Search for Addiction Treatment Centers Near You Forums Alcohol Abuse What does it mean when AA says Relapse is part of recovery and can help?

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  • #30920
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    AH and I were talking this morning about he recent relapse (4 days now), and I asked him to be honest. He admits he’s screwing up, is disappointed in himself and that he should have thought before taking that first drink, but today is a new day and one day at a time. He is going to a meeting tonite. Gee, funny how I don’t truly believe him. I want to, but I heard that on Tuesday and he went to a meeting then drank afterward. I asked him how AA is supposed to help when he went to a meeting then drank afterward? He didn’t know what to say? Do any of you have any answers? What good is going to the meeting if you’re going to drink? And, while we’re on it, it is written in one of the AA books that relapse is part of recovery. Well does that mean that relapses are OK? Just curious about this so I could understand it better. Thanks.

    #159856
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I don’t know QT, I’ve heard that but not sure I agree. Maybe he wants to want to stop, kind of how I am about smoking. If he wants to know the truth and he is one of us, he’ll have to learn that he can’t drink no matter what. I don’t know when I learned that though and I couldn’t tell when I did. Just did not want to drink any more. Thank God I got to that point, immensely glad to be off that merry go round! Hope it stays that way.

    At least he’s going to meetings. Better than not going to meetings and drinking. Sooner or later he’ll quit doing one or the other. People at that point do sometimes make the right choice.

    #159870
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    my daughter is really on the fence. she’s going to an outpatient program on mon and thursday nights. and drinking all night on tuesday and wednesday. sat is a blow out. it’s the oddest thing i’ve ever seen..

    maybe she’s not even going to outpatient, just telling us that.

    i know, i know – mind my own business 🙂

    #159876
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    queenteree to my knowledge there is no where in any AA aproved literature that says relapse is a part of recovery, I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt it.

    Since I came into AA I have not had a single relapse and at this point in time (Today) I can honestly say that my spiritual condition is strong enough to call myself recovered, tomorrow I may wind up sliding a bit and slip back to recovering or I could relapse, but that is all in my hands and no one elses. I am in today and today I am recovered.

    There is nothing that says one must relapse before they can recover.

    By the same token there is absolutely nothing that says that folks that relapse can not recover.

    I will share one thing real quick on people drinking after & before meetings. A guy in my area told his story at a speakers meeting, part of his story was spending 13 years drunk while attending AA meetings, he kept coming back even though he went from one relapse to another for 13 years, it finally clicked for him, he has over 3 years sober now.

    This is just my opinion and that is it, but if he is going to meetings sober or drunk then he still wants it, when he quits going entirely is when to really throw the towel in because he has thrown it in.

    #159873
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Head full of AA and a belly full of beer.

    What I know is that if I relapsed, it’d be miserable to be out there again, knowing how good my life was clean and sober, in the program of AA. The ones that relapse are a lesson to the rest of us, I’m sorry your husband is an example.

    I think going to a meeting before or after drinking would still be good, you’d still leave with something useful, maybe the seed to stay sober would be planted again.
    There’s always hope, Terri.

    #159871
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Head full of AA and a belly full of beer…..Astro!

    :a136:

    #159886
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I suppose by some thinking a relapse is one more lesson that helps in eventual recovery. I’ve heard and read that perhaps someone who, although sober for a while, “isn’t through experimenting (drinking) yet”, hasn’t yet hit their bottom, whatever. At this morning’s meeting , someone with a lot of sober time shared having a compulsion that scared him, and said that he knew he had another drunk left in him, but wasn’t sure he had another recovery. To me, that’s the problem with a relapse – a person might or might not get back into the rooms before finding an unfortunately permanent bottom: death.

    I agree with Taz that I haven’t seen anywhere in the literature where relapse is said to be part of recovery, and I’ve been around a few 24hours. Others have good input here.

    Blessings from the Snowgoose.

    #159887
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Another thing is to say that I personally know people who found long and excellent sobriety after as many as 20 years of slip-sliding around – in and out of sobriety in AA. Those stories were a good reminder to a friend who had also heard them, when he felt lower than Dead Sea sand after a relapse.

    Plus I still really have hopes, Teree, that you may find your way to Alanon.

    Love from the Snowgoose.

    #159877
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    At this morning’s meeting , someone with a lot of sober time shared having a compulsion that scared him, and said that he knew he had another drunk left in him, but wasn’t sure he had another recovery.

    OOOOhhhhh can I ever relate!!! I am 53, I drank for 40 years, I tried for the last 10 years to quit on my own and couldn’t do it, detox & AA were the ticket and the real early days were hell.

    I know that right this second my alcoholism is doing push ups just waiting for me to open the floodgates again with that one drink…… knowing me and my alcoholism I might be dead before I even catch up on all the alcohol my disease has missed since I quit and the shame and the guilt of relapsing combined with active alcoholism again might just keep me from ever walking back into the very rooms that have saved my life.

    #159865
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Thanks all. The relapse is part of recovery thing is in one of the books from AA, the daily quotes thing, that my husband reads every day. He read it just recently (within the past 3 months, of course) and I remember he even showed it to me and didn’t understand it. Anyone remember it?

    #159888
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    @Tazman53 1476680 wrote:

    ….and the shame and the guilt of relapsing combined with active alcoholism again might just keep me from ever walking back into the very rooms that have saved my life.

    Yeah, Taz, that’s one of the scariest problems, and the reason why every person who walks back into the rooms and admits a slip, saves someone else’s life, having made it easier for the next guilt-and-shame-ridden alcoholic to do the same. That’s inevitably my reaction when one of my AA friends returns. And have you noticed, there are no recriminations, just warm and loving acceptance for the returnees?

    Best from the Snowgoose.

    #159858
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    books from AA, the daily quotes thing, that my husband reads every day.

    There are many daily quote books that people use in AA and most are from Hazelden, a treatment center, not AA.

    Just about all of the daily books that I have seen and still use are from Hazelden.

    JMHO

    Love and hugs,

    #159860
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    A relapse can happen but that doesn’t mean it should or will happen.
    What we learn if we relapse… If we put thought to things, we can figure out what not to do a next time. We can be reminded of just how much alcohol messes up our life and why we make a choice to say no to that first drink daily.
    Some times I need learn a lesson 3 or 4 times before it kicks in and is fully accepted.
    I am hardheaded and stubborn that way. For me a relapse “could” be part of my growth and those around me should do what they need do for themself (work their own recovery/boundaries and such) no matter if I was to have a drink or not.
    Progress not perfection is a way of life as long as we keep doing our best.

    #159874
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    @queenteree 1476700 wrote:

    The relapse is part of recovery thing is in one of the books from AA, the daily quotes thing, that my husband reads every day. He read it just recently (within the past 3 months, of course) and I remember he even showed it to me and didn’t understand it.

    Sounds like it might be from the 24 Hours A Day book. You might want to search here for it Terri, if you’re interested in finding it http://www.hazelden.org/web/public/thought.view

    #159866
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I believe it’s something like this – this may be it, but I’m not sure.

    TURNING NEGATIVE TO POSITIVE

    Our spiritual and emotional growth in A.A. does not depend
    so deeply upon success as it does upon our failures and
    setbacks. If you will bear this in mind. I think that your
    slip will have the effect of kicking you upstairs, instead
    of down.
    AS BILL SEES IT , p. 184

    In keeping with the pain and adversity which our founders
    encountered and overcame in establishing A.A., Bill W.
    sent us a clear message: a relapse can provide a positive
    experience toward abstinence and a lifetime of recovery.
    A relapse brings truth to what we hear repeatedly in
    meetings – “Don’t take that first drink!” It reinforces
    the belief in the progressive nature of the disease, and
    it drives home the need for, and beauty of, humility in
    our spiritual program. Simple truths come in complicated
    ways to me when I become ego driven.

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