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.

Chronic Relapse

For the first time ever I had a Instagram Memory pop up and my first memory made me sad. No I wasn’t drinking here, but shortly thereafter I did. I had about 2 months sober in this pic after the first time I’ve really tried to stop drinking for me. It was also a start of a long 7.5 month battle of chronic relapsing.

This chronic relapse memory, brought up every emotion today (even a bit of anxiety. I was on vacation, in a town in rural Panama which had been hell, for almost 3 weeks, I had no support in fact my “friends” that live there, were downright cruel to me about quitting alcohol and my husband wasn’t much better. It was awful. Sure enough we switched countries a few days later and I said “fuck it I’ll drink on vacation I’m bored without it and I’ll quit again when I get home” and I also started back up smoking. We were on vacation for until the end of February, and I had made up for my not drinking. I felt like crap when I got home, I’d gained a ton of weight in a month, I was hungover and anxious. We got home and usually we would “dry out” but it turned out the next weekend after getting home, we had brought a big bottle of vodka home because booze is cheap anywhere but Canada and I helped consume it. Then again on a Thursday because we had company in. A couple of weeks later, I went to LA to the Bliss Project for 4 days and thought that would be a great start to dry out and I didn’t drink, started to run again which just about killed me (remember I’d smoke when drinking) and I got back home and drank, this vicious cycle continued. I’d get a week in a few days in and boom I’d be right back sitting on the patio drinking and smoking. I blamed it on the good weather, the bad weather, on my husband for no support, on my period, on stress. I blamed my chronic relapsing on anything but my own actions. It took until August of 2017 I got sober, but this pic to August was one of my longest hardest journeys in my life. I wanted off planet earth, I was that depressed and deflated. I wish I had never started drinking on vacation. It was too hard to get back at it.

You can’t change yesterday, but if you are reading this, thinking you can moderate or saying fuck it I’ll start next week again. Please reread the line that said “it was the longest hardest journey in my life” and I’ve done some hard things like be a single mom with no child support and live by the beach in one of the most expensive cities in North America, go back to school at the age of 30, waitressed nights, dated addicts. This was the toughest, getting sober again.