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Apex Recovery Blog

Steps for Recovering After an Alcohol Relapse

a person holds a beer

Alcoholism is a mental illness that does not have a cure. Once you have been diagnosed with it, you will have to work hard to manage your condition for the rest of your life.

An alcohol relapse is common among recovering alcoholics. It means that the person has gone back to drinking alcohol after quitting for some time.

This can be extremely distressing, but it doesn’t mean that the person cannot recover again. With support, anyone can recover from an alcohol relapse and go on to lead a happy and fulfilling life as an alcoholic.

Read on to learn 9 Steps for recovering from an alcohol relapse, and get tips on what you should do if this happens to you.

Step 1: Take a Moment to Breathe

When an alcohol relapse happens, it can feel like the world’s end. Anxiety, guilt, regret, and embarrassment can make it hard to think clearly. You might get so caught up in how upset you are that you don’t take the time to breathe deeply and actually process your emotions.

You need to give yourself time and space to process what has happened and move past it before you can start moving forward again.

Step 2: Talk to Your Sponsor and Other Members of Your Support Network

One of the first things you should do when you realize that you have gone back to drinking alcohol after quitting for a while is to reach out to your support network. Your sponsor is the first person you should talk to. Let them know that you have relapsed and ask them for guidance.

Listen to their advice and feedback. Your sponsor knows you better than anyone else. They have been in your shoes. They know what you are going through and can guide you through the process of recovery.

You need to be honest with your family and friends. Let them know what happened, and ask for their support. Your sponsor can also help you talk to other people in your support network.

Step 3: Track Your Triggers

You need to figure out what caused you to relapse. Alcoholics usually relapse because of a trigger. A trigger is an event or circumstance that causes the person to crave alcohol.

Most people relapse because their strategies for dealing with triggers are faulty. It could be a circumstance, such as being in a stressful situation. It could also be a particular time of the day, a particular meal, or even a person.

When you are in recovery, you should take a different approach to dealing with triggers. Keep a journal of every time you crave alcohol.

Note what you were doing, your mood, and what you were thinking about. Afterward, try to identify your triggers.

Step 4: Talk to a Therapist or Counsellor

You need to talk to a professional to work through your feelings and get a clearer perspective on what happened. This will help you process the emotions you are feeling and get them under control.

A therapist or counselor can also help you examine your alcohol relapse and determine what you could have done differently. A therapist can also help you learn how to deal with triggers in a healthier way so that you don’t relapse again.

Step 5: Re-evaluate and Recalibrate Your Recovery Plan

One of the first things you should do after an alcohol relapse is to re-evaluate your alcohol relapse and recalibrate your recovery plan. A 12-step program is a very effective way to recover from alcoholism.

In a 12-step program, you create a plan to recover from alcoholism. You will write down how you will deal with cravings, how you will avoid triggering situations, and how you will deal with relapses.

You need to re-evaluate your plan and see where you went wrong. This will help you understand what you can do differently next time. It will also help you avoid beating yourself up.

Step 6: Stay in Touch with Your Support Network

One of the most important things you can do after an alcohol relapse is to stay in touch with your support network. Keep talking to your sponsor, other sober people, and loved ones.

Let them know what is going on and how you are feeling. Being around people who understand what you are going through and have been through it themselves is a great way to get through a relapse.

Step 7: Don’t Blame Yourself or be Hard on Yourself

It is common to start blaming yourself and being hard on yourself when you relapse. This will only add to the stress and anxiety you are already feeling. It will also prevent you from moving forward.

Instead, you should use this opportunity to learn and grow as a person. You can use it to become a better version of yourself. You can do this by being more patient with yourself and letting go of the need to always be in control.

Step 8: Be Fully Present 

One of the crucial things you need to do after an alcohol relapse is to focus on being present when you are not drinking alcohol. When you are present and aware, you are less likely to have a relapse.

This is because you will learn to cope with stressful situations in a healthier way. You will avoid reacting emotionally and instinctively to situations. You will be able to think clearly and respond to situations rationally. This will free up your energy to focus on more positive things.

Step 9: Celebrate Your Recovery

You have worked hard to get to where you are in your recovery. You have faced many challenges. You have achieved a lot.

You have done all this even though you have relapsed on alcohol. This means that you are the type of person who does not give up easily. You have the strength, determination, and perseverance to overcome challenges and achieve your goals.

You have the tools and resources to deal with anything life throws at you. You know how to handle your emotions and deal with difficult situations. These are the skills and qualities of a strong and resilient person.

These are the qualities of a person who is in recovery.

Alcohol Relapse and Steps to Take Afterwards

Alcohol relapse doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It simply means you’ve taken a wrong turn, and it’s time to get back on track. There are several ways to rebound after relapsing from alcohol, including talking to your sponsor and celebrating your recovery.

For help or tips for relapsing, contact Apex Recovery.

Call Our Toll-Free Hotline 24/7 at 877.881.2689