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Recovery Plus 58 Feb 2016 make excuses. People who are successful in recovery stay connected so that they hear about people who give up on the discipline – and the dire consequences, which they do not want to emulate. We might stop cutting back on our therapy sessions or meetings and no longer follow helpful suggestions. 2. You start romanticising the days when you were abusing substances. Most addicts had a time during which they had few consequences for substance abuse. They might even have had fun. However, those times were long gone by the time you got clean. This is where euphoric recall can kick in. This happens when the brain chooses only to bring to mind the fun times or highlights of past drug use. The user will not remember the pain, sickness, destruction, disappointment or trapped feelings of addiction – only the good times. If we begin to miss the good times, we are heading down the wrong path. 3. You start acting the way you did when using: self-centred and a legend in your own mind. Sometimes this is called a “dry drunk”. We act like we did when drinking or drugging, even without the drink or drug. I have described what happens to me in a paragraph above. I have learned by my own example that addicts have a tendency to personalise things and overreact. We sometimes get frustrated by the smallest of things and we want what we want when we want it – which is always five minutes ago. If you have been working on this behaviour then start to see it reappear, this is a warning sign. Treat it as a red flag and review what is happening in your life. 4. You start thinking that maybe just one drink or one pill wouldn’t hurt. It you find you are talking yourself into “just one”, this is one of the most obvious signs of an impending relapse. Again from a personal point of view, this is always a lie. I never ever took only one drink or just one hit, pill, line, pint, bottle etc. So why think now would be different? The rule of thumb is that those who relapse pick up right where they left off. It might take a few days or weeks, but you will rapidly be in the same place you were when you last quit drinking or using drugs. And it will accelerate. 5. You begin seeking out old friends from your substance abusing days. I can see my old using friend. I will just drink lemonade. I will white knuckle it through the get-together. You might excuse this as just trying to find out how old friends are doing, but if you start seeking out old drinking buddies or people we used to drug with, we are heading into dangerous territory. A familiar metaphor is that, if we spend enough time in the barber shop, we will eventually get a haircut. 6. You slowly but surely remove all those elements from your life that keep you anchored and balanced. Maybe we stop keeping your journal and stop calling healthy friends. We remove things that keep us calm and centred. We might say we are getting lazy. We might also notice we are slipping back into old deceptive patterns; we start lying to loved ones to keep them from challenging us. We are not taking care of our emotional, spiritual and physical health. We are beginning The online issue of Recovery Plus will also link you to the author’s presentation at Recovery Plus 2015 – just click the logo shown below when you access us online: Click for presentation Click “Sometimes we act like we did when drinking or drugging – even without the drink or drug. This is a warning sign. Treat it as a red flag and review what is happening in your life.”


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