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For many individuals with substance use disorder (SUD), relapse is part of the recovery journey. When relapse occurs, it can be challenging for people to handle the setback. Though many may begin feeling shame or guilt, the best way to navigate relapse is through self-compassion. Self-compassion can help people healthily navigate relapse without falling back into older patterns of behavior or thinking. By focusing on the future and making positive changes, people can re-establish their sobriety and move forward with their recovery journey. 

The thing about recovery is that each journey looks different. That means there are varying ways you can navigate your recovery and your journey from relapse back to sobriety. West Coast Recovery Centers can help you rediscover your life through sustainable recovery. Consider treatment with our facility to start that journey of rediscovery today! 

How Can Self-Compassion Influence Your Recovery Journey?

Life post-treatment comes with many challenges. These challenges can range from financial worries, lack of employment, and a number of other day-to-day stressors. Transitioning back into your everyday post-treatment can be a struggle in itself. Thankfully, there are endless ways to manage these challenges, but the most significant thing you can do is practice self-compassion. 

Compassion can sometimes be described as a sense of empathy or concern for others suffering or experiencing something unfortunate. Ironically enough, the most compassionate people often struggle to practice self-compassion. Some may think there is a fine line between self-compassion and self-pity. In reality, self-compassion can be a critical component in navigating relapse and maintaining a long-term recovery. 

Self-compassion can positively influence your recovery journey by: 

  • Helping people develop a healthier mindset during recovery 
  • Allowing people to let go of feelings of guilt and shame 
  • Cultivating self-care habits and prioritizing regular self-care routines 
  • Learning to manage and cope with complex situations and emotions 
  • Embracing that you are not perfect and making mistakes is a part of being human  

Why Individuals Must Navigate Relapse With Self-Compassion

Practicing self-compassion is not only beneficial for recovery – it can help you navigate relapse. The first thing to remember is that relapse is a natural part of the recovery journey. Some may experience more than others, but it does not indicate failure. We can not emphasize that enough. Relapse may cause you to question your actions and may play mind games, but you can not trust those thoughts. Instead of giving in to feelings of guilt or shame, you should focus on overcoming the relapse with a self-compassionate perspective. 

A significant step in navigating relapse is managing the factors that lead to it. You can do that through a relapse prevention plan. Here are a few steps to consider taking post-relapse: 

  • Take some time to reflect on what may have triggered your relapse 
  • Reach out to friends, family, and peers for help getting through this time 
  • Attend a support group meeting as soon as you possibly can  
  • Try avoiding further triggers or exposure to potentially relapsing situations 
  • Give yourself a break and focus on practicing self-care to get yourself through this relapse 

Not practicing self-compassion will cause you to focus on the negative. Practicing self-compassion will help you take these steps with a healthy, positive mindset, but doing so is sometimes easier said than done. Why might that be? How come it can be so hard to practice self-compassion, especially in the context of relapse? 

Why Is It Sometimes Difficult to Practice Self-Compassion?

Self-compassion is crucial to successful recovery. It can help individuals reduce self-criticism, boost self-confidence, develop a healthier mindset, and become more resilient. Doing this can be challenging, as people are often their own worst critics, causing us to look down upon ourselves and critique what we perceive as failures. 

Self-criticism makes self-compassion difficult, but so does how we think others perceive us. Unsupportive family members can make people with mental health conditions or SUD feel badly about their struggles. These negative projections can cause us to become even more critical of ourselves, leading to trouble seeking help or seeing value in building a life of recovery. 

Surrounding yourself with positive people and creating positive experiences during treatment and recovery can teach you to be more self-compassionate. In doing so, you can begin utilizing tips and tricks to navigate relapse with more self-compassion today. 

Tips and Tricks You Can Use to Navigate Relapse With Self-Compassion

As mentioned, becoming more compassionate toward yourself may be challenging, but it is possible. Some tips and tricks you can use to navigate relapse with self-compassion include: 

  • Practicing mindfulness by meditating or deep breathing, to name a few 
  • Learning to speak kindly to yourself in thoughts and words 
  • Keeping a journal and perhaps using it to practice gratitude every day
  • Treating yourself as you would a friend or loved one requiring help 
  • Acknowledging that you are not your mistakes and that you deserve a life of recovery 

To learn more about navigating relapse, becoming self-compassionate, and seeking treatment, contact West Coast Recovery Centers today. 

Addiction recovery has a lot of moving parts. First, they must accept their struggle, then seek treatment, and ultimately, they must change their lives to live in accordance with their newfound recovery. To fully heal from SUD, we must learn to forgive and love ourselves. Doing so requires self-compassion, but showing compassion for ourselves can be challenging for many individuals. Self-compassion is also critical when faced with potential relapse. Thankfully, there are many ways to navigate relapse with self-compassion, and we can help you practice self-compassion through treatment and recovery. Reach out to West Coast Recovery Centers at (760) 492-6509 to learn more about our treatment programs and how these programs can help you recover from SUD today.