RELAPSES: WE TEND TO FORGET

A mom wrote to me: My son keeps trying to push his addiction. He has been sober for nine months. This past week, he decided to “try” and drink again. I keep telling him, you can’t drink and drug, and of course I got the, “I am getting healthier, Mom,” spiel. He got so sick when he came home he threw up with such force that he busted veins in his face. He is not allowed to drink in our home, but for now I’ll let the situation play itself out. The consequences might do the trick. I keep praying!

My reaction: Father Martin at Father Martin’s Ashley, Jeff’s first recovery center, told this story, “There was an alcoholic who, after 20 years of sobriety, decided he was healed. He walked into a bar on his way home from work and had a drink. He left after the drink, proud of himself. The next day, he stopped again. Two drinks this time, leaving after the second drink. On the way home, he thought he had this addiction thing under control. The next day, he stopped again for a few drinks and never made it home.”

Today’s Promise to consider: Changing behavior is difficult, and many medical experts believe that addiction and alcoholism are life-long conditions that require constant vigilance. As time passes, it’s human nature to tend to forget how bad the bad things were in our lives. If my loved one relapses, I will allow him to feel the consequences of his choices. I am grateful he is sober today, and I pray he chooses health tomorrow.

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Barbara
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Barbara

This week’s meditation really hit home for me. It was a relapse that took my son’s life. After about 2 years of sobriety, my son relapsed and thought he could do as much heroin as he used to. That was his first and last mistake. So many addicts think they can ingest the same amount of drug as their bodies were use to ingesting years before. Relapse is a very important part of the recovery process. Relapse helps teach the addict that they must make lifelong changes in their behaviours. Sobriety must take precedence in the addict’s life in order… Read more »

Pat Nichols
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Barbara makes an excellent point. When relapse occurs, after a long period of sobriety, the addiction feels it needs to “catch up,” so our addicted children over dose. My favorite story is the alcoholic who jumps off a thirty story building and after each floor he says, “So far, so good!” Libby’s final comment is why I always suggest parents keep a detailed written journal. We, as parents, also tend to forget how bad the bad times were so we end up repeating the same unhealthy choices. However, reviewing a journal allows us to put the situation in proper prospective,… Read more »

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Jane
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Jane

Pat and Barbara make such excellent points and I relate to both of their posts. My son’s overdose 2 years ago almost took his life. It was a devastating relapse involving multiple drugs. He ended up in critical care on a ventilator. He is very lucky to be alive without major deficits. It is very hard to be patient through relapses. Barbara is so right. Crawl in a hole and cry. I was always so disappointed and sad during relapse and it took my hope away. But relapse is a teacher too and my son did come out of relapses… Read more »

Libby
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Libby

Dear Barbara, Pat and Jane, Thanks for your good comments. Jeff’s relapses knocked me to the ground and trampled me. I hated the addiction and hated the intolerable pain. It took a long time for me to understand that relapse is part of recovery, and even longer for me to accept. My love to you. May God bless us all.

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Hope

Thank you. As a parent dealing with a son in relapse I realize that no matter how hard I try to muster courage and go forward in my life– I am not immune–for wherever my son is in recovery or active addiction–I still live in fear. I am not transcending this pain. Please send prayers. For him. And me. and all of us. WE need some peace. And rest. Much love. zo

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Barbara

Dear Hope,

You and your son are in my daily prayers. I pray that soon you will find the peace you deserve. It’s so difficult to let go and let God. I know the fear you are feeling. It’s overwhelming. I pray that you find peace for just a minute, an hour, a day.

Try to keep your spirits up and think positively.

Hugs and love,
Barbara

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