The UPside of relapse

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Submitted by CaptainFalcon on
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I don't know about anyone else really, but I know when I first started this whole thing, I was brimming with confidence because finally I had found out the source of my turmoil. All I had to do now was fix it right? Fast forward to the first relapse...

What the hell happened? I thought I was going to do this! The process of beating one's self up begins... Self confidence might take a blow in the process which makes everything even more annoying. However, relapse doesn't have to be a bad thing. It might sound weird, but relapse has its purpose in addiction recovery just as abstinence does because that's when you can start to see why the addiction began in the first place. I bumped into the reason for my addiction plenty of times before I noticed it, and even then I still pretended it wasn't there. However, until one can accept this reason and work on fixing it, that person may keep going in the opposite direction which is further into the addictive pattern. For example, my first relationship ended terribly, and there was nothing I could do to reverse it. That's when I started acting out, and the reason was pretty clear from the start that I was just a scared boy. In the addiction process you walk the same path you did before you relapsed if you did indeed relapse, but the catch is that the same traps and pitfalls are there in the same places! There may even be a warning sign saying how someone fell in that hole. That person was you! So are you going to fall into the same trap and pitfall again?

If relapse happens, don't beat yourself up for it because the shame will only strengthen it. Instead, look around for the spot where you fell and the alternate route you could've taken. Sometimes when you fall, you realize just how high you had climbed. At that moment, let yourself be your own inspiration!
Strive for optimal efficiency!


I always thought that a relapse really is a great learning tool too.

The way it works for me is:

Your brain craves a rush of chemicals, or a particular stimulus. You can focus on other things, but your unbalanced brain really wouldn't mind a little stimulus in a specific area.

You go about ignoring that stimulus, but the brain still wants to primarily concern itself with seeking it out. Your brain will win this battle 100% of the time if you allow yourself to fall into delusional thinking.

You eventually give in and relapse - your brain gets what it wants. Now it doesn't care about that stimulus - meaning you're free to actually think about what it is that you need to do in life and how you got there in the first place.

It's like if you don't have sex for ages, under normal circumstances with no PMO issues, you might find a semi-decent woman extremely attractive. As soon as you have an orgasm? You start thinking about "oh I should have gotten this other much hotter woman instead and taken time to date her instead of having sex with this one out of impatience".

So when your brain is not clouded by addiction, whether from temporarily satisfying it by chemical rush, or not having it in the first place - you put things more into perspective. That's that euphoric rush that addicts want - the ultimate, if extremely brief, feeling of clarity.

The difficulty is really those first 4 days after a relapse for me when you forget all that you learned and just want to have another rush. If you hold that off, you'll go into the next stage of the no PMO quest with lessons learned.