Relapse Excuses

Relapse Excuses

There is no good excuse for a relapse. However, there are several emotional triggers that are commonly used excuses people will use in order to justify a relapse.

Relapse Excuse #1. Resentment

Many of us have probably heard this: Resentments will take you back out. Holding a resentment is probably the most common relapse excuse. Resentments are usually in the form of:

Perceiving that others are trying to control their life

Expectations not being met

Perceiving that others are acting as if they are superior

Perceiving others to be hypocrites, taking others’ inventory

Superiors who abuse their power

Being hurt but others saying or doing something that negatively impacts the their self-esteem

When other people lie

Feeling slighted

Perceiving others to act unfair towards them and/or others

Relapse Excuse #2. Anger

“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die” When feeling angry towards someone else, the recovering addict/alcoholic often thinks that they will punish these other people by relapsing; of course the only person they are going to hurt is themselves.

Relapse Excuse #3. Boredom

After getting clean and sober, you might find that you have a lot of free time on your hands. Without hobbies or pursuing other healthy interests, you may become bored. This is another common relapse excuse: boredom. When we become bored, we may begin romanticizing our previous lifestyle, remembering the “good ol’ times” and conveniently forget about all the horrible stuff. This is a dangerous trend because, in the newly sober person’s mind, addiction wasn’t so bad after all. That mindset combined with agony of boredom is enough to convince most that relapse is the way to remedy their situation.

Relapse Excuse #4. Loneliness

This is kind of like the boredom excuse. When we stop drinking and drugging, we have to change people, places, and things. We may begin to miss our drinking and using buddies and, if we are not proactive in making new sober friends and getting sober supports in our life, then being lonely is the perfect relapse excuse.

Relapse Excuse #5. Disappointment in sobriety

As recovering addicts and alcoholics, we are used to instant gratification. That said, a life beyond our wildest in dreams in recovery takes time. Often times, we have to rebuild our lives from scratch. For some in recovery, this is frustrating and upsetting. They expect results and immediately! When this doesn’t happen, they will use that as an excuse to relapse

Relapse Excuse #6. Feeling depressed

Many addicts and alcoholics also have a co-occurring, or dual diagnosis mental disorder such as depression or bipolar disorder. In fact, that is why many of us sought out drugs: to numb those bad feelings. So, in sobriety, when those feelings come back, we retreat to the way we always dealt with them – by using drugs.

For those who do not have an actual mental health diagnosis, depression is still a factor, as it is for non addicts and alcoholics. Depression is a fact of life. But again, for recovering addicts and alcoholics, the temptation to escape these negative feelings may become too great to deal with and lead them to relapse. It is important to learn coping mechanisms that don’t involve drug use in order to achieve emotional stability in recovery.

Relapse Excuse #7. Feeling happy

Conversely, many people who have experienced a relapse say that it is when things are going really well that they slip up. Perhaps it is a way of rewarding themselves for doing so well. For others, it is a way to increase the already good feeling they have naturally. As addicts and alcoholics, we seek to increase the pleasure-causing chemicals in our brains while in active addiction. Once we are sober, it might be that this “taste” of euphoria from normal everyday good things, that is enough of a high for others, is just what it takes to leave us craving something more intense therefore causing some to seek it in drugs and resulting in a relapse.

Relapse Excuse #8. “Forgetting”

So many times, I have heard people who relapse say that they weren’t sure anymore whether they were an alcoholic or addict. So, they decide to go back out and “test the waters.” People will use the relapse excuse that they decided they weren’t really an addict and/or alcoholic in order to start drinking and drugging again.

 

 

Sources:

http://alcoholism.about.com/

http://www.psychologytoday.com/

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