A mom wrote to me, As I anticipated, my son relapsed. Not that any relapse is ‘good,’ but this one was terribly frightening. My son has lost about everything. My husband and I (not always on the same page) went to his apartment last night. I held my son in my arms and BEGGED him to choose life. I know I can’t do this for him. I’m just so painfully sad.
My reflection: I would have sold my soul to make Jeff well. Relapse after relapse felt as if it were our life’s sentence. Only at the end of a 14-year addiction did I realize that I was powerless to change my son. He had to make the decision to change. I needed to stay close.
Today’s Promise to consider: For many addicts, relapse is part of the process of recovery. Dr. MacAfee says that relapse isn’t failure, but it’s one step closer to sobriety. For today, I’ll pray that if my addicted loved one relapses, he makes it back safely. As a mom, I will use my energy to stay close, continue to love him and pray.2660
Relapse is simply part of the process that is likely required before the disease wears itself out. Don’t be upset, surprised or resentful if your loved one relapses. Understanding the disease model of addiction helps us stay close but not get in their way. At least, that is my experience. And yes, always stay close, love and pray for them.
I like Dr. MacAfee’s positive outlook on relapse, but unfortunately with each relapse the consequences tend to get more serious. We can just hope that they are serious enough to create change for our addicted loved ones, and for ourselves.
I look at my own relapses in my co-dependent behavior and know that I must learn from them in the same way an addict must learn from his.
Relapse always made me so sad and I also lost some hope. The consequences did get stiffer for my son too and somehow he did not seem to be getting it more together after more treatment. But the truth is we are powerless, and they must want to get well.
Stay close enough to still be family and show love, but far enough away to not get burned and to help you keep perspective. That is a tall order and a hard balance that we need to figure out. And pray, take care of your self along the way
Time takes time
Love to all
I remember the first time my daughter relapsed. She went to rehab and I was so relieved, she was finally going to get well and life would return to normal. Her first day out she relapsed, I was devastated.
How naive I was back then. Over the years I have learned all to well that this is part of the recovery process and I must not look at it as a failure. It took me years to accept and understand this and yet still in moments of weakness I can find myself devastated all over again.
I think its important for me to remember the power that addiction has on our loved ones. It grabs hold and doesn’t let go. My hearts breaks for each addict that fights this fight every single day and the loved ones that try so desperately to understand.
As hard as it is we must never despair in relapse but pray for the strength to rise again.
Love to all