This relapse process occurs over time. It is a period of decline culminating in the act of gambling.
Mental Relapse is the first stage of relapsing into the cycle of addiction. It is the thinking, the wanting, and the wishing to be in control again. It is feeling and believing that you are taking over again - choosing the "Rebel-self" to take charge of the person you are.
Mental Relapse is the mental activity behind the "trying" to making a relapse (active gambling) more REAL. The more you think about gambling, the more likely you will end up gambling.
Emotional relapse is when the emotional content of the problems exceed, or take over, the intellectual content. It is when the irrational dominates the rational.
It is when your emotional self is believed to be more important and realistic than your intellectual self. ‘As if‘ your intellectual self has no bearing on what is the right thing to do.
Greater the emotional content of your problem(s), the greater the risk of relapse.
Some of the problematic emotions for recovery are: self pity, anger, and resentment. If not checked and dealt with, these emotions can lead a person to relapse.
How To Relapse
How to Relapse: Problems and Antidotes
1a. Be dishonest to yourself
Antidote: Listen to your inner common sense, standards and values. Be aware of your true self. Always have a little bit of doubt about your motives in life.
Remember: "I can't trust my own thinking, for it is my thinking that leads me to relapse". This is because I suffer from a mental obsession that says things like: "But it wasn't really that bad" or "I am an exception to the rule" or "I am different".
1b.Be dishonest to others
Antidote: Let go of wanting to cheat, rort, or lie.
We are only as sick as our secrets.
2. Hang on to old ideas
Antidote: Be open-minded. Look for new ideas - to maintain growth and maturity.
Be willing to change, because if nothing changes - nothing changes.
Antidote: Make new friends.
Regular self-help meetings.
Staying away from places where you could relapse.
Let go of certain people.
Antidote: Stay away from the old environment - people, places, things, situations, and attitudes. These equate to excitement happiness, satisfaction, false hopes, and wishful thinking - this leads to lifted spirits (anticipation). Anticipation is excitement re-felt in old environment.
3. Don't do what is suggested
Antidote: Just do it. Let go of trying to do it.
Stop trying to be different, or to be an exception to the rule.
Be realistic and honest to yourself.
Be willing to do something different than to relapse, even if you don't want to - take a risk.
Are you willing to go to any lengths to change?
Recovery will not kill you
Antidote: Delay gratification - stop looking for a quick fix.
Follow what you need to do, not what you want to do.
Accept your recovery - sometimes easy, sometimes hard.
Rely on your common sense, standards and values.
Ask yourself: "What would a person in recovery do in this situation?"
4. Isolate yourself so you can be lonely
Antidote: Stay in touch with supportive people - on a daily basis.
5. Don't listen
Antidote: Stop the ‘chitter chatter' - mentally and vocally.
Be open-minded - stop judging, blaming, requesting, complaining, and resenting.
Look for similarities - stop being a ‘rebel'.
Trust in your inner common sense, standards and values. Listen to your recovering-self.
Feelings are not facts - listen to the facts.
Learn to pay attention - with ‘both' ears.
Be willing to be interested, even if you're not right now.
Learn to listen, listen to learn.
6. Don't push yourself, just do as you please
Antidote: Be Responsible - respond with need.
Surrender - is not putting your will into action.
7. Believe that recovery was not meant for you
Antidote: Trust in your survival instincts. Recovery is about survival - a natural response that already exists within you - it is you.
Recovery already exists in you - just let it happen, don't struggle with it, just do what is needed to do to survive - it won't kill you.
8. Worry about the past, and or, the future
Antidote: Live and be present in the ‘here and now'.
Stay with today's existence, and your role within it.
Reflect on the saying: "Yesterday's history, tomorrow's a mystery" - both are non- existent.
Jokingly tap your forehead while saying aloud to yourself: "Hello. Is anybody home?" Then answer: "Yes, I am here for today".
9. Don't trust anybody or anything
Antidote: Without trust, there can be no meaningful connection to another human being. Learn to trust others by testing, giving in step by step, take a risk.
Be flexible, don't expect too much, ask yourself: "How important is it? Will it kill me?"
Don't set yourself up for a resentment, remember that you are a person who can knowingly choose to do the worst thing for yourself - to relapse.
Be willing to accept a change of attitude.
Trust yourself that you will trust others.