Relapse and the hope not lost.


Β© RecoveryMaldives

I was on a relapsing roll-out after nearly two years abstinent. The relapsing part was bad but the abstinent part was not so good either; although, I made meaningful and profound decisions in my life during the abstinent days. The question I ask myself is where I went wrong? Is being abstinent from all types of mood-altering substances not enough?

Getting abstinent was no piece of cake either. I struggled with on and off drugs for a long period. I did time in rehab for a countless number of times too. Not to mention, the NA meetings, and recovery literature I went through. The problem was not too much of not knowing but of not applying. I simply failed to apply the principles and tools I learned in rehab and from NA meetings. I even went through living in a sort-of-a-half-way house abroad for a long period of time too; it didn’t help me either.

After a long time struggling, I just quit for good; I simply stopped. There were a lot of things which happened in between which I’ll share in another story, hopefully. Quitting just happened out of the blue. I simply left all the recovery jargon and addiction associations from my life. I isolated myself and my life too. I was in it for nearly two years, which is not a long time in terms of clean time. During those days I had very low moments and very notable high moments of my life too.

Unfortunately, the abstinent years didn’t last long. My past came roaring towards me, the more I moved away from it. I didn’t intend to use, but it somehow happened; apparently, IΒ intentionally did it! I don’t blame the people around me or my surroundings for the relapse that was inevitable. Frankly, I was not happy inside during the abstinent times. Basically, I was not in recovery. I have tasted recovery, but during those days it tasted nothing like recovery.

What did I learn? To be in recovery is not just to be abstinent from all kinds of drugs and mood-altering substances. It is much more than that. It is to apply the tools we learn and to take action in our life. To be honest, open-minded and willing to change. To respect others and share my life with others and to give unconditionally. I have a lot to learn and I’m looking forward for the journey of life.

25 thoughts on “Relapse and the hope not lost.

  1. I firmly believe that recovery is all about acquiring a toolbelt of sorts- One made up of skills and attitudes and approaches that we were never taught as children, or that we perhaps lost access to as a result of later trauma or a clinically severe addiction. It’s a toolbelt we’ll never fill. It will grow with us. Here’s to learning how to use them when we get them!

  2. The tools that have helped me with my alcoholism are the taking of the 12 steps under the guidance of a sponsor. I still use the steps along with prayer& meditation because for me my disease doesn’t go away. Its a daily reprieve. Having said that there have been enough changes within me as a result of taking the steps that live fairly comfortable in my skin these days. I know this is hard. God bless you in your journey.

  3. Hello Dear Friend,

    I am a “recovering” alcoholic with just 32 days now. I just turned 50. I found you by way of your liking a few of our posts for which I am grateful. I have read all of your posts here and I felt compelled to write, though I hardly feel qualified to, something urged me to nonetheless.

    I sense the one malady in your recovery and it’s a recurring theme (not only in your message, but in the messages of many I hear speaking in AA and NA meetings). Quitting is easy, recovery is difficult. Sobriety sucks for many. Living in the past…shackled by shame…the inability to forgive oneself…the loss of the “excitement” of usage…the blame. The boredom and deep sense of morbid “loss.”

    I must say, I feel super lucky that when I finally decided enough was enough I found the answer I never knew could save me after 32 years of sheer depravity, destructiveness, hell, etc. I “Came to believe that a power greater than [myself] could restore [me] to sanity.” I mean to tell you my friend, the day I did that, the day I fell to my knees and gave myself up to my Higher Power, my life was altered inexplicably.

    No longer was I a walking dead soberman! I was a living, vitalized man! I felt inner peace for the first time in my life! I cannot tell you how profoundly my life has changed! You want to talk about character defects?! I had them all–well, still have many, but am working through them everyday–but I am changing from within and am truly BECOMING someone new.

    I urge you to seek your own Higher Power! However you perceive that to be, it WILL transform your life forever, I promise you that. THAT is what will change sobriety for you. I live it, I have seen it over and over again. It is a constant in so many sponsors I have seen who maintain so many years of VIBRANT, WHOLESOME RECOVERY. You don’t need to live this cycle of hell.

    None of your entries speak of your own Higher Power! I’m sorry I have blathered on, but my dear friend, I encourage you to at least ponder what it says in the Big Book “Willingness, honesty and open mindedness are the essentials of recovery. But these are indispensable.”

    Ask, and you WILL receive all that is rightfully yours! Drop The Rock dear friend…

    • Dear Rob,

      I admire your courage and willingness. Congrats on the sobriety milestone, recovery is the best journey ever!

      I don’t have to seek an HP, I always had — still has — one. I don’t elaborate about that coz I don’t want to get on the spirituality and religious side of recovery here; though I do talk about spiritual principles.

      I’m glad you have found recovery meaningful and trying to make it wholesome. I deeply commend you for that.

      Thanks a lot for the kind words and taking the time to read my posts. I’m looking forward for more engaging conversations from you.

      • You are very welcome! Forgive my niave assumptions! It had not occurred to me that perhaps you were keeping this aspect of your sobriety private lol. You see? I have much to learn in recovery myself. I do look forward sharing our journeys together. May the wind be always at your back my friend!

  4. I again can relate. For me it’s struggling with depression and despair. And you totally nailed it. We must apply the tools, be honest and willing to change! Keep on brother. I am finally finding more peace as I practice self love and compassion. I hope you find what works for you. Blessings, Brad

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