Relapse is a common occurrence for people in recovery from alcoholism. The most challenging aspect of recovering from alcoholism is dealing with cravings and thoughts about drinking. Although there are many strategies for managing these triggers, they can still lead to a relapse if they are not managed in a healthy way.
Drinking to Cope with Negative Emotions.
Cravings for alcohol can cause people in recovery to feel anxious and stressed. This can make them self-medicate with alcohol to cope with these feelings. Alcohol lowers inhibitions and makes it more challenging to make intelligent decisions. For someone in recovery, this can be a dangerous combination. Drinking to cope with negative emotions may provide temporary relief, but it is more likely to cause further harm than good in the long run.
Focusing on the Positive Aspects of Drinking
It’s easy to remember the good times you had while drinking and forget about the negative consequences. If you’re fixated on the positive aspects of alcohol, it can be hard to stay motivated in recovery. It’s essential to remember the big picture and why you’re trying to stay sober.
Thinking That you can Control Your Drinking
Many people struggling with addiction think they can drink in moderation, but this is rarely the case. When people are addicted to alcohol, their brain chemistry is changed. This means they cannot process alcohol the same way that other people can. A small amount of alcohol can make them to feel drunk, leading to a loss of control and a return to drinking heavily.
Justifying Your Drinking.
Alcohol cravings can lead people to believe they need to drink to function normally. Justifying your drinking means making excuses for it or trying to rationalize it. You might tell yourself that you only drink on special occasions or that you can handle your alcohol just fine. But the truth is that drinking can be problematic for someone in recovery. Alcohol is a potent substance that can quickly lead to addiction.
Thinking That you Don’t Have a Problem
If you’re in denial about your drinking, it’s only a matter of time before you relapse. That’s because denial is one of the most significant risk factors for relapse. When you’re in denial, you cannot see the harmful effects of your drinking on your life. Denial hinders you from getting the help you need to recover from alcoholism.
Thinking about alcohol activates the brain’s reward center, reinforcing the desire to drink. In addition, it can also trigger cravings and make it more difficult to resist the urge to drink. As a result, it’s essential to be aware of this danger and take steps to avoid it. One way to avoid thinking about drinking is to stay busy and distract yourself from other activities.
Thinking That you can Drink Without Getting Drunk
Many people who are in recovery from alcoholism or addiction believe that they can drink without relapse. They may have been sober for a while and think they have the willpower to stop before they get drunk. However, this is often not the case. Thinking that you can drink without getting drunk can lead to a relapse because it creates a false sense of security.
Craving can Interfere With Sleep
Craving can interfere with sleep, making people feel irritable and exhausted. This can make them more likely to use alcohol to cope with these feelings. Understanding what causes cravings can help you avoid triggers and manage your urges. The most common trigger for cravings is boredom. You may start thinking about drinking when you’re not occupying your mind with work, school, or other activities. To avoid this trap, finding healthy ways to occupy your time is essential. Some people find that exercise helps to reduce cravings, while others find that reading can be a helpful distraction.
Cravings can Lead to Negative Thinking
Craving can be tough to resist, often leading to negative thinking. You may think that you will never be able to enjoy life without drinking or that you are not fit to overcome your addiction. These negative beliefs can lead to feelings of hopelessness, which can, in turn, trigger a relapse. If you are struggling with thoughts and cravings for alcohol, it is essential to reach out for help from a treatment program or sober support group. Alcohol addiction is a severe disease that can have disastrous consequences if left untreated. Schedule your appointment with us today at 866-963-7200 to help you with your sobriety journey.