It is my belief, and the belief of alcoholics anonymous and narcotics anonymous that being in recovery means abstinence from all mood altering substances. With that explained…have you ever relapsed?
I was trying to convince myself that since my addiction had to do with drugs, I could drink alcohol. After all, I didn’t have a drinking problem. I didn’t need to get drunk. So what would be the harm?
The winners in this game have all said that you cannot drink even though you were a drug addict and hope to have a successful recovery. It just won’t work. I heard what they were saying but I thought to myself, they don’t know me. Maybe I can do that. And so, I tried.
It didn’t take me long at all to discover that this was not going to work for me. It’s not that I went on a binge or anything like that. I drank, got drunk and didn’t want to do it again. I noticed that it was a problem because right away I told myself that I wasn’t going to tell my therapist that I drank. I also told myself that since I had accrued some clean time I was not going to mention my use of alcohol at my next NA meeting.
Thankfully something clicked in my head. I realized that it must be a problem or I wouldn’t be trying to keep it from people. I obviously felt that it was wrong. So, I made myself tell my therapist about it. He didn’t give me shit like I thought he would. He just wanted to know every detail leading up to me drinking and how I felt afterward. It really felt good to talk it through like that with someone.
At my next NA meeting I was still considering just pretending like it didn’t happen. After all, who are these people and why should I feel obligated to tell them I messed up. What do they care? But something inside of me made me just raise my hand. Before I knew it I was telling a group of people that I relapsed. As I was looking around the room I could see people nodding in agreement with me about some of the feelings I was having.
Do you know what there advice to me was? “Keep coming back.” They didn’t want to kick me out of the group, they wanted me to come back. What I realize now is not only are they helping me, but they are helping themselves. By sharing my bad experience, they hopefully won’t have to actually experience it for themselves. And if they have already experienced it…it was a nice reminder that taking a drink or a pill isn’t going to be fun or solve anything.