Relapse happens before you drink. I love this saying I found a journal, of mine when I was first was trying to work on quitting drinking. When I was taught this saying I went back to my journal to take a look at what was going on, before I drank. And every damn time I recognized that I relapsed before I drank.
In the journal, there was a lot of hurt, a lot of anger, anger towards my husband, towards myself, feeling very left out, hating my life. Then there were the injustices, of the world that I could not change, people starving, my city I live in changing for the worse. I seemed to take it all on. It left me wanting to numb out, of course it did and of course I did. Looking back it makes perfect sense when you have anger and feeling not good enough, hatred it’s a perfect storm for drinking.
I can look back now and see the events leading up to my drinking, I also can see it in other people, a lot of time its anger/resentment/hatred that people are struggling with, because that’s what I struggled with. I watched a friend of mine relapse not long ago, and when I say watched, I mean I saw her going down the rabbit hole, she was angry at her life. I talked to her, she fluffed it off, she couldn’t see it until after. She was really lucky this time, she drank for about 3 days and got back to sobriety. I was never that lucky.
Relapse happens long before the first drink, this past month I found myself on shaky ground, but this time instead of in a journal and looking back I recognized it, anger at the world, at the manufacturing for the plastics we use, once again for my city doing nothing to fix our problems, and I was like no no no. I decided to use this anger this time for good, for speaking out for not hiding, for making my voice known, calling the city, calling out the government, by deciding to honour the anger. We are allowed to stand up for what we believe in. We do not have to be silent, we are allowed to be angry. We just can’t drink over it.
Remember relapse can happen at anytime, you just have to be aware of it, I have found some significant signs in my recovery: Anger is a huge one. So if you are angry honor it, meditate and use that anger to fuel change. Just don’t drink over it.