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Three Stages of Relapse

Relapses are the predictable outcome of a series of poor choices. A relapse is never an event, but a process. Relapses come in three phases:

  • Emotional relapse

  • Mental relapse

  • Physical relapse

Don’t focus too much on the physical part of relapse, the actual acting out behavior. Focus more on how you get to that point. Give greater attention to what is going on emotionally and mentally. When those areas are healthy, the chances of physical relapse drop dramatically.

Too many of us play with fire. We relapse in our thought life, thinking we can withstand the temptation we bring on ourselves.

Paul offered this bit of warning: “Even if you think you can stand up to temptation, be careful not to fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). In other words, rather than fighting temptation, we should avoid it in the first place, whenever possible.

Recovery Step: Avoid the first stages of relapse.

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