Prelapse: 10 Signs of an Impending Relapse

The plans we create for our future selves and the tragic comedy that usually ensues never seem to coincide. More times than not, we get our crystal ball confused with our magic “8” ball and expectations get mixed up with disappointments. Of course, it’s not as bleak as it may sound; sometimes it’s just a matter of being able to accept reality as it comes our way. Whether it’s cheap plastic or crystal sorcery, both give you a chance to react to the information provided. The same goes for recovery and avoiding any form or prelapse.  

Prelapse is always lurking around the corner because the allergy we carry is stealthy. In the blink of an eye, we can throw ourselves overboard and into the largest downward spiral if recovery is not kept on the front burner as a priority. If sobriety is the vision that we seek, there are certain components that must be maintained to hold onto that happy, joyous, and free lifestyle.

The Straw that Breaks the Camel’s Back

For those who are not aware, prelapse starts in the brain long before the alcohol or chemicals have tapped into your bloodstream. Relapse mode only starts with a few seemingly simple thoughts before you’re on track to destruction. When an individual has fully immersed themselves in recovery, it is blatantly obvious what their intentions are and what they are striving for. The opposite is just as clear when prelapse thoughts and triggers are having their way with our alcoholic at hand. Our alcoholic thinker might do well for extended periods, but even with cautious optimism- nothing is permanent.

Keeping in mind there isn’t a cure for addiction will help us to recognize that this really is a disease that is a constant battle for some as their using thoughts flourish and recede. Unfortunately, relapse is a very real thing for any chemically dependent person- regardless of the time accumulated. On the bright side, prelapse can be easily spotted in loved ones or self when looking out for mannerisms like:

  • Impulsive/Radical Behavior
  • Overly Defensive
  • Easily Angered or Irritated
  • Poor Daily Routine and/or Structure
  • Unmotivated or Lack of Desire for Anything

Or even:

  • Periods of Elongated Depression
  • Irregular Attendance of anything Fellowship related
  • Dissatisfied with Life as a Whole
  • Dishonest Actions and Behaviors
  • Constant Physical and Emotional Exhaustion  

It’s unfortunate of course and we can try to help, but it’s up to that person to fight back against the disease as its high tide starts crashing down waves of prelapse and negative thinking onto the shores of their brain.

depressed man

James Bond Cravings

Prelapse warning signs will sneak up like a double agent would in the Hollywood blockbusters. Before you know it, the person in question will begin thinking that Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are pointless and that they have obtained everything they need already. This is a person who is on the pathway to relapse usually because they are already at a point where they are becoming close minded. That’s what our addiction and alcoholism want is for us to lose. It’s definitely a game, but there’s no silver and gold- it’s life or death.

Addiction numbs us to reality and causes us to always look at things from the perspective of the glass always being half empty. Everything in life starts to have this hollow feeling to it and the mindset of “nothing we ever do is good enough” roots itself into every forced step we take. All that negative thinking, of course, attracts more negative experiences. Irritability and loads of stress start tacking on with the rest of cynical frame of mind that is now dulling their personality. It’s important to look for unnecessary mood swings and anger conjuring itself from out of nowhere. Don’t fall victim to stressed induced emotion.

Fight for Your Right to NOT Party

As some signs of prelapse start appearing, more of them follow suit as the person slips downward into the inevitable. Prelapse thoughts just add weight that drags you down ever so slowly. With the negative outlook and more off-putting situations occurring, it’s common to see the addict or alcoholic begin losing hope with life. Ambitions will begin to diminish and getting the person to do anything productive will seem like a chore. Addiction and alcoholism will convince them to give up on themselves.

Even sadder, the person will begin losing interest in hobbies or people that typically kept their attention in the past. Things will just seem off to them and they often will push friends and family away in attempts to hide the depression/anxiety they’re going through. It will literally suck the life out of them to the point where they feel like getting high or drinking is the only way to cope with such a bottom. As all this starts to come to a head, maybe they will begin making questionable decisions or even putting themselves in sketchy or risky positions. They will constantly convince themselves that they got a bad hand in this deck of cards.

The victim role comes in strongly as they start looking for any reason they can to throw it all away and pick up the bottle or pipe. Having a good friend or family member that can call the person out in when prelapse seems prevalent can be a holy grail amongst darkness. Call them out and support their endeavors with love. Knowing the premonitions before they occur may just save somebody’s life close to you.

Stop Prelapse before Relapse

When it comes to cravings and the warning signs at hand, sometimes they will come from out of nowhere and coax even the strongest of addicts into second guessing their recovery. It’s important to know the signals and to stand up to yourself and the identity crisis addiction creates. If you or a loved one has been struggling with getting a firm grasp on sobriety and need detoxification, please call 888-481-1993 or visit Our teams of specialists are waiting by to help figure out what options are best for sending your life is a comfortable direction that you can proudly stand behind.  

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