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Relapsing in our addiction can bring up all sorts of challenging feelings. Relapse is a normal part of many people’s recovery. We can learn from our struggles if we spend time recognizing how they happened, and what our feelings were during our time of relapse. Recognizing our struggles will help us prepare better so that we don’t use or relapse in the future when those situations come up again.

In order to grow from our relapse, we want to keep 3 things at the front of our mind:

1) Let go of judgement

2) Ask for support, and receive it

3) Self-care

1) Let go of judgement – use mindfulness techniques and mantras to remind yourself that you are safe and calm. Some helpful techniques are:

a. Counting breath – count 4 seconds of an inhale breath, hold for 3 seconds, and release for 4 seconds. Notice how slowing your breathing calms you.

b. Repeating “I am resilient, I am resilient” slowly to the tune of your breath over and over again

c. Make a list of good things you have accomplished in your life. Remind yourself that you are more than just one or a few mistakes.

d. Repeat a mantra of your choosing, like “I am loved, I am stronger than this” while you go for a peaceful nature walk

2) Ask for support, and receive it – when someone supports you, really listen to what they have to say. Remember: they care about you, and they’re there to help!

a. Talk with someone you trust about what’s going on, share your feelings and concerns

b. Talk about what was triggering, what made using feel like your best option – remember that nobody is here to judge you. Just to listen and support you.

c. Talk about how you’re doing now and ask for support. Support can be spending extra time with a friend, asking a close acquaintance to check in with you more often, or even asking a trusted friend to remove certain materials from your possession.

d. Call the crisis line, warm line, or other resources if you feel like you need it! 

3) Self-care - You addressed your concern, got support, and now it’s time to take care of yourself

a. Practice giving yourself a hug

b. Eat a good meal – come into the Cascade Center, or check out another local food bank on our list

c. Drink some water

d. Take a nap if you’re feeling tired, or go for an energizing walk outside

e. Spend time with a friend or animal that makes you happy

f. Say out loud “I’m proud of myself for getting support – I can do this!”

g. Play a game of “I spy” where you notice things that are your favorite color. Notice how happy it makes you to see things of this color

Useful numbers:

Oregon Warmline – 1-800-698-2392

Bethlehem Inn – 541-322-8768

Family Kitchen – 541-760-5677

Police for Emergency situations only – 911

Non-emergency police line – 541-693-6911

24 Hour Crisis Hotline – 541-322-7500 extension 9

MCAT (Crisis line) – 541-610-2376

NAMI line – 1-800-273-8255

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