People have said that relapse is part of recovery. It can be. It doesn't have to be. So if you are having those thoughts, don't go run and get a bottle or a rock. But if you have ready done so, it isn't too late to come back.
I was in a class the other night and we touched a bit on relapse. And those folks who take an extra long time finding some kind of recovery from drugs and alcohol. For me, I went to treatment 2 and 1/28th times. I stayed over night at Rebecca's Residence once and left the next day, I don't recommend that. It didn't work out so well for my sobriety. By the way, they do have an excellent program.
A year and some change before that, I had some sobriety, after Hazelden. You heard that story before. Blah blah blah. I (we) decided to try using "just once." Hit me harder, faster and darker. Took some more of my life away from me and my family that I can not get back.
It wasn't that I wasn't "ready" to be sober. It was that I needed to see if I could control my using again. You see, for me, I tried every way to be able to use drugs, and still function in the world. I was searching and trying everything to find the right way, to do the wrong thing. And there were periods of time where it worked, and life seemed perfect. I felt like I had it all. But those moments were short lived. And I always lost control. I alway ended up with a locked door, feeling dirty, scared, and really sick.
I had to learn that I was never going to be able to control it. And as they say in those meetings, I had to do some more "research" to come to that conclusion. If I drink, or use drugs, they take over my life and I suffer.
Because of this chronicle brain disease, my mind still sometimes tells me that I could go to the bar with some friends (seriously, you drinkers, would any of you want to drink with ME anyway? Bet you wouldn't) and whoop it up on a Friday, and control it. We could go bowling, see some live music downtown, or head to the bars here in White Bear Lake that I used to go to back in the day. It would be fun!
Until I caught that buzz, and it wouldn't be enough for me, and I'd be looking for the people that I know would be able to help me get more of what ruins my life every time I go near it. I am an alcoholic, and I started using cocaine and meth, so I could drink more and longer. But now, alcohol is never enough. And I feel like I've done enough research to know that as fact.
But we could still go see some music or something! I suck at bowling.
So if you know someone who just can't keep sober, and relapse after relapse has you disgusted, or you yourself can't seem to stop trying to make using drugs and alcohol work, just keep trying recovery. Keep coming back. I learned a great deal with each return to recovery after a relapse. Some people question their need for sobriety more than others. There is no shame in trying. Or failing. It's never, ever too late.
Oh, and the Ricki Lake episode with me and Dr. Drew is rerunning today on Fox. Check it out!