Many people think that in times where life gets hard, people in recovery from addiction and alcoholism are likely to relapse. This leads some people in recovery to hold certain events as excuses to be able to drink or use again. People think to themselves “If a family member dies” or “If I get into a bad car accident” “I will be able to use then.” They come up with certain reservations to justify a relapse. Even implicit reasons that are held in our brains are NOT okay for us. The only reason people relapse is because they are not doing what they need to do to stay sober one day at a time.
Magz, the author of a blog called Sober Courage, discussed how she kept a list of reasons she will be able to justify a relapse if it happens again. She explains how she has relapsed although it was not because of any of her all ready planned list but because of a divorce. To me, I DO NOT think that this sort of excuse making is healthy. I also believe that putting labels on “reasons” that one relapsed is running away from taking responsibility for one’s own actions.
As I look back at the multiple failed attempts I have had in the past to get sober, I can see the many mistakes I made in not fully committing to recovery and Alcoholics Anonymous. I used AA as an excuse for negative behavior by twisting the words of fellows. I never gave my full will up to my higher power and I never changed my actions and took responsibility for my actions.
The ONLY reason I can say took part in my relapses is the lack of commitment to the program of Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 steps. When I hear people not taking responsibility for losing touch with their program and placing blame on outside issues for their relapse, I get frustrated. Relapse rarely has anything to do with outside issues. As a recovering alcoholic and addict I know that I can face anything in my life that is good or bad and be OKAY! I do not have to be scared about relapsing because of certain events possibly arising in my life.
DO NOT let anyone fool you. Everyone in recovery can work through everything that goes on in life with the help of the tools given to us in AA. We do not have to be scared of alcohol or drugs.
“And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone- even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have returned. We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally, and will find that this has happened automatically. We see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it. We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation. We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality- safe and protected. We are have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, Works Publishing Company, New York City, 1939.