When a coke user relapses, they experience intense feelings of shame. When we relapse we have profound feelings of regret and self-loathing.
It is very hard on the psyche and the soul. It makes you feel extremely down and depressed. You don’t want to get back on it again. You want to forget about everything. There is just no place to be. It is all too easy to slip further into the destructive world of addiction. The world you have been working so hard to escape from.
Recovery from addiction is a fragile thing. You need to find a way to take good care of yourself. It is not uncommon for someone to manage a few days then relapse. The important thing is to keep trying.
Right now, is a really good time to start again.
Relapsing throws you. It messes you up. One minute you were clean and starting to get the hang of being clean. You were feeling better. You looked better. Your clothes were cleaner. You had more energy and vim about you. You were developing some momentum. You were surprising yourself and the people around you. Maybe you had never managed to be as clean and sober for as long as you were.
Then all in the space of a few minutes you lose your concentration and use again.
- Relapsing is a terrible crash, and each time it is harder
- You lose your sense of direction
- How do you stay focused on recovery now?
There is really only one thing for it
You need to put all the negative thoughts to one side. Don’t think about it. Just do it. All that matters is being clean today. Thinking won’t make you clean. Trying not to use, hour by hour, day by day. That is all that is necessary.
One step at a time you need to think forwards
Today you feel bad. But that is because you relapsed. After you relapse all thinking is skewed. You cannot see where you are. You were clean and that was different. But now you can only think negatively about everything. From there you slip into a mixture of self-critical and self-pitying thinking.
This is how relapses work. If you let yourself wallow in these feelings, they just get deeper. You slip further into self-loathing. It will deepen like a trench until there is simply no way out. You are back at the bottom again, using.
Somehow you have to put all of the negative thinking to one side
You need to start again, today. Right now. Right now, is always the best time to start being clean again. Minute by minute, hour by hour. Be clean.
12 step meetings can be very helpful
- They are free, and there are lots of meetings.
- But it is worth remembering that all meetings are different
- And you might have to experiment with different meetings while you try to find what feels like the right place, the right group of people for you.
- If you don’t like the meeting, if the group is difficult, then try another one. The key thing is to avoid using coke, drugs, drink, sex, food, gambling, risk, etc.
Find a meeting you like. Find people you can talk about it with. Find a sponsor. Find a therapist. If you can just stay clean you can start to turn things around.
It is common to become very focussed on knowing the reasons why you take cocaine, or whatever drug or addiction you do. You say to yourself; ‘if you can just understand why you do it you will be able to stop’. This is frequently an illusion. It may be well-intentioned, but it may just put you at risk of using again.
The first priority is to stop using, stop taking the drug
There will be time to think about why it became such a big part of your life in the future. For now, all that matters is being clean. You only need to be clean today. Get through that first. Then think about tomorrow.