Welcome to our online peer support community. Connect with others making change in their alcohol and other drug use. Join our online community today.
  • Connect, be inspired, motivate others. Share your experience & strategies.
  • Safe. Anonymous. Professionally moderated. Free of judgement.

    Join us Mondays at 8pm - 10pm AEST for Monday Meetup.

    Your posts will automatically appear live on the forum.
  • What caused the relapse?

    This is a space visited by peer workers who have a lived experience of addiction and recovery and is an opportunity to relate to and draw hope from those who have been through similar things as you.
    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 227
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    What caused the relapse?

    Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:44 pm

    A bit of a tough topic here but if you can understand what it was you're well on your way to making sure it doesn't happen again.

    I see it all the time.........I did it myself more than a few times. Being adamant that this time I'm serious. This time I'm never using again. No matter what happens I'm never going back to using again..................but it happened again and I was back in the cycle. That's actually what's helped keep me on the straight and narrow this time............knowing that I've made this promise too many times before and every time I was dead serious. I've now learnt from this and will never make the promise that I'll never use again. I can't make that promise. I've proved too many times that I can't keep it. What I can do though is promise myself every morning when I wake up that today I'll do everything I can not to use. It helps take the pressure off and keeps it simple.

    Some poeple think relapse happens when you pick up and use but the relapse happened well before this. It happened when you didn't acknowledge the thought you wanted to use again. When you kept it to yourself and pretended it wasn't happening. Pretended you didn't need to talk about it. Sharing is essential in recovery. It was happening when you started to explore the thought of using and wondering if you could get away with it. When you started to fantasise about what that "just once more" would feel like and trying to convince yourself that you'd be able to control it this time. When you started to think about how you could do it so that no one else would know about it the relapse was well and truly gaining momentum. By now you're probably hanging out with old friends and going to places you said you'd never go to again.........but "you're fine".

    These secret thoughts are the relapse..........you just haven't used yet. Maybe you're heading to the pub every Saturday night but "it's okay because I'm not drinking"............the words of one of my counsellors ring loudly in my head here........"If you sit in a barber's chair long enough you're gonna get a haircut"

    You've weakened your resolve. Life throws a difficult moment at you like a fight with the partner, a hard day at work, missing out on a rental or your centrelink payment doesn't come through. Maybe your train is late one day and that's the final straw or you're having a great day and just have a lapse in concentration and say yes when someone offers. Either way when you finally use you think "f%$# it!! and there's no turning back. So you see the relapse didn't happen when you used.............it had been building for a long time leading up to it.

    So....................what lead to your relapse and what can you learn from it?
    3 x
    OceanSky
    Junior Member
    Posts: 13
    Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2021 8:04 am

    Re: What caused the relapse?

    Mon Aug 30, 2021 8:19 am

    Hi 👋 I’m just new here (still not sure how to use these forums) but this is a very important topic and is the reason I’m here.

    Backstory: I did 40 alcohol free days a few months ago then relapsed. It was really hard starting again but after a few weeks I managed and succeeded with another 33 day stint… until a week ago - oh no! Here I go again!! I want to nip it in the bud this time so I’m on day 2 again. Relapse is the pits! Having to start over and over again like snakes and ladder! 😩
    I thought about what causes it - emotional upset - lockdown number 6.5 - alone at home unable to see anyone or go more than 5km from home (which in a regional area doesn’t get me far!) I can’t change that.
    But what I can do is reach out for support. Having support is what helped me give up the other times, having someone to encourage me and cheer me on and check in on me to see how I’m going. Hopefully I can find that here? Is anyone here and would you like to encourage each other?
    3 x
    OceanSky
    Junior Member
    Posts: 13
    Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2021 8:04 am

    Re: What caused the relapse?

    Mon Aug 30, 2021 8:35 am

    What I’m looking for a “support buddy” to help keep each other on track again.
    4 x
    Peace Dove
    Community Builder
    Posts: 289
    Joined: Mon May 03, 2021 9:22 am

    Re: What caused the relapse?

    Mon Aug 30, 2021 9:41 am

    Hi @OceanSky,

    Welcome to the forums! Thank you for sharing your story. I'm so sorry to hear what you're going through, lockdown fatigue is definitely getting very taxing. But you've definitely come to the right place, you'll find plenty of support buddies on here! :D I just want to say good on you for not giving up on yourself. Recovery does usually take several attempts, so please keep this in mind and be patient and kind to yourself. Our peer workers @PnorkelPW and @ScorpionPW might have some words of advice for you on that front. It's great that you're reflecting on the causes. Addictions are usually the tip of the iceberg of other underlying unresolved issues. And you're spot on, support and connection such as connecting with peers like you can do here on the forums, can be a key element to help maintain sobriety.

    I'm going to tag a few members you might like to connect with: @Simply me, @Alvarosyd, @UltraViolet, @CatMumofone, @BonsaiBeginner, @initae89, @apples123, @Nugnug, @EtherealAngel111, @Missy13, @Katiee, @Gizelle, @pdm411, @WildeReformed

    And finally, I'd like to invite you to join tonight Monday Meetup from 8 pm to 10 pm. Our peer workers run that space, and you can chat live to them and the other members that join too.

    Looking forward to having you around in the forums. :)
    0 x
    OceanSky
    Junior Member
    Posts: 13
    Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2021 8:04 am

    Re: What caused the relapse?

    Mon Aug 30, 2021 6:45 pm

    Thank you Peace Dove. I’m looking forward to the online tonight, although I might not be able to make the start.
    Yes, the tip of the iceberg and yes to dealing with underlying issues which I am also working on. Mostly emotional things, which I won’t go into, but am aware of. Alcohol was like a warm fuzzy blanket that could help just numb out unwelcome feelings, that I am learning to live without. Relapses are the biggest stumbling block and challenge for me now - the temptation to fall back into old habits. I know I can give up because I have done so several times, but having to start all over again over and over can get discouraging.
    2 x
    BonsaiBeginner
    Junior Member
    Posts: 24
    Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2021 2:30 pm

    Re: What caused the relapse?

    Mon Aug 30, 2021 7:57 pm

    @OceanSky I need a buddy too!
    2 x
    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 249
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: What caused the relapse?

    Mon Aug 30, 2021 10:03 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing with us @OceanSky. One thing that has really stuck out for me from what you said is that we can't do this alone.

    I remember for me, it wasn't until I took the pressure of getting a certain amount of days up and just took things one day at a time that I was able to get any significant clean time up. Just acknowledging that by not picking up today it's been a successful day no matter what else happens.

    Well done for getting the chunks of time sober you've had and also for not giving up on giving up. It takes an incredible amount of strength to keep picking yourself up and dusting yourself off, you will get there and being here sharing your journey is a great step in the right direction :)

    I'm also wondering if you've ever done any peer support groups before. Like 12 step groups or SMART Recovery? They are on Zoom as well as face to face so you can get more support even during the lockdown and being in a regional area. If you had any questions or wanted any more info about any of these we are more than happy to share it.
    1 x
    Katiee
    Member
    Posts: 52
    Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:54 pm

    Re: What caused the relapse?

    Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:39 am

    Relapse is a hard one... it took me many times of falling down before getting back up again. Don’t beat yourself up or be to hard on yourself that’s the most important thing cause the shame and guilt can drive you back to drinking again. Reaching out for support is a huge thing and I’m glad you feel comfortable doing it here. It’s a great place for that!!! My best advice is to try and take things one day at a time, one minute at a time if you have to. And I follow the 3 Ds: delay, distract and decide. So I stop, then I do something that takes up my mind like my diamond painting or reading a good self help book, do something you love doing, and then usually by the time the decision comes around the craving has gone. Just remember you got this you can do it!
    3 x
    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 249
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: What caused the relapse?

    Wed Sep 01, 2021 9:04 pm

    I think you're so spot on @Katiee, one of the most important things is not being hard on ourselves. I remember one of the things that I heard that helped me with the shame and also the fear of relapse, it was "fishes swim, horses gallop and addicts use"...It was a reminder that attempting abstinence and recovery was actually the strange thing, the new thing that I'm not used to and it was going to be a process of progress and not perfection. Also exactly what you said about chunking it down to a day at a time, an hour even 5 minutes at a time if I needed to.

    How are you travelling anyway? :)
    2 x
    Katiee
    Member
    Posts: 52
    Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:54 pm

    Re: What caused the relapse?

    Wed Sep 01, 2021 9:09 pm

    @ScorpionPW i actually really like that saying thanks for sharing that!!

    I’m doing good thanks. Still having some battles in regards to getting my children back witch can be quite a trigger for me so have found times to be challenging. But I just remember what I’ve learned and put it into practice. I start a Diploma of Counselling course end of this month so hopefully the time I’m not at work I’ll be studying so I’ll be distracted.

    How are you doing?
    2 x
    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 249
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: What caused the relapse?

    Thu Sep 02, 2021 9:00 pm

    Oh I bet that's difficult @Katiee, I can't imagine how difficult that must be at times. It's still so great that you're fronting up to your life and moving forward though. Congrats for enrolling in the course too, sounds like a great step forward for you :)

    I'm actually doing quite well this week, felt things were weighing heavy last week with the lockdown and cold weather. I'm feeling better after reaching out to my peoples and making an effort to get out in the sunshine more. Sometimes the simplest little adjustments can make all the difference!
    1 x
    initae89
    Member
    Posts: 39
    Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2021 9:02 am

    Re: What caused the relapse?

    Mon Oct 11, 2021 10:37 am

    PnorkelPW wrote:
    Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:44 pm
    Some poeple think relapse happens when you pick up and use but the relapse happened well before this. It happened when you didn't acknowledge the thought you wanted to use again. When you kept it to yourself and pretended it wasn't happening. Pretended you didn't need to talk about it.

    These secret thoughts are the relapse..........you just haven't used yet. Maybe you're heading to the pub every Saturday night but "it's okay because I'm not drinking"............the words of one of my counsellors ring loudly in my head here........"If you sit in a barber's chair long enough you're gonna get a haircut"
    This is so true, so enlightening. Every single time.
    1 x
    CRAZYGRANNY
    Junior Member
    Posts: 11
    Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:46 pm

    Re: What caused the relapse?

    Wed Oct 13, 2021 2:44 am

    I loved what you shared and like you stated “so true”.,because the moment we identify it if we challenge it immediately we don’t get the outcome we are really desiring so by keeping it secret we are not accountable to anyone but ourselves and makes our decision easier to live with when we have only hurt ourselves and in our minds that seems an easier choice than to seek support and ask for help before the decision is irreversible then we have left it to late acknowledging that we do this and recognising it when it’s the first passing thought is a key to recovery and preventing relapse repeating itself for too long.
    1 x
    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 227
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: What caused the relapse?

    Thu Oct 14, 2021 9:03 pm

    That's the first time I've read back on this page since I wrote the original post a few months ago

    @BonsaiBeginner and @OceanSky have you two buddied up yet???

    Some top advice and sharing from @ScorpionPW as always too

    @Katiee I love how you just keep plugging along and simplifying as you go. You've got your eyes on your goal of getting your kids back and you're continuing to make positive steps forwards. Enrolling in the diploma of counselling is awesome and I hope it goes well. My only advice is to treat study the same way you treat your recovery.............step by step, day by day...........and learn what works for you and what doesn't

    Please keep sharing everyone so we can prevent the relapse by not giving it the power it needs.................secrecy will fuel the relapse........sharing will help keep you on track
    1 x

    Return to “Peers for Peers”