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What are Some Reasons Why We Relapse?

What are Some Reasons Why We Relapse?

Recovering from our addictions is a lifelong process that for many of us takes daily work to maintain. Our sobriety can take many years to take root and have a strong foundation, in much the same way it can take our addictions time to develop and overtake our lives. Healing is more than learning to abstain from our drug or behavior of choice. It’s also uncovering the deeper issues that have been fueling our addictions all along. If we don’t heal these issues, we’re likely to relapse because we haven’t cleared the factors causing the pain that we’re using our addictions to self-medicate.

Recovery is hard for many of us because we’re living with minds consumed by negative, limiting beliefs. We’ve been conditioned to believe that we’re inadequate and unworthy, for example, and these limiting beliefs contribute to our deep unhappiness. When we develop addictive behaviors, it’s often because we’re trying to escape the pain of our thoughts. We relapse because we haven’t yet learned how to program our minds to be self-loving rather than self-destructive.

Many of us struggle to accept ourselves for who we are. We judge ourselves harshly for our mistakes and regrets. We think of our flaws as failings on our part. When we’re constantly beating ourselves up, we fall into patterns of self-rejection that are very harmful to our health and wellbeing. It’s as if we can’t live with ourselves. We can’t feel at peace with ourselves. This lack of self-acceptance is another reason we turn to addictions, to feel better about ourselves, to feel some relief of our disparaging self-talk. Our addictions help distract us from the negative self-image we’ve created for ourselves. They allow us to escape our painful self-perception, albeit temporarily. When we haven’t done the work to learn how to love and accept ourselves, we’re still living with the same emotional factors that have been fueling our addictions, and we continue to be at risk for relapsing.

Sometimes we relapse because we haven’t yet gained the tools to handle our emotions in healthy ways. We may always be faced with thoughts of sadness, anxiety and depression. When we haven’t learned how to cope with these difficult emotions, we’re more likely to give into our compulsive urges. Our lack of mindfulness and management when it comes to our emotions makes us more susceptible to relapsing.  

Our addiction recovery programs include multiple complementary therapies, as well as holistic and integrated treatments, to provide you with the tools you need for a successful recovery. Call Vista Taos at (575) 613-4810 today.

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