Words that have been uttered many a time by families and actual addicts alike. The dreaded words. Those damn dreaded words.
And sometimes families don’t even find out from being told. No. Sometimes loved ones can find out about a relapse because their son, husband or friend has gone out on a run. Those dreaded runs.
“He was doing so well last time I saw him!”
But was he really? Recovery, especially in the first 6 to 12 months, is like a full-time job. This isn’t a joke, you know!
“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it”, Margaret Thatcher once said.
And sometimes that applies to relapse and recovery.
Here’s the reality: yes, whoever relapsed screwed up. That doesn’t make them a bad person. It just makes them a person who screwed up.
Who hasn’t screwed up at some point in their life? Who doesn’t wish they could have a certain decision back?
I mean, hello, that’s called being a human. That’s called real life.
Sadly, relapse is part of real life. The real-life of some addicts, anyway.
So what do you do when the thing you least want to happen, actually happens?
It’s pretty simple really.
It’s time to get honest. It’s time to reach out for help. There is almost no doubt that you will have done things that you wish you hadn’t; perhaps you’ve lied, cheated, stolen, or did things that are morally contrary to how you’d like to conduct yourself.
Now isn’t the time to do a deep analysis about why it happened, no, now is the time to put an end to the spiral in which you are engaged. Maybe you’re drinking too much. Maybe you’ve picked up the drugs that destroy your life. Maybe you’ve spent the money that you were going to have to use on rent.
Who cares – now is the time to reverse course.
It’s time to put a plan into motion. Do you have family that is there for you? Perhaps parents, a wife, a girlfriend or someone you know you can count on. Hopefully, you’ve already been honest at this point. We hope you have. Either way, it’s time to see lean on the people you love and take advantage of the life line.
Perhaps you don’t have family. There are options if you’re in this situation too. The Ministry of Social Development is able to organize funding for treatment if you qualify. You want to work on getting on a waiting list as soon as possible. Maybe you need welfare. Maybe you need to see a social worker so they can walk you through the process.
What if you still have your job? It might be time to go to your employer and see what types of benefits you have access to.
Take advantage of the help.
Go to treatment.
No one wants to go to treatment; that’s pretty obvious. When we’re young, we don’t think “gee, one day, when I’m older, I think I’d like to go to treatment”. Don’t worry, it’s normal to not want to go to treatment.
Sometimes, in life, we have to do things that we wish we didn’t have to do. Treatment is one of those things.
But it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences that you’ll ever do. You’ll get your life back – you’ll spend time putting work in and reap tremendous rewards.
Oh, and you’ll make the people who matter to you happy. It gets old disappointing people. I’ve never heard anyone say that it gets old making people proud.
Set about making yourself and your loved ones proud.
That’s how you deal with relapse. You get up, you push on, and you keep fighting.
If you, or someone you know, has recently relapsed – reach out.