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Define Relapse
~ Identify Relapse Warning Signs
~ Identify Strengths
Relapse Definition
~ Relapse is the return to something that has been previously stopped
~ Relapse is multidimensional
~ Emotional
~ Mental
~ Physical
~ Social
~ Review your Distress vs. Happiness worksheet.
~ A relapse is when you start returning to any of these people, places, things, behaviors or feeling states.
Emotional Relapse
~ In emotional relapse, your emotions and behaviors become negative and unpleasant.
~ You start finding it difficult to experience pleasure
~ What triggers your negative emotions (Anger/resentment/jealousy/guilt; anxiety/fear/stress; depression)
Emotional Relapse
~ Negative emotions make us uncomfortable
~ Identify the emotion, explore why you are feeling that way and take steps to fix the problem
~ You can become stuck in the emotion, sometimes
~ Nurturing and blowing it out of proportion
Preventing Emotional Relapse
~ Practice mindfulness
~ Increase positive experiences (real and guided imagery)
~ Keep a gratitude journal
~ Avoid personalizing something that may not be about you
~ Remember that…
~ Negative emotions are the mind’s way of telling us to get off our butts and do something—Like our car’s idiot light or hunger pangs
~ Dwelling on, nurturing, avoiding or hiding from negative emotions never makes anything better
~ You can *choose* to feel and fix, or relapse and repeat
~ List 10 things that you chose to get anxious or angry about over the last week…
Mental Relapse
~ In mental relapse there's a war going on in your mind.
~ Part of you wants to stay positive, but part of you is struggling with tolerating the distress.
~ The signs of mental relapse are:
~ Focusing on the negative
~ Having a pessimistic/helpless/hopeless attitude
~ If you had an addiction, you may also be:
~ Thinking about people, places, and things you used with
~ Glamorizing your past use
~ Lying to yourself and others
~ Justifying your behaviors
~ Minimizing the impact of one (drink/hit/bet etc.)
~ “Screw It” attitude
Mental Relapse
~ What types of things trigger negative thoughts?
~ What thoughts do you have that make you feel
~ Angry/irritated/resentful
~ Guilty
~ Envious
~ Scared/Anxious/Worried/Stressed
Identifying Unpleasant Thoughts
Preventing Mental Relapse
~ KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid
~ Trying to change too many things at once can lead to failure
~ Often some of simplest things can have the greatest impact
~ Prevent and address vulnerabilities that can make you focus on negative or have a strong, negative emotional reaction
~ Good Orderly Direction
~ Your life is a road map
~ The destination is recovery and happiness
~ Before you act, think whether that keeps you on the right road, or is an unplanned detour
~ Maintain Head-Heart-Gut Honesty (Rational, Emotional, Wise Mind)
Social Relapse
~ Symptoms
~ You have returned to the old people and places who co-sign on your b.s.
~ You have withdrawn from your social supports
~ You have become self-centered
~ You have withdrawn
~ What triggers your social relapse
Preventing Social Relapse
~ Contact your social support(s) on a daily basis for the first 3 months
~ Keep a business card in your wallet with the names and numbers of 3 social supports
~ Find at least one prosocial activity to do each week —volunteer, church, go to the gym
Physical Relapse
~ Physical relapse is characterized by:
~ Fatigue
~ Increased anxiety
~ Difficulty sleeping
~ Neglecting physical health (sleep, exercise, nutrition, medication)
~ If there was also addiction…
~ Cravings
~ Dreams about the drug
Preventing Physical Relapse
Review Strengths
~ What is life like when you are happy?
Review Prior Relapses
Dare to DREAM
~ Determination
~ Resilience
~ Exceptions
~ Awareness of vulnerabilities
~ Motivation
Relapse Prevention Planning
~ Include time in the morning and at night to use mindfulness skills to “get grounded”
~ Identify and prevent or mitigate vulnerabilities each day
~ Avoid alone, idol time if your mind tends to wander to dark places
~ Incorporate positive experiences each day
~ Set realistic daily goals
~ Give yourself credit for positive accomplishments

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