The real litmus test in recovery is a sense of gratitude. A sense of being able to be present. A sense of being hopeful. The ability to mood regulate your feelings. When someone is in a relapse mode, it is usually defined by resentment, feeling like a victim, being bitter, or being angry and that can actually lead to some really poor decisions.
There are some acronyms used in self-help support – such as HALT – to recognize relapse triggers.
Hungry is the understanding of being able to take care of yourself, nurture yourself, put nutrition in your system, and live a healthy lifestyle.
Angry represents the inability to mood regulate. If someone is angry, for the most part, they are not able to accept life on life’s terms or meet people where they are. They have expectations that life should be different or that people should be different from who they are. It becomes very difficult to accept yourself if you can’t accept others around you.
So, anger is a real warning sign, if a person is angry and they can get to a place where they can talk about their sadness, loss, and pain – then you can get somewhere. If you stay with the pain, then that is a real relapse trigger.
Lonely is another real warning sign of a relapse attitude or behavior. When you feel disconnected from others – loved ones, family, or friends – living in isolation, that is a real problem. Because again, recovery is about connection and relapse is about isolation and being lonely.
T is tired. Again, suggesting you are not taking care of yourself. You are exhausted. You’re perhaps not regulating your feelings and that’s getting you tired as well. You’re overdoing it. Living a balanced lifestyle is part of the recovery process. And if you experience any of those symptoms: hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, it is time to ask for help.