. It’s our strength and the techniques we learn that help us avoid future binge drinking so we don’t experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms again in the future.
Relapse shouldn’t define anyone
Instead, we will have the chance to realize we are stronger than the urge. Each time we fight alcoholism and we have a little victory, it’s that next step towards next time being a little easier. When we fall, it doesn’t mean we can’t win in the future. It means we need to talk things through with our support groups and find solutions that will work the next time. Alcoholism is a condition we will face for all of our lives, but it doesn’t have to define us.
That doesn’t mean we simply ignore the situation that led to the relapse either. Yes, you can pull yourself back on your feet. But you also must take a moment to clear your head and to determine what led to the relapse in the first place. Was the alcohol simply offered to you under pressure? Were you feeling stressed about something like the loss of a job or a loved one? Was a trip to somewhere you used to drink involved that made your current urge uncontrollable? When you understand what caused you to go through the experience again, you can begin to strengthen an area of your life that will allow you to avoid a future reoccurrence of drinking if the perfect storm were to hit again.
Relapse is an opportunity to try something new
It may also be useful to join a refresher course with your local alcohol treatment center. This is a time for you to speak with a group of people who can help you to create a new plan and revisit tips and techniques that will help to reduce the risk of another relapse in your life. These people are not there to judge you. Rather, this is a support system that will further ensure that you are successful as you combat alcoholism.
Take the time to understand all the resources that are available to you. When you fall, don’t beat yourself up and instead look for help when things get tough. Speak with your sponsor or a counselor and they can guide you back on the path of sobriety. These are, after all, trusted figures who will help you fight the alcohol withdrawal symptoms again to get you back on track, and help you to avoid binge drinking again if necessary.