While relapse is never a necessary part of recovery, and is always avoidable, an unfortunate amount of individuals attempting recovery for the first time will go back out. Of course, it is not only those new to the program of Alcoholics Anonymous or the process of recovery that are faced with the true difficulties of maintaining fulfilled and worthwhile sobriety. Many struggling addicts and alcoholics experience chronic relapse, and cannot seem to stay sober regardless of how hard they try. While relapse is exceedingly common, going back out after an extended period of clean time frequently results in intense feelings of guilt and shame. Individuals who undergo a relapse may feel as if they have failed and are a disappointment to their peers, family members, and to themselves. For these reasons amongst others, those that go back out may find it difficult to make their ways back, fearing criticism or a lack of acceptance.
Coming Back After Relapse is Often Difficult
One of the bravest and most admirable actions one can take immediately after relapsing is admitting fault and coming back. If one has fallen off the wagon for a significant length of time professional intervention may be necessary, while for one who has gone out for several days or even one night simply attending a meeting and picking up a white chip (with dedicated intention intact, of course) may be sufficient enough. Whatever the case may be, no one who is living a truly recovered lifestyle will greet you with anything but compassion. In reaching out for help you are not only helping save your own life, you are giving courage to others like you who may be grappling with similar reservations.
You Are Not Only Helping Yourself – You Are Helping Others Who May Be Going Through Similar Experiences
Coming back from relapse is extremely daunting. It astonishes the rapidity with which one can fall back into the insane addict mindset, precipitously losing everything he or she worked so hard to obtain. If you have spent time in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, you are likely to have heard the adage, “a belly full of booze and a head full of AA is a terrible place to be.” The inner turmoil that tends to go hand-in-hand with relapse of any length and ‘severity’ can be too much to stand. What many addicts and alcoholics fail to realize, however, is that this turmoil begins to promptly cease once temporary defeat is admitted and help is again sought. The fear of returning will be swiftly proven unjustified, as group members welcome the revisiting warmly and sincerely. It is pertinent that the relapsed individual recognizes that continuing to drink will provide a much harsher outcome than conquering fear and reaching out for help. After all… many do not make it back.