Causes of Relapse (as offered in AA meetings)
1. Failure to go to AA meetings.
2. Failure to take the 12 steps.
3. Involvement in an emotional relationship.
4. Association with the old crowd.
5. Failure to get a sponsor.
6. Failure to read the Big Book.
7. Desire to achieve oblivion.
8. They didn’t “want it” badly enough.
9. Etc.

I never really drank so I can not relate to all things that an alcoholic is going through.  But I do have an addiction to nicotine.  So I understand how relapsing can make you feel like a failure.  You want to blame others, blame things, blame situations.  We come up with all kinds of reasons as to why it happened to make it OK in our minds that we slipped up.

Here is a distillation of Big Book causes of relapse:
Causes of RELAPSE (according to the Big Book)
Count:
7….a. Failure to grow spiritually.
4….b. Fighting with or harming others.
3….C. Failure to work with other alcoholics.
2….d. Failure to take step 5.
2….e. Attempt to shield from alcohol.
2….f. Failure to make amends.
l….g. Selfishness.
l….h. Resentment.

~ I too can have a relapse back into my old ways.  I could go right back to letting my life be ruled by someone else.  I could go back to being sad, hateful, angry, lonely, with-out faith, with-out hope.  It is always there, ready to pounce.  I have to be active in my thoughts and retain my faith and turn things over to my higher power.  If I take my anger and turn it over – there will not be any negative soil for those nasty things to grow in.

~ I too can relapse back into the craziness that was my life for about 6 years.  Not knowing who I was going to get walking in the door when my husband got home.  I had no idea when he was going to be home and if he was already going to have some beers in him.  I had no way of knowing when he left work, where he stopped on his way home, if he was dead or alive.  I worried about him and feared him at the same time.

~ I don’t want to go back to that way of thinking.  It is getting better day by day.  A little bit at a time I am able to let go of those feelings.  It’s not that they might ever really go away – but it’s what I do with those thoughts and feelings that matters now.  I have to tell myself that I can control it, change it or cause it.

All I can do is pray and turn it over.  Everyone will have to face themselves in the mirror and that is the person who you have to deal with.  That person staring back at you from that shiny piece of glass.  Those eyes that show all your inner most feelings – can you look yourself in the eye?  I know that when I wake up in the morning  – I can do that.  I can face myself knowing that I have done the best that I can and that I am the only person who is truly responsible for my happiness.  I am still working on my 4th step, so I can be ready to move on to the rest – one step at a time.  Is it easy – NO.  But the right thing may not always be the easy thing.  Sometimes the right thing to do is the hardest thing you will ever have to do so far.  One step – one day – one moment – one second – at a time.

 

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