“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. “
– Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan, arguably the most successful basketball player of all time admits to failing time and time again. Yet, he gets up, brushes himself off, and tries again. It is this exact mentality that one must have when approaching treatment for a drug addiction. Addiction rehab is not easy. In fact, the difficulty of addiction treatment is generally the cause for most failures in treatment. We mentioned in our recent post, “Get the Most From Your InPatient Treatment,” how to approach your addiction treatment. But what do you do if you have a relapse? Exactly what Michael Jordan would do—you get back up.
You see, failure is not a sign of weakness, nor is it a sign of inability. It’s a sign of good intentions. It means you know what you want and you went after it. Instead of dwelling on the fact that you slipped and had a relapse, use your latest attempt at sobriety as a learning guide. Understand what went wrong and learn from it. Just because you weren’t successful with an attempt at sobriety, doesn’t mean you won’t ever be successful.
Step 1: Addiction Treatment Can Be Like Learning to Ride a Bike
Do you remember when you were first learning to ride a bike? Were you able to simply remove the training wheels and fly down the street on two wheels? No, of course not. It was new and you needed to learn. Someone held you steady when your training wheels were first removed and you started to pedal on your own. As that person let go, you probably fell. But each time you fell, you got back on the bike and were able to ride farther and farther. Eventually you were able to ride down the street with no support. This is the mindset you should take with you when you enter addiction treatment.
Overcoming addiction is essentially learning a new skill. You’re training your brain and body not to be dependent on the substances that it was used to. Just like riding a bicycle, you have to keep working at it and try not to be deterred from the occasional falls. Eventually your mind and body will sync up and be on the same page.
Step 2: Assess What Went Wrong
Take a step back and take a look at what happened. Why did you have a relapse? What triggered your desire to go back to using drugs? How can you avoid having another relapse? Think of your drug addiction like a science experiment. Trial and error is a good method to abide by.
In drug addiction rehab at Prominence Treatment Center, one thing we like to focus on is the why behind addiction. Why are you addicted to drugs? What happened in your life that is causing you to turn to the comfort of drugs? After treatment with us, you’ll have a much better understanding of the why. Hopefully this will affect your choices upon leaving treatment.
But if you do relapse, even though you know why you use drugs, figure out why you did it even after you knew it was wrong. Was there a new trigger? Did avoiding some situations cause you to stumble into a new, high-risk situation? Assessing your relapse will definitely help you in your next treatment.
Step 3: Refocus on Your Goal
Now that you have a positive mindset going back into treatment and have assessed why you had a mishap, it’s time to focus on your goal. Clearly state your goals so you have laser focus for what you’re working on.
Simplify what you’re doing to make sure that you don’t fall back into your drug problem. Do you know that certain social situations trigger uncontrollable desires? Work on a process that will help you when you encounter those situations again—a process that will keep you from giving in when you are tempted by drugs. Focusing on simple, attainable goals will help you when your will is tested.
The most important thing you can remember is that it’s never too late. Just because you had a relapse after your first drug rehab treatment does not mean you’re incapable of becoming sober. Like Michael Jordan said, failure is what breeds success. At Prominence Treatment Center, we’re here for you, no matter what. It could be your first time in a rehab center, or your third. It doesn’t matter. We will work with you to find the cause and set up a custom plan to continue your quest for sobriety. Call us today and learn how we can help you.