Getting sober is not easy, but staying sober can be even harder. Even people with long histories of sobriety can occasionally have doubts about how long they will be able to keep it up, but the last thing anybody wants after all that hard work is a relapse. Here at Stairway to Freedom, we want to make sure that those who find their way out of our sober living recovery homes in Chicago stay healthy.
If you feel like you or someone you know is slipping, keeping an eagle eye out for the following signs of relapse could help with relapse prevention moving forward:
- Growing Complacent – It can be easy for former addicts to believe they have their addictions under control, perhaps to the point that they skip certain positive habits that helped usher them toward sobriety in the first place. If someone starts eating more poorly, stops exercising, or insists that one drink or a small amount of a drug is not going to hurt them, it could be a sign that they are nearing a slip.
- Failure to Deal with Increased Stress – For many people, substance abuse emerges as a crutch for dealing with stress. If someone sees increased stress in their work or personal lives and cannot figure out how to approach that stress in a healthy way, it is possible they could return to drugs or alcohol as a means of coping.
- Isolation – Sober people need constant support from other loving, sober people in their lives, so if someone falls off the map and stops interacting with those positive influences in their lives, it could be a sign that they are hoping to avoid confrontation about a possible relapse.
- Connecting with Old Friends – The opposite side of the social spectrum occurs when a former addict reconnects with associates who were part of their lives before sobriety. Spending time with people who were part of that old, damaging lifestyle can make it easy to slip back into that old, damaging lifestyle right along with them.
- Missing Meetings – For many former addicts, a big part of sober living is attending meetings. While not everyone gets the same experience from these meetings in terms of maintaining their sobriety, a sudden pattern of skipping meetings for those that appear to need them is a major red flag for a potential relapse. Most people get at least something out of these recovery meetings, and missing them suggests that a relapse could be coming.
If you or someone you care about shows any of these signs or there is any sort of fear that a slip is coming, please reach out to someone in the Stairway to Freedom community so we can prevent a relapse before it happens. We care about keeping people sober because we know how much work it is to make that happen. The easiest way to avoid having to go through it all again is nipping those feelings of doubt before they lead to a regretful mistake.