CRC Hawks UNCW Collegiate Recovery Community

Knowing the Signs of a Relapse

A relapse is a process that begins long before that first drink, drug, etc. is picked up. As you begin your journey as a Seahawk in Recovery, take note of these warning signs so you can prevent a relapse from interrupting your recovery.

  • Fatigue: Taking on too heavy a class load, and spreading yourself too thin between work, school and your social life can put un-needed stress on you. Make sure to balance things out. Putting too much on your plate can cause your eating and sleeping habits to become disrupted. If you feel good, you are more apt to make good decisions.
  • Dishonesty: Getting into old patterns of making excuses, rationalizing, deceiving others and self. Often this begins with being dishonest about feelings of anger and resentment, which leads to making excuses for not doing things that need to be done or doing things you shouldn't. Impatience- Always wanting others to do what you want them to do. You become frustrated with people because things aren't going your way. Remember- not everything will happen to your liking 100% of the time and that's life.
  • Argumentative/Unreasonableness: Being picky, looking for a fight, always needing to be right, and hanging onto anger and resentments, is a way of looking for an excuse to partake in your addiction of choice.
  • Depression: We all have bad days and being sad from time to time is just a part of life, but a feeling of being depressed a majority of the time is a cause for concern. Feeling down for no particular reason, not being interested in anything, oversleeping, being unable to initiate action, unable to concentrate, and feeling trapped with no way out are all signs of depression. Seek help from your recovery support network and a qualified mental health professional if depression is interfering with your daily activities.
  • Complacency: Having a little fear can be a good thing. The disease of addiction is cunning, baffling and powerful; having a healthy respect for the power of your disease can help in preventing a relapse.
  • High Expectations: Setting your goals so high that no person could ever live up to them will lead to feelings of failure. The other side of that is recognizing that you have changed and wondering why hasn't everyone else changed as well.
  • Self-Pity: Forgetting gratitude, dwelling on the negative, or having the feeling of "poor me" is a dangerous line of thinking. Don't forget how hard things were when you were active in your addiction and remember that it's a blessing to be in recovery today.
  • Cockiness: No longer fearing the power of the disease of addiction. Putting yourself in dangerous situations only to prove to others you don't have a problem. You ignore suggestions and advice from others. Remember you have a progressive disease and you will always be in worse shape if you relapse.