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  • Relapse, grief and loss

    The impact of ICE/Methamphetamine use can be significant and problematic. Join this forum to find support and conversations on changing ICE use and recovery.
    Junior Member
    Posts: 4
    Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2020 5:55 pm

    Relapse, grief and loss

    Mon Oct 11, 2021 12:53 am

    I went to rehab at the beginning of the year after 7 years of painful addiction to ice and gambling. I was entirely ready to change. My life was a shambles, my self-esteem non-existent, and I was crippled by an unshakeable feeling of worthlessness. I had become this person I did not recognise, my way of living in complete contradiction to the values I hold dear. I was exhausted, the drug I used to escape the trauma of my childhood no longer worked and I was lost.

    Rehab provided me with a safe space to detox and gain some clarity of mind that I had not had in such a long time. It was hard being away from my family and I struggled with feelings of shame and guilt for having to take time out from life and life's demands, but the pay-off was so worth it.

    I got clean and entered a state of recovery that truly was recovering the me I was always supposed to be before trauma and drugs. I found N.A while at rehab and felt like I had found my people. After 5 weeks in rehab, I felt ready to come home to my family.

    I really loved the person I was becoming in recovery. I attended meetings almost daily, found a sponsor and started doing the steps. I loved that I no longer had to lie about my whereabouts or hide my phone or pawn our belongings to make up for my losses. I went to rehab 12k in debt and in the 7 months I was clean I got that debt down to 4k.

    Everything was going fantastic. I was proud of myself for the first time in my entire life and I loved the person I was becoming. And then my mum died suddenly. And even though her death rocked me to my core, I still felt strong in my recovery and I didn't want to use. I knew that would make things worse.

    Three weeks after her death I found myself texting a dealer while I was literally sitting in a meeting. To this day, I have no idea what prompted that message. But I have been using daily since then and it's coming up on a month and I haven't told a single soul. This last week I have stopped going to meetings and dropped contact with my sponsor so I guess they will figure it out. My spouse has no idea. My family have no idea. I am back at 10k in debt.

    I know I need to stop. But a part of me doesn't want to anymore.
    3 x
    Community Builder
    Posts: 228
    Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:05 pm

    Re: Relapse, grief and loss

    Mon Oct 11, 2021 3:00 am

    Hi there @requiem4me
    Firstly, thankyou for being so open and honest with us all about your experiences throughout the year up until this present moment. It takes courage and strength to talk about these things sometimes.
    I'm really sorry to hear about the passing of your mother. I can only imagine how that would've been a challenging and difficult time for you and the family.
    Grief can be difficult to cope with and sometimes without thinking we can fall back into toxic patterns. What matters now is what you do from here. Relapsing is normal, but we also got to approach the relapse with a level of acceptance and look at it as some form of learning curve, so that we can work towards moving forward and trying again. But in the meantime be kind to yourself. Give yourself some credit for all that you achieved this year as well. You have already demonstrated that you are more than capable of kicking the habit again.
    I understand you haven't told others about this lapse, but do you have any counsellor you go to for support at all? Have you considered seeing an alcohol/drug counsellor?
    0 x
    Peace Dove
    Community Builder
    Posts: 372
    Joined: Mon May 03, 2021 9:22 am

    Re: Relapse, grief and loss

    Tue Oct 12, 2021 8:02 pm

    Hi @requiem4me,
    Thank you for sharing your story, it takes a lot of courage to open up like you have done. I'm very sorry to hear about the passing of your mom. As @Calvino01 said, grief is a difficult feeling and it's understandable you sought a form of relief in old patterns. However, it's great you are reaching out for support. Relapses are often part of the recovery journey, and again, as @Calvino01 said, what matters are the lessons you can take from this experience and the next steps you choose to take. It's also understandable you don't want to share this with your family but that is what these forums are for, and I'm very glad you are using them.
    I'm going to tag our peer workers @ScorpionPW and @PnorkelPW and a few other members that you might like to connect with: @apples123 @Katiee @initae89
    I would also like to recommend you to have a look at our Let's Talk!: Dealing with Guilt and Shame post.
    And please keep us posted on how you're going.
    0 x
    Junior Member
    Posts: 11
    Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:46 pm

    Re: Relapse, grief and loss

    Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:16 am

    Hi @requiem4me
    I’ve heard what you shared and although what triggered my relapse was different the rest of your story was mine too. I’m 55 now and have had a lifetime of trauma and mental health issues that lead me down a path that was everything I wasn’t and went against everything I believed I was. I was born into an environment that shaped the person I became I learnt this behaviours from what I believed to be normal it was all I knew and it followed me into two dysfunctional and abusive relationships that any sensible person would never put them selves through but to me it felt normal and that’s sad, cause I only did what was natural.
    Believing there was good in everyone and I had to show compassion and empathy In hope for change and to avoid conflict at all costs. I too had no self worth or respect for myself I put all my energy into making everyone around me happy and content. I believed this was my job.

    Only at the age of 50 did I get to desperation to the point where I attempted to end my life but it wasn’t my time there was so much more I needed to learn and understand because I felt I was living in a parallel reality to outsiders I looked ok but behind closed doors my world was crazy and I was manipulated to believe this as true. Drugs became a way to cope and escape the madness and it did play a role for my survival for many years but the way my life became so unmanageable was scary but real and the things I did for addiction was so against the decent person I really was, she just got lost for a long time and left a trail of destruction behind me that effected my own well-being as well as everyone that was important to me.

    The bravest thing I did was walk away from the abuser that spent years destroying me and my identity and I knew if I didn’t, life wasn’t worth living like that. In no way did it get any easier but I was in control for the first time in my life at 50. Became homeless, bankrupt, jobless, lonely and very confused about how the future would look like.

    Throughout my years not only did illicit drugs play a prominent part but in the end it became a desperate need to escape and feel numb and medication became my lifeline to cope with the pain of the past trauma and overdosing became a regular occurrence cause I couldn’t accept what I had done and become, I hated myself for things that were not my fault and I had no control over I developed into me from childhood experiences and it became learnt behaviours unconsciously deep within.

    It’s only been the last six months that I’ve realised so much and how I did certain things and behaviours I never understood why I was so broken.

    Like you have just come out of recovery after three months and worked heavily on past trauma and impact on you as an innocent child that adapts the same environment and experiences you grew into, nothing was our fault and we did nothing wrong and forgiving ourselves is essential to move forward and addiction is a way to cope but healing from the past is the first vital step in the process otherwise old patterns can’t be identified, recognised and seen for how they were formed but when you come to believe you are more than the past and pain only then can you stop the cycle that has never served us just kept us in the dark but I believe it will are still here and survived things that don’t seem possible we are truly here for a greater purpose and can overcome anything that is hard and seems impossible because we’re the experts already on surviving. I too have relapsed just recently cause of circumstances and it was so natural to go there.

    But it’s not time to throw in the towel and go back to the version of us that isn’t the real you it’s time to keep fighting for a reason and purpose for living the rest of our lives in the way we have always deserved to because we are only human not perfect but we can make a decision to start living what we know is possible because I’ve had those glimmers of hope in between the pain and it felt a hell of a lot better than living like this. This is just me being honest to because I’m exactly where you are at, the cross road and only we can make the choice that it’s time to end the suffering and see what life can offer.

    5 x
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 334
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Relapse, grief and loss

    Thu Oct 14, 2021 10:15 pm

    @requiem4me this is such a familiar story and you're definitely not alone in all this. Things going really well until a significant life event and then crash!! And keeping that crash to yourself.............exactly what the addiction wants. It can be difficult facing up to family and friends and telling them you've relapsed but it's much better than staying in addiction.

    I remember a conversation with my dad and brother where I went and told them how much debt I was in and how much my substance use had spiralled. I was about to get a loan from some bikie associates and everything of value I owned was in cash converters. Credit cards maxxxxxed, overdraft maxxxxxed and unable to get any more loans from Nimble. Sharing it with them was the start of setting me back on track. It wasn't an easy path back out but I managed to pay back the close to 20k debt I'd racked up for myself.

    Guilt and shame will keep you trapped...........I know it's not easy but I encourage you to talk to you family and friends.

    If you can't talk to them I encourage you to get back to a meeting and get honest in there. There's one thing I do know for sure...........if you walk back into an NA meeting and tell them you've relapsed you'll be welcomed with hugs and open arms. Your sponsor will be there to help too. You've just gotta take that first step. The help is there if you reach out

    I'd love to hear how you go
    0 x
    Junior Member
    Posts: 4
    Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2020 5:55 pm

    Re: Relapse, grief and loss

    Fri Oct 15, 2021 3:09 pm

    Thank you everyone for your replies.

    I have since told my husband, some family, and my sponsor that I have relapsed. I have told my husband that I will go to a meeting tonight, he wants so badly for me to get clean again. My family are supportive, though they assumed the relapse had ended and I didn't bother to correct them. My sponsor is so understanding. Although relapse is not part of her story, she understands my thinking as an addict and it is really her whose words seem to have the most impact on me.

    I am torn in two. One side of me wants to do what I need to get back to where I was. I have so much knowledge from rehab and N.A, so I know what I need to do. So why don't I?

    Because the other side of me wants to keep using, I like the way it makes me feel. I don't want to give that up and go back to how I was feeling after my mum died. This is the solution to my depression and it's working.

    I also think I like the chaos I create when I am using. Perhaps it has something to do with my ego. Or maybe it's because I find chaos familiar.

    Of course, I'm not unintelligent. I know there is going to come a time where using will create its on kind of pain and that is when I will be open to recovery again.

    I have tried drug counselling three times previously. I don't really connect with it. It's really good in the moment, but I never follow through with suggestions and the week in between appointments I end up using. That's why I liked N.A. You get to make connections and you can do a meeting every day, several times a day.

    Thank you @CRAZYGRANNY for sharing your story with me. Our stories are similar, and your story is almost identical with my mums. I know I shouldn't throw in the towel yet, hopefully I get it together again.
    1 x
    Community Builder
    Posts: 410
    Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 am

    Re: Relapse, grief and loss

    Fri Oct 15, 2021 3:33 pm

    @requiem4me thank you for this update.

    It takes so much strength to tell your family and it sounds like you have a lot of love and support around you. having a good connection with your sponsor is important, and it sounds like she is an incredibly impactful part of your recovery journey.

    It is easier said than done, but right now, be kind to yourself. Yes, you have the knowledge from NA and rehab, but at times things can be difficult, especially when you've experienced something as upsetting as the loss of your mother. I can hear your frustration, but I also think it's important right now to remember that you've done a lot already in just being honest with those around you, and being honest like that is a major step towards getting yourself back on track.

    as @PnorkelPW and @CRAZYGRANNY have said, recovery is full of ups and downs, look at them as learning curves, and keep weighing up those pros and cons.

    Remember we're always here for you, so keep letting us know how you're travelling.
    1 x
    Community Builder
    Posts: 410
    Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 am

    Re: Relapse, grief and loss

    Sat Oct 23, 2021 4:53 pm

    hey @requiem4meI just wanted to check in and see how you've been going over the past week?
    0 x

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