I think the common denominator we all can agree on in here is that those who have successfully managed to stay clean for a long period of time HAVE HAD to endure a relapse or two or three or four and so on... it's a learning process. If you've never relapsed after quitting, you were never an addict in the first place. That being said, it's a learning process and a unique one for each of us. We learn from mistakes, we don't learn from the whole 'this is right and this is wrong and don't question any of it' logic. If we relapse we question why. If we continuously relapse we still question why. Relapse is not a failure period. It's a way of learning how not to quit. We're really not that irrational. Excuses only last for so long until you realize it's getting old and it's better to just solve the problem entirely and with trial and error. NA and AA is not a silver bullet but that's just my opinion. There is no silver bullet, just YOUR bullet. And there are studies out there that show beating yourself up over a relapse does more harm than good in your recovery which I think was the original intention of this post.
Hey, i relapsed over 100 times, before finding the Sub program, that got me clean.
Now you couldnt pay me to use again.
Life is great being clean.
In the months before I finally truly got clean and sober, I struggled terribly! Numerous times I tried in my own self-will to get clean... my biggest trouble was trying to do it alone... to hide my addiction. When we're hiding, it sure makes it pretty freaking hard to connect with others and get the kind of support we need to walk out recovery for good.... it wasn't until I was sick and tired of doing it alone... REALIZING somehow in my clouded drug brain that I couldn't do it ALONE. When I finally exposed the darkness of my life and got WILLING to reach out for others' help, I was able to walk it out ONE day at a time. Meetings, meetings, meetings... connecting with those who went before me, watched, LISTENED, and learned! Today is a great day - I'm still clean and sober. ONE day at a time. Praising GOD and still hitting my meetings. :) End of this month is my sobriety birthday - 4 years... couldn't be more grateful.
on the show 'the doctors' today there was an interventionist on there who used to be an addict herself. she said the term 'relapse' needs to be changed to something else. it is a disease and when a disease 'flares up' you do not say 'they relapsed'. I totally agree. people suffering from addiction are treated horribly by society and it is no wonder people suffer in isolation and silence. who really wants to wear that huge scarlet letter for the rest of their lives when they will be treated so badly? then you have chronic pain patients who are also treated as addicts. sad really. I watched a documentary on how switzerland (i believe) has legalized herion and they can get it when they want from a prescription and believe it or not drug use has gone down
"Relapse" is used in the medical profession pertaining to other diseases. For example, when one has Hep C and successfully clears the virus during treatment but does not have a sustained virological response, he or she is then clinically classified as a "relapse". This also pertains to other illnesses.
However, in the substance abuse field, depending on what model of addiction you practice (disease, psychological, biopsychosocial, ect) the term relapse is only used when an addict uses a substance and then continues using it. If an addict only uses the substance once and then gets back on track right away, it can be clinically classified as a"slip". But then like I said, that depends on what model the program/clinician uses.
I was a chronic relapser for many years....addicted to relapsing. I wouldn't say its normal to relapse...more that its very unfortunate. People can get clean on the first go round if they do the work and hit the right program for them. Personally, it took me many years to find what works for me.
Hi well for me relapse was hard it takes away everything you have worked ofr for me N/A was the answer it is a free program that works just because your off the pills does not take away from the fact that your a addict it will pounce on you the first time your feeling weak those that go to meeting tend to stay clean so get to a meeting get a sponcer and work the 12 steps it truly will set you free......Gnarly
I always say I relapsed for 2 1/2 years before it stuck. Looking back and realizing how long it takes to detox from methadone, I never really relapsed, because I never really quit. I merely took breaks and never actually recovered. I am of the school of thought that using a drug is the final stage of relapse. I can feel myself having a relapse and use my tools and support to bring me out of it. My mental/emotional relapses are rough, but nothing like active addiction. Knowing the signs of relapse, before using, and identifying triggers helps prevent thT final stage, using.
thanks for your input on this guys...I just hate to see people beat themselves up and get more depressed because they either slipped or full blown relapsed...just wanted to point out that it, in some ways, seems to part of the process, you know? i did slip more than a few times before recovery began to stick..
Yes I have relapsed many times. I will say what gnarly said is true. NA meetings are helping me tremendously right now! I'm beginning to understand this addiction thing a little more now.
I didnt relapse because I had no recovery I abused caffiene and smoked a J
but its been 121 days substance free
I tried many times to quit unsuccessfully, so not sure if that is considered relapse cuz I agree with Heather, I wasn't in recovery. However, I did find myself cross-addicting to alcohol which took me awhile to come to terms with...working on that as we speak. One day at a time.
After relapsing a few times I started re-naming it in my head as "rein forcemeat ". It wasn't the first pill that had me regretting it, but somewhere in the first script that muscle memory and all the knowledge I had learned ruined the high and "reminded" me why I quit. Openminded said in an earlier thread that AA and NA ruined him ever getting trashed again and that made a lot of sense to me. Staying connected to others in all phases of recovery whether it be meetings/church/social networks/education sure helps keep one honest. Great thread Rush.
I relapsed many, many times over 15 years. I would listen to my own BS, you know...I will only take the pills per the script from now on; I will only take a pill when I really need it; I've gone through detox, it was horrible, and I've learned how to "control" my addiction; I will only take one or two because I'm stressed and need to relax - for my family. And on and on.
Relapse happens, but just because it happens that does not mean it's OK, or can be expected. If anyone goes in to recovery thinking that others have relapsed, and that relapsing is just a bump on the normal road to recovery, then why bother? Just because others have done it doesn't make it right.
I was not trying to give anybody and excuse to relapse, but to ease the minds of those who already have and are beating themselves up over it...as i said...if you do, it's not good, but it's not the end of the world...
I see relapse at a failure...to be sure...but i just want to point out that many (not all) roads to success are paved with failures.
And I didn't mean to imply that you were giving anyone an excuse...Your's is a great post, something that needs to be discussed. For those of us who are neck deep in to it, relapse has been a part of our struggle. I just want to be sure that no one reads this the wrong way. But, you and I both know someone will.
"Relapse happens, but just because it happens that does not mean it's OK, or can be expected. If anyone goes in to recovery thinking that others have relapsed, and that relapsing is just a bump on the normal road to recovery, then why bother? Just because others have done it doesn't make it right. "
When people think like that it just gives them another reason to use.
Thanks...Unfortunately that's exactly how I lived my life for many years. What a waste. Let's hope that at least some of the new people are smarter, or at least learn faster than I did.
Relapsed about 5 times over 15 year period and since my last one been running steady we all have issues we just need to pick ourselves up and start over the problem is when your relapse every month. "PILL FREE"
I was on a continuous relapse for years and years.
Relapse is not a part of recovery, it is lack of recovery. I see many who use the thinking that it is part of recovery as an excuse. Same with a slip....you slip on ice or in the tub. The word "slip" in my mind just minimizes the persons actions. Mind you, this is only what i think and have to as i cant leave any doors open in this twisted head of mine.
"Relapse is not a part of recovery, it is lack of recovery"
I totally agree. I didn't always think like that but changed my mind recently :)
I get what your saying about the "slip" too. I only mentioned it above when talking about how the term "relapse" is used for all sorts of illnesses. Personally...to me a slip is the same as relapsing. I was just talking from some things I learned in class. Some addiction counselors will tell there clients they "slipped" and to not turn it into a "relapse" in an effort to save them. Hence...the "slip" classification. An addicts mind will say "hey, I already used once and messed up my clean time so why not keep going" The whole point of the "slip" classification/term is to try and bring an addict back before they do more harm.
Its all perspective I guess.
Great thread, awesome points peeps. Personally, I think of relapse as when someone stops working their recovery. And we all know, recovery has to be your number one priority from now until eternity. Our lives depend on it.
Personally, I am using drugs right now to get through a terrible pain and medical crises. If there were any way to do this without drugs, then I would. I have not used it as an excuse to stop working my recovery, in fact, I'm working my recovery even harder because I realize the slippery slope that I am on and I need to keep moving forward. I will always choose life over addiction. Always.
Thank you, you seem to understand my point and stated it more clearly than i was able to...
"If you've never relapsed after quitting, you were never an addict in the first place."
That is about the craziest most insane thing I have EVER read!!
Such an inaccurate statement~