Relapse Prevention: BUD Up, BUD Down Part 3

What is meant by BUD Up or BUD Down?

A BUD will take a recovering addict in one of two directions. The first direction is the BUD Up, also know as the Fantasy World. The second direction is the BUD Down, better know as the Underworld. Out of the two, the BUD Up is the most common. Each direction is characterized by certain mind-sets and attitudes that dominate the person experiencing the BUD. We will explain each BUD in detail.

What are the Characteristics in the BUD UP?

In this BUD, the recovering addict tends to live in a mental state of fantasy. A list of common traits that mark the fantasy world include someone in denial, using projection, rationalization, or always trying to justify their actions.

Also, they may act in over confidence and self-righteousness. At times, the person can demonstrate hostility, irritability, impatience, and rebellion.  They may become over active, filling their time with distracting activities and even forget about their relationship with God and recovery.

3 Primary Deceptions in the Fantasy World

There are 3 primary deceptions in a Fantasy World:
1 – The recovering addict believes they have their addiction under control and that they are cured and ready to walk it out
2 – They believe they are completely healed from the addiction and no longer need to work on their recovery
3 – They believe they are spiritually mature enough to make it on their own without the help of God or anyone else.

When someone is going through a BUD UP, they must be patient or the impatience will become a stumbling block to their recovery.

The unwillingness to wait for God to work in their life can lead them to take matters into their own hands. Or the recovering addict is quick to lose patience with other people because they have unrealistic expectations, which can lead someone to relapse by self medicating out of frustration.

What are the Characteristics of the BUD Down?

The other aspect of the BUD syndrome is the Underworld.  The attitudes and emotions of the Underworld BUD are opposite those of the Fantasy BUD.

The Underworld BUD is filled with gloom, doom and hopelessness.  The person who “BUD’s Down” into the Underworld is also out of touch with reality.  They think that life is not worth living, that their addiction has ruined their chances for peace and happiness.  To them, life is useless.

If someone is in the Underworld, they are consumed by guilt, shame, condemnation and hopelessness.  They see themselves as beyond help.  In their opinion, life will never be different.  The helplessness they feel in the Underworld is so unbearable and dreadful that they may see suicide as a means of escape.

A list of the identifying traits in this BUD consists of: Self-Pity, Self-condemnation, false guilt, anxiety, low self-esteem, unworthiness, isolation, remorsefulness, exhaustion, and depression.

Why is isolation a particularly dangerous defense mechanism?

Out of this list of characteristics in a BUD, isolation is dangerous. Every recovering addict should have a support group. When someone isolates themselves, they refuse to let anyone get close to them and they will not have accountability or anyone to discuss their problems. The isolated person will progress in the BUD and eventually relapse.

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