As people try to overcome alcoholism, they must deal with potential relapses and cope with the urge to drink again. Some people question why relapses begin before the first drink, but you deal with relapsing before the alcohol touches your lips.
To stop yourself from relapsing, you must prepare before reaching that point. If you don’t know where the relapse begins, you’ll find it difficult to stop it from happening. After all, if you can’t identify the starting point, you could fall into relapses without realizing it. Make sure you understand relapses, where they start and how you can prevent them from happening.
Defining a Relapse
Relapse refers to the process of someone making a mistake with a habit they want to avoid. For example, a person can relapse on their desire to work out daily while another could relapse on a drug. A relapse occurs once someone officially breaks away from their goal and falls back into old habits. A relapse can happen for multiple reasons, such as the ones listed below.
- The person faces a difficult moment in life.
- The person forgets to avoid a dangerous situation.
- The person doesn’t follow through with a plan to avoid the substance.
While these aren’t the only reasons for relapses, you should keep them in mind. However, a relapse doesn’t start once you take a drink: it begins much earlier than that point.
The Steps of Relapsing Before the First Drink
If you find yourself falling into a relapse, you need to understand why it happened in the first place. Doing so will prevent you from falling into a relapse while also protecting you from drinking again. Make sure you remember these steps so you know what to focus on.
Before you end up relapsing, you always face a withdrawal. Withdrawals refer to when you feel the desire to fall into your old habits. For example, a former drinker may feel the urge to grab some alcohol and drink it. They may miss the taste, the feeling of getting drunk or anything else associated with alcohol. Withdrawals can happen to anyone when they stop something. If you want to limit your withdrawals, you can seek rehab or wean yourself off alcohol. You can also turn to others whenever you face withdrawals and ask them to help you. Developing a support group will help you avoid relapsing whenever the urge arises.
Considering Your Environment
You also need to think about where you put yourself when it comes to relapses. While you may face withdrawals, you won’t fall into them if you don’t have access to alcohol. However, if you give yourself easy access to alcohol, you increase your odds of relapsing. Make sure you consider where you go and what you keep around yourself. Doing so will prevent you from falling into your old habits. That means you should avoid going to the bar and entering the alcohol sections of stores. Keeping yourself away from those situations will help you remain sober and not grab a drink in the first place.
Dealing With Pressure
You need to consider who you plan to spend time with while you avoid relapsing. If you spend time with people who drink, you increase your odds of drinking if they have alcohol around you. They may offer you some, so you feel pressured to follow them and have a drink if the withdrawal starts to strengthen. Make sure you keep someone with you who supports your decision to avoid drinking. Doing so will help you resist such moments and minimize peer pressure so you don’t fall into it. While the process may seem simple, it will offer you an additional layer of protection to prevent you from falling back into your alcoholism.
Overcoming relapses can pose challenges, especially if you don’t know how to handle them. Make sure you understand where they start, so you can prevent yourself from relapsing and having a drink. If you need help resisting relapses and keeping yourself sober, call us at 772-266-5320 to receive assistance.