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Motherhood and Sobriety: When a Relapse Happens, It’s Okay to Ask for Help

Motherhood places many demands on your time and resources. You could be juggling work, taking care of the house, and looking after kids, all while attempting to keep your own mental and physical health in good shape. If you, too, have battled addiction and made significant efforts to attain recovery, you understand how difficult it can be to maintain abstinence while facing stress and temptation.


Relapse is a regular part of the rehabilitation process, sadly. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that 40-60% of patients who get treatment for drug use disorders will relapse at least once. A relapse is the return to substance abuse after a period of sobriety, and it can be precipitated by a number of different stimuli, including stress, boredom, social pressure, or emotional distress.


If you’re a mom, you might be concerned that relapsing would affect your capacity to be there for your kids. You may experience negative emotions like guilt, humiliation, or embarrassment if you revert to an old habit. You may worry that your loved ones will reject you or that they won’t understand you if you come out.


It’s crucial to keep in mind that relapsing is not indicative of a lack of willpower. It suggests you might benefit from more help and direction as you navigate the difficulties of sobriety and parenthood. It’s a chance to reflect on what went wrong, figure out what the relapse triggers are, and figure out how to avoid those pitfalls in the future.


When moms relapse from their hard-won sobriety, they might take the following steps:


Don’t go through this ordeal alone; instead, reach out to those who care about you. Make an effort to spend time with supportive individuals who have your best interests at heart. Your loved ones, friends, sponsor, and therapist all qualify here. Communicate your feelings to them and seek their support.


Getting expert assistance is important since a relapse can be a turning moment on the road to recovery. It’s an opportunity to take stock of where you are and where you may need some help. Seek the advice of a trained addiction specialist if you believe your recovery is stalling or if you want more extensive support. Anyone from a therapist who specializes in drug misuse to a registered nurse with psychiatric training to a medical specialist who specializes in addiction medicine might fit this bill.


Take care of yourself: As a mother, you probably haven’t given much thought to your own needs as you’ve focused on those of your family. It’s important to keep in mind that prioritizing your own health is not a sign of selfishness. Do things that make you feel good on all levels—physical, mental, and emotional. The term “self-care” may refer to anything from working out to meditating, yoga, writing, or engaging in other forms of creative expression. Putting your personal health and happiness first requires you to take some time out for yourself.


Take use of your relapse as a teaching moment; it’s not the end of the journey, just a speed bump. Take this time to evaluate your sobriety thus far and think about how you might improve moving forward. This might include making adjustments to your diet, routine, or coping strategies. If you want to stay sober and develop as a person, it’s important to keep learning new things and finding new ways to cope.


In conclusion, becoming a mother is one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences a person can have. A relapse from hard-won sobriety is an acceptable reason to seek assistance.

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