Complacency can lead to bad decisions and possible relapse. Whether your reading this as someone in recovery or as a loved one of someone in recovery the following list can be an important resource / checklist of relapse symptoms. Though it is not intended to supplant or replace the opinions of a qualified recovery management professional it can offer you things to watch out for that can trigger a possible relapse.
*The following list was taken from Akron Intergroup News, December 1998
1. Continued Exhaustion - Allowing oneself to become overly tired; usually associated with work addiction as an excuse for not facing personal frustrations.
2. Dishonesty - Begins with pattern of little lies; escalated to self-delusion and making excuses for not doing what's called for or needed.
3. Impatience - I want what I want NOW. Others aren't doing what I think they should.
4. Argumentative - No point is too small or insignificant not to be debated to the point of disproportionate anger.
5. Depression – All unreasonable, unaccountable despair should be exposed and discussed, not repressed: what is the exact nature of these feelings?
6. Frustration - Controlled anger/resentment when things don't go according to our plans. Lack of acceptance.
7. Self-pity - Feeling victimized, put-upon, used, unappreciated: convinced we are being singled out for bad luck; feels cutoff from opposite sex (everyone has a girlfriend/boyfriend except me)
8. Cockiness - Got it made. Knows everything. Can go anywhere, including frequent visits just to hangout at bars, carry out's, boozy parties, romancing the drink
9. Complacency - Like #8, no longer sees value of daily program, meetings, contact with other alcoholics, (especially sponsor!), feels healthy, on top of the world, things are going well. Heck may even be cured!
10. Expecting too much of others - Why can't they read my mind? I've changed, what's holding them up? If they just do what I know is best for them? Leads to feeling misunderstood, unappreciated. See #6.
11. Letting up on disciplines - Allowing established habits of recovery - meditation, prayer, spiritual reading, AA contact, daily inventory, meetings - to slip out of our routines; allowing recovery to get boring and no longer stimulating for growth. Why bother?!
12. Using mood-altering chemicals - May have a valid medical reason, but misused to help avoid the real problems of impending alcoholic relapse.
13. Wanting too much - Setting unrealistic goals: not providing for short-term successes; placing too much value on material success, not enough on value of spiritual growth.
14. Forgetting gratitude - Because of several listed above, may lose sight of the abundant blessings in our everyday lives: too focused on # 13.
15. "It can't happen to me." - Feeling immune; forgetting what we know about the disease of alcoholism and its progressive nature.
Should any of these signs present themselves either in isolation or in combination don’t hesitate to consult your Continuum recovery manager as soon as possible to discuss what actions should be taken to safe guard against relapse.