Even though the goal of treatment is to help patients remain sober for the rest of their lives, the reality is that addiction can be different for everyone. Some people have certain circumstances or issues that make it more difficult for them to be completely successful the first time they enter rehab. If you experience a relapse and are enrolling in rehab again it is important to understand that you haven’t failed at becoming sober, it will simply be a longer process for you.
Recovery can be vary dramatically from person to person in terms of the length of time it takes and their level of comfort with a sober lifestyle. Just as everyone has their own individual history, habits and patterns when it comes to their drug use, everyone will experience recovery differently. Some people are lucky enough to remain sober after their first stay in treatment but the reality is that many others may have to try more than once to become permanently sober.
Relapse can happen to anyone and in your support group meetings you will probably encounter others who have been through the same issues. Mistakes are a part of learning and making dramatic changes in your life can take a lot of effort to maintain without a few missteps. The important thing to remember is that your journey to recovery is not over, you can start over again and renew your commitment to be sober.
Talking About Your Relapse in Treatment
If you are entering treatment again, it can be helpful to be open and honest with other people in the program about your situation. Talking about your relapse make feel shameful and embarrassing but it can be a good way to help process your feelings. Others in the program may also be able to learn from your story and understand the reality of relapse even after treatment.
The positive thing about going back to rehab is that you will have a regular therapist again who can help you work through your feelings about the relapse and motivate you to try again to maintain your sobriety. Going to therapy can be a very healing experience especially if you are feeling any guilt, disappointment or hopelessness about the events of your relapse. Talking about these issues with your therapist can be the most constructive way to forgive yourself and move on.
Even though you might feel a lot of shame about your relapse it is important to be honest about it with your friends and family as well. Before you enter treatment, talk to your loved ones about the situation and let them know you are doing the right thing by going back to rehab. They may feel worried or even a bit disappointed themselves but it is crucial that they understand the situation so they can provide you with support.
Learning from Mistakes and Moving On
One of the hardest parts of relapse is dealing with the guilt that feel about breaking your sobriety. However, one thing to keep in mind is that the whole experience is something that you can learn from. If you don’t allow your emotions to overwhelm you, your feelings of guilt may actually help motivate you to be more committed than ever to being sober.
Having gone through a relapse you can start to better understand the causes of relapse and how to handle them in the future. Analyzing your own experience can help you process the event and understand in depth how it occurred. What were the feelings, circumstances and triggers that led to your relapse?
It might feel embarrassing to think about or talk about your mistakes but they can be a valuable learning tool so that you can identify your own triggers. You can learn to avoid certain situations, people or places that trigger you and develop more effective strategies to cope with your emotions. Even though you have already been to rehab, going to treatment again can help refresh your memory and allow you to fine-tune your healthy coping mechanisms.
In your treatment program you may not be alone in your experience, there may be others who are attending rehab for the second time or who have relapsed in the past. Talking to these people can help you feel less isolated and ashamed of what you’ve been through and you can be there for each other throughout treatment. You can learn a lot from their experience and they can learn from yours as well.
Attending treatment again does not represent a failure because it gives you a chance to move forward and continue striving for positive change. Not everyone can achieve sobriety right away and continuing to work toward your goals means that you are dedicated to living a better life no matter what obstacles you experience. Going to treatment again can be a great opportunity and a learning experience that will prove very valuable in your recovery journey.