Relapse is Not Part of Recovery
Actually, relapse by definition is a return to active addiction. Active addiction is not part of recovery. That makes no sense. The two are mutually exclusive.
It is a very dangerous sinkhole left open if you believe that a relapse is normal and to be expected.
You may get confused when you see other members of addiction recovery groups whom you have come to admire relapsing, but make no mistake, the hardship others face with relapse does not mean that it is normal or to be expected.
We are well aware that many still espouse the notion that relapse is a part of recovery. We adamantly disagree. We have found that those who preach that relapse is a part of the recovery process, and as such is an example of a low point or setback in recovery, have probably never freely climbed out of the wreckage left by an active addiction. We who have known the shame, the prevailing sense of indecency, the insanity of the broken promises, and shattered dreams of active addiction would never describe relapse as an expected aspect of recovery in the normal course of things.
So no, relapse is not a stage or an aspect of the recovery process. Relapse is the eventual outcome for someone who has languished in the process of relapse without intervening or accepting help.
We use the word process, because relapse is always a process, never an event. For most, a relapse begins long before we first reintroduce our drug of choice. This is good news. Since relapse is a process, it is therefore preventable. Our job is to become well versed in that process. To learn about the process and to develop the appropriate interventions that work for each of us individually when we are faced with the various challenges that we all will face along the way.
In our upcoming blogs we will highlight some immediate recovery interventions that will be necessary if you want to avoid the imminent threats to your abstinence and sobriety.
If you have read this far, you know what we think. Now we want to hear about your experience. Feel free to >>CLICK HERE<< to leave a comment with your own experiences or questions.
Shawn Leadem, J. (2017). Relapse is Not Part of Recovery. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 22, 2017, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/relapse-prevention/2016/06/relapse-is-not-part-of-recovery/