Relapse does not have to be a part of your story, but if it is, it can be difficult to tell if it truly is a relapse or just a slip. The difference is severity. Did I drink or use one time and quickly realize what a mistake it was? Or did I drink or use once and haven’t been able to stop since, going on weeks at a time? With such a heavy emphasis on length of sobriety in the twelve-step rooms, getting truthful about what’s really going on can be the hardest thing to do, but that’s how we get better – by telling on ourselves and being honest. Picking up a white chip or keychain hurts the ego and pride, but it brings us closer to the fellowship and our true selves. Staying silent after a slip is what keeps people sick and will inevitably lead to a relapse. During a relapse, the harder we fall the harder it is to get up, so being vulnerable and reaching out for help saves our lives.
People suffering from alcoholism or addiction make mistakes sometimes, there is no shame associated with taking a detour to sobriety, as long as we find our way back on track. Honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness are the tenants of twelve-step groups and those are the things that will allow us to grow on a spiritual and emotional level during our recovery.
If we truly look at addiction like a disease, there should be no shame associated with a slip or a relapse. No one gets angry with someone battling cancer when cancer comes out of remission – they are supportive and there to help in whatever way they can. The same treatment should happen with people suffering from alcohol and other chemical substances. We are a supportive family that is here to help, without any shame or disapproval.
If you’re alumni of Lakeview Health or Stepping Stone, you have the continuous support of our incredible Alumni Recovery Support Coordinators who are there for you no matter how long you’ve been out of treatment. If you need help getting back on track and you haven’t lost your motivation to stay sober, or if you have returned to abusing substances and would like to get back in treatment, our Alumni Recovery Support Coordinators will help you either way. So whether you’ve had a slip or a full-blown relapse, you always have someone to turn to for support and guidance.
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