Relapse Prevention Plan

A relapse prevention plan is something that you can write down that will offer you the best chance of reducing the risk of relapse.

In it you include:

  1. Your relapse signature
  2. What you can do at each stage to cope
  3. Any life or psychosocial events that you feel may have triggered you in the past
  4. A list of people you can turn to for support either by phone, email or within communities

It is important to have documented this and to stick to it because at the time we can get so caught up in the ‘feeling’ that we fail to action any ‘thinking’ and this can lead to us engaging in the very type of behaviour we were trying so hard to avoid.  I found myself becoming very ‘hard of thinking about my drinking’ when a relapse was on the horizon either because I was overwhelmed, or I didn’t want to do it differently, for whatever reason.  Drinking felt almost ‘hard wired’.

Support for me has been the single biggest factor in keeping me on the sober path.  I talk to Mr HOF, I blog on here, I read and comment on others sober blogs, I hang out in sober communities whether it be here in the wider public sober blogging community, or whether in more private communities such as Soberistas, or the Booze Free Brigade on Yahoo, or any other kind of community.   You could attend an AA meeting or organise outpatient support through your GP if that is available.

Recovery is hard and can feel very lonely at times.  It can begin to feel like a relapse is inevitable, but it isn’t.  We always have a choice to pick up or not pick up a drink and I hope that these posts have added to your sober toolkit for the next time wolfie comes a-whispering in your ear  😉

Are there other sober tools I should add to my toolkit to make a relapse preventable?

8 thoughts on “Relapse Prevention Plan

  1. I like the idea of a written plan – not just because it’s there in black and white when the thinking gets confused and fuzzy (and wishful), shouting, look! Here’s what you believed when you were thinking straight! But also (perhaps mainly) because the act of writing itself makes the thoughts and plans clearer. I find blogging really helpful for this. (Also, weirdly, I often see how bonkers some of my beliefs are when I write them down, makes them easier to drop and move on…) The very act of writing something down also makes me more likely to stick to it. I have homework today 🙂 xx

  2. For me, right now..its one day at a time. Reading your blog, reading others, knowing I’m not alone….and the biggest thing is knowing how I’d physically feel in the morning (let alone emotionally!) I have not felt this physically and emotionally great since I was pregnant 6 years ago! Every time I almost give in to the urge, I just remember the waking up at 1am…all hot and disoriented, feeling the “sober buzz” where your body is still feeling electrified, but your head is no longer euphoric, its crashed. Knowing I had *at least* an hour or two of the brain chatter keeping me awake, even though I was physically exhausted. Knowing I had to be up and ready to go, and get my son off to school in a few short hours….this was always when I’d promise myself I would not do this again. <——That's what is keeping me going, if I can always keep those yucky memories close, then I'm ok to get through the day, at least for now. Thanks ladies!

  3. Your blog is so inspirational!
    I’ve had wolfie at the door again after 3 months AF and by putting things into black and white, I can see the triggers. Also I will give my husband a copy as well, so that he can see and help me to circumvent it.
    When you are in the clouds before the fall, you cannot see [or won’t see] the triggers.
    Having cyclothymia [milder form of bipolar] with the medical profession seeing it as not worth treating doesn’t help; as I normally go into a high and think I can handle the drink……. how foolish.
    Keep up your great blog!
    G

    1. Hi Gilly Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂 I’m glad that writing out a plan will help manage the appearance of a relapse on the horizon. As you say when you’re in the clouds you don’t hear the rumble of thunder in the distance.

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