Relapse Warning Signs
Have you experienced any of the habit relapse warning signs?
Rate 1-5 yourself on following warning signs (1= no struggle, 5 overwhelmed with struggle)
1 2 3 4 5 Hanging around people, places and things that will tempt you?
1 2 3 4 5 Beating yourself up over a slip
1 2 3 4 5 Thinking of giving up
1 2 3 4 5 Dwelling on how good it used to be
1 2 3 4 5 Starting to doubt if you really need to work on this habit (things are okay)
1 2 3 4 5 Craving are bothering me
Hanging around people, places and things that will tempt you?
This is serious and can lead to failure. Triggers are real and until you are seasoned in your new behavior it is best to stay away from temptation.
Beating yourself up over a slip
Yes you may have slipped but this is a new day. Degrading yourself serves no purpose other than to subconsciously give you an excuse to slip again. Get over it. Your goal is still worthwhile and within sight. Consider what went wrong and correct it. If your slip indicates a weakness in the way you are doing things then correct it. If you are at a place where slipping has been the norm then consider starting over and go back to the preparation stage and go through the booklet again. You are worth doing this right.
Thinking of giving up
Everyone that has pursued a worthwhile goal has had times when it got tough. Feeling like quitting is common. However, thinking about it doesn’t mean you have to act on it. Sure, you may be feeling down but your goal is worthwhile. It is worth pursuing and most of all you are worth it. Here are some things you can do to help you quickly get back on track.
1. Call one of your encouragers, mentors or sponsor. Let them know how you are feeling. They will help you get back on track.
2. Take a deep breath and relax. Calming down will help you get a better perspective on things.
3. Eat some protein. If you have not been eating right you will be amazed how the brain will respond to a protein pick-up. A deficiency in neurotransmitters can cause a momentary crisis. Protein can help with the needed amino acids needed to jump start your brain.
4. Pray about it. Use your spiritual resources to help you get a better perspective and to increase your faith and hope.
5. Reverse you view – Look at your situation optimistically. You aren’t finished yet. You are on the right track. Stick with the program, you won’t regret it.
Go for a brisk walk or other form of exercise. It is amazing how you will feel after some exercise. Your blood will be pumping, your brain will get oxygen, your endorphins will rise. After a little exercise you will be able to think better.
Dwelling on how good it used to be
In addictions we call this euforic recall. Oh, how good we had it in the good old days! What a lie. This also leads us into awfulizing sobriety. It is an old mind trick. How soon we forget the positive reasons we started this program and when the cravings come we look for an excuse to quit. One of the best ways is to glamorize the past and forget the real reasons why we are pursuing our goal in the first place. The past wasn’t that good, or you would not be trying to change. You know you need to do this. You know you want to. Stay on the course!
Starting to doubt if you really need to work on this habit (things are okay)
Again, this is fairly common. That is why we had you list in Day 1, number 2 the reasons for pursuing your goal. Go back and review them. Think about them, visualize how good it will be when you finish this goal. Feel the satisfaction that will come as your life is different because of this goal. Recommit yourself to accomplishing the goal you set out before you.
Cravings are bothering me
If your cravings are really bothering you then you need to go back to the Craving Assistance Tool Box. There are some classic tips on how to overcome your craving. Go over each button and do read all the articles. Put together you ACT and get the help of your friends. You may want to go to Managing your triggers Checklist as well to make sure that you are not putting yourself in harms way. Finally seek out professional help if needed. There will never be a better time to beat this craving than now!