Relapse is considered a very taboo subject for those in addiction recovery, often because nobody wants to associate themselves with that feeling of “going back,” “failing” or even the sense of “being weak.” Despite what you may have heard about relapse, it is a common occurrence for many of us in recovery. It can be used to teach people important lessons about themselves and their journey through recovery. As you navigate the waters of healing and sobriety, it’s important to remember that forgiveness and understanding that you’re human is what can carry you through the dark days.

How Forgiveness Helps Recovery

As human beings, we’re inherently flawed whether we have an addiction or not. We’re set up to make mistakes, and we have to consider that even in the moments of relapse. Sure, it’s not a proud moment to realize that you’ve taken a few steps back, but that doesn’t mean that you’ve failed or that you’re weak. Instead, you can practice forgiveness: the art of acknowledging the wrong you’ve done and then providing yourself with empathy and strength to move forward so that you can leave that behind you in turn for pursuing stronger treatment. Relapse can actually be useful because we can learn lessons from it. Forgiveness fits into recovery because we recognize that we’re not going to get it right all the time and that that is okay.

By forgiving ourselves, we’re also providing others the opportunity to do the same. In therapy, sometimes a therapist may ask, “If you had a friend who was beating themselves up about this situation, what would you tell them?” For many of us, it’s enlightening to think about what we’d tell a loved one. We tend to be much harder on ourselves and this can plague our perception of life and recovery. Others around you, whether it be those in your 12-Step program, friends, family members or even your sponsor, may become inspired by the braveness you’re taking to forgive yourself when you make mistakes, and your determination to push forward. That takes real strength.

If you’re ready to seek help for addiction recovery and forgive yourself or others, speak with a professional from Alta Loma today. It’s never too late to begin turning your life around. We offer individualized treatment and recovery care while also understanding the link between mental health and substance abuse. Alta Loma is a world-renowned, Texas state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center exclusively for men. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell, and that’s why we always put the patient first. For more information, call (866) 457-3843 today.