Relapses and Slips

Along with the post about black outs i have always intended to post my thoughts on slips and relapses. I realize now though that perhaps i hesitated because up until recently, i had no personal experience with relapse and my information would have been based on external sources. It would have been superficial to say the least. And when i began experimenting again this past year, i never considered any planned drinking as a ‘slip’, per-say. After all, i didn’t just fall into a glass of alcohol, like some kid of accident. But slips are not really like that. They are defined by their short bursts of intensity with intents to continue in recovery . And they are the stepping stones to relapse.

In all honesty, i never believed relapse would happen to me. I was cruising along 6, 12 then 15 months without a glitch.I headed into experimentation with confidence, despite any and all questions or subtle suggestions from others. Hell, i was in a new and wonderful relationship..i had put in my sober time..i was happy..what could go wrong? I truly thought i was “handling ” it. ( if you don’t believe me, read some of my posts from May through August.) In September i had a moment when i started realizing i was getting a bit casual with it and decided all i needed was a 30 day break, a reset…And even when i only made it 3 weeks i still couldn’t see what was happening.

Then there was the bad experience in October with my BF. I chalked it up to circumstance and kept going. November- another bad experience. STILL i kept going. December, then January..increased problems and not just with the BF. It finally dawned on me when i announced my new intentions on here and a fellow blogger said something along the lines of “sorry you had a relapse, but glad you are back on track” I apologize i don’t remember who it was but i want to say THANK YOU. Those words hit me like a ton of bricks. Yes, i had ‘relapsed’ and not even recognized it for what it was.The words hurt, but not because i felt offended. They hurt because i had to acknowledge the fact. I am so grateful to that person.

Previously, i had been of the notion that relapse was something like the movies..particularly one i watched at about 6 months into sobriety called “Drunks”( 1995). Lots of famous people in the cast..check it out if you have a night and are totally bored.The main character was a recovering alcoholic , sober for about 2 years i think. He spoke in AA meetings, and was sort of a sponsor. Then he gets pushed over the edge with some personal issues and just goes nuts. He walks into a liquor store and gets a bottle. The night progresses and he even tries taking some heavy drugs in his altered mental state. It was fast and furious and probably way less common than the typical relapse. I knew i would ever do such a thing so i just wrote off relapse as something that would happen under only extreme duress or to a lifelong drinker. Not to me, for sure.

But i suspect most relapses happen more like my own. Slowly, subtly..taking us unawares. Starting with attempts at moderation, control, and/or experimentation.Telling ourselves we are fine. Until one day we aren’t.

I have said it before, and i’ll say it again. I don’t exactly regret the experience. It has taught me a lot about myself. Incredibly, i now know i can STILL fail at any time. No matter how much sober time i have, or how together i think i am. For me, vigilance isn’t enough. It’s an illusion of control that i do not have. Perhaps it isn’t the same for everyone and i do not judge or make assumptions. But for me any drinking is walking on an oil slicked , steep hill in high heels.

I thank all of you who have been here for me along my journey and for those i have just connected with. Stay Strong.

Namaste.

Author:

nurse, mother, artist, and chameleon ...

19 thoughts on “Relapses and Slips

  1. I think it’s great that the relapses you have are learning experiences to be analysed and you work through them. Too many people don’t do this, they make excuses about them or attempt to justify them in a face saving exercise. Or even worse, they feel like a failure and this leads back down the oily slope! Keep going, your’e human like the rest of us! Good luck. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. what really sucks for me is that even though i have learned not to put pride over transparency, i look back at posts and feel like i must be a real piece of work..at the time i am posting it’s just coming out honestly and unedited, but it makes me appear to be a total psycho! lol

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes my relapse was the same as yours. Slow and inconspicuous at first. Just felt like I was experimenting and I would be fine. I was able to moderate at first and thought I’d finally won against alcohol! Then I slowly got dragged down the slippery slope and ended up at a worse spot than I was before I quit the first time. Alcohol is a sneaky little bugger. It just crept up on me again

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to feel like I failed when I had slip-ups, not anymore. I really feel they have helped me with the mindset that I have today. I’m thinking of you and have an awesome day! Side note-It can stop snowing any day now! 😆

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i agree…i never consider them failures…but i do consider the resulting relapse a failure..however, i don’t dwell on failures, just acknowledge them..i always move forward..the alternative is unacceptable!thank you and yes..damn snow..more in the morning here..grr

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love reading this and I thank you for your complete honesty. I think we all know going into recovery that the risk of relapse is high… and yet there is some small voice or part of us that likes to think we’re special. I read something yesterday describing alcohol as patient and it sent a shiver down my spine. Thinking of it there, waiting, maybe even out waiting us. I’m glad you’re learning along your journey. I think most of us have to and do learn from our own experiences instead of heeding the advice of others. I haven’t decided whether that’s a good thing or not… Sending you love. ♥️🌟

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think relapse happens when we forget just how precious sobriety is to us.
    I have been sober for over 7 years. There have been some huge and excruciatingly painful experiences in that time. I have considered drowning my pain many times.

    In the end, I feel like sobriety is the basis for my ability to manage. It is necessary for my mental health. It is vital for my relationships. It is my greatest act of self love and self compassion.

    I try not to forget that. I hope I never do. Although my drinking was pretty mild, I believe I could have ended up homeless and alone. The people who are never expected to be there either. This isn’t fear, it’s just respect for the power of addiction.

    I’m happy to have found your blog and look forward to reading more!

    Anne

    Liked by 1 person

      1. will check it out. yes, i have seen you in the comments section on other mutual blogger friends for a while..i even think i responded in a few . i love my sober community on here. I have very little interaction outside of here with the pandemic and working night shift so it has been a very good source for me in my endeavors..hugs!!

        Like

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