Trigger (heh) warning: This in an opinion post. You may not agree with my view. That some won’t agree is okay with me. I give anyone the right to be wrong. Including me, but not in this case. You have been trigger (heh) warned.
As I see it, relapsing is not a part of recovery – it’s the antithesis of recovery. It’s what happens when recovery doesn’t work. It’s also near impossible to predict who will and who will not relapse. You may I disagree. I’m okay with that.
I was voted “least likely to succeed” by my treatment class of ’92. The tough part is, I agreed with them at the time.
I am a firm believer in the KISS principle; Keep It Simple, Stupid. The more I try to complicate recovery, the easier it is for excuses to take hold and for me to screw it up. Therefore, when it comes to relapse, I only recognize one reason that encompasses all others: You weren’t done yet.
In an old post I wrote,
But when you’re down as low as you can go, when you finally stop digging, when you see the bottom rung of the ladder just one inch higher than you can reach – no matter how hard you jump to try to grab it… Once you completely wipe yourself out trying to climb up the side of the hole to reach it, once you’ve spent every last bit of energy you have, once you’ve hung your head in defeat, once you’ve rested your head in your bloodied hands and completely given up… You look up and finally ask for help, truly beaten… To see one lone hand reach down and brush the matted hair back from your sweat covered brow, then the tears and dirt from your eyes, then your cheek… to have that hand grasp yours and lift you up to that first rung so you can finally start climbing out… It changes you forever.
People who relapse still think they can grasp that bottom rung of the ladder on their own. Simple as that, they’re not done jumping yet.
We can spin it however we want, but if we’re honest, everything boils down to that.
Be done, and recover.