Relapse is unfortunately common in early recovery. It is easy for us to feel that we don’t need to continue engaging in recovery practices or go to meetings or live an ethical and spiritual life. However, once we stop doing these things, we may want to consider that we could be headed toward relapse. If we feel as though we are not moving forward in our recovery, we may find that we are actually slipping backwards and a relapse may become possible. Complacency is one of the greatest warning signs that we may be heading toward relapse. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous explains, “It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.” We should be willing to look introspectively at whether or not we are “resting on our laurels.” When we become complacent, we are in danger of falsely believing that we no longer need to engage in the practices and activities that has been helping us maintain sobriety. Addiction is a chronic disease and we will never reach a point in our sobriety when we no longer need recovery. Carole Bennett, in a 2010 Huffington Post article entitled 6 Signs Your Alcoholic Loved One May Be Relapsing, explains that a loss of commitment to one’s recovery program is a major warning sign of relapse: “ If relapse is knocking at the door of your loved one, they may start to rearrange their sober program and use excuses for not attending AA meetings (‘I don’t need to go to this meeting, I already went to one this week. Anyway, I don’t like the people there’), leaving a residential program early (‘This place is not for me. I’ve gotten everything out of it there is to know’) or quitting private or group counseling (‘I don’t like my counselor. He/she has no idea what I’m about and can’t help me. I’m wasting my money’). True and strong recovery takes years of work and is successful when coupled with an ongoing and consistent clean-and-sober program.” It’s easy to fall into these beliefs after we have had some time sober, but we must remain vigilant and aware of what we are doing each day to ensure our sobriety.
Your story can become one of peace and serenity in sobriety. You can make the courageous decision to seek help now and embark upon the rewarding journey of recovery. Oceanfront Recovery, a men’s treatment center located in the heart of beautiful Laguna Beach, is staffed with caring and compassionate professionals dedicated to helping clients develop all the tools needed to achieve and maintain lasting sobriety. For information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777