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    Old 11-25-2005, 07:58 PM   #1
    lilly5
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    I just Relapsed after 6 years, 11 months, 26 days

    I can't believe I just relapsed 5 days before my 7 year clean anniversary. The worst part is is that I called my sponsor tonight after I started using and didn't tell her. I don't know what I'm going to do. I have the greatest N.A. friends and I don't want to let them down and I am terrified that my husband will find out. I know I need to 'come clean' about this relapse tomorrow at a meeting but I am full of shame, guilt and fear. I know I can't relapse and not tell anyone. With as much clean time as I had I feel like I should know what to do. I'm still writing on step 3. I have such a hard time with the 'higher power' thing. I am Jewish and I don't feel like I know how to pray, although I talk to the G-d of my understanding - not on a regular basis or anything. I just wish I hadn't been so impulsive. Well, actually I've been thinking about using for about 10 days now and I did share about that to my friends, sponsor and at a meeting. I should have gone to more meetings. I went to two meetings in the past 10 days and I didn't even share at the first one. If G-d can't show me what to do, PLEASE, PLEASE someone guide me to make the right decision. Thanks, Brenda

     
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    Old 11-25-2005, 08:17 PM   #2
    Felicia65
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    Re: I just Relapsed after 6 years, 11 months, 26 days

    Lilly5 Hello, I am sorry that this has happen to you,But you have to pick your self up and do it again, You would be surprised how many people have sliped after years of being clean, Your only human, and you do need to work the steps,in order to stay that way, God is many things to many people, We all have our on higher power, You have a sprital side to you as we all do, we are made of three parts mental body and sprital, all of them have to come togather in order to live a well life. You get back up on that wagon and go again. im cheering for you. Never give up or be ashame for being human............ Felicia

     
    Old 11-25-2005, 08:22 PM   #3
    lilly5
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    Re: I just Relapsed after 6 years, 11 months, 26 days

    Thank you for your kind words. They do make me feel less ashamed. Now I just have to truly humble myself and be honest. Brenda

     
    Old 11-25-2005, 08:44 PM   #4
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    Re: I just Relapsed after 6 years, 11 months, 26 days

    There is nothing wrong with that brenda, you have to fight this battle, and you can do it. dont look back only forward......... Felicia

     
    Old 11-25-2005, 08:55 PM   #5
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    Re: I just Relapsed after 6 years, 11 months, 26 days

    Lilly,

    There is no wrong way to pray...truly if you believe nothing else KNOW this is true. My most powerful prayer has been "G-d help me cuz I can't do this without you".

    You need not admit anything to your husband at this point nor in a meeting. You do need to tell your sponsor and let her guide you. This is not a set back, this is a wake up call and the power now lies in your willingness to let your sponsor know.

    Tomorrow is a new day and you can choose NOT to use.

     
    Old 11-26-2005, 12:15 AM   #6
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    Re: I just Relapsed after 6 years, 11 months, 26 days

    Lilly5,

    Relapses come sometimes after 20 years clean. You must come clean with your sponsor and your home group. Pick up that 24 hour chip and start back down the road in recovery. Guilt will eat you up and that slip will become days, weeks, months and years if you don't use the tools you know to work in the 12 step program. You won't be letting your NA friends down by admitting you slipped, that you are an addict and are powerless over drugs. They had much rather see you back on the right track than out there using. I encourage you to put your butt in a chair every night at a meeting. You earned that chair, just like me.

    Shame, guilt, fear - we've all been there and some of us not so long ago. I'm just over 100 days clean for the first time. It scares me when I hear folks sharing in meetings about relapsing 3, 4, 5 times. And when they relapse, it's not for a day or week. Their back out there for years each time. Don't be one of the one's who has to hit bottom again, before you can come back in. Swallow that pride (that's a hard one for me) and do it. Share, cry and laugh with your NA family.

    Remember NA family is like no other family in the world. We don't judge you, will forgive you when you can't forgive yourself and will accept you for who you are. They won't be disappointed, they'll be sad that you're in pain. The pain that we all remember all too well.

    Your higher power doesn't have to be God. It's a higher power of your understanding. It can be a tree in the yard if that's what works for you. We have a young man in my home group who is an was an athiest (sp?) and at some point did come to believe in a higher power greater than himself.

    You say you're still writing on step 3. Not stuck on it and stopped working the other steps. I guess my question is - Have you worked the other steps 4-12? Staying clean for 7 years, I assume you have worked all the steps at least once. I keep hearing about going back and working the steps or a specific step again and again (i.e. 4-5th steps).

    I'll keep you in my prayers tonight and let us know how you are. Now you not only have a NA family, you have a family here.

     
    Old 11-26-2005, 01:20 AM   #7
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    Re: I just Relapsed after 6 years, 11 months, 26 days

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Arememom
    Your higher power doesn't have to be God. It's a higher power of your understanding. It can be a tree in the yard if that's what works for you. We have a young man in my home group who is an was an athiest (sp?) and at some point did come to believe in a higher power greater than himself.
    I was just wondering if not believing in a god or any higher power means you won't be able to find help through a 12 step program?

     
    Old 11-26-2005, 09:32 AM   #8
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    Re: I just Relapsed after 6 years, 11 months, 26 days

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stacykgb20
    I was just wondering if not believing in a god or any higher power means you won't be able to find help through a 12 step program?
    I know many atheist that have gotten and stayed clean and sober in a 12 step program.

    A "higher power" is a power greater then yourself that some choose to call God. Others use their sponsor, the group as a whole, nature, etc.

     
    Old 11-26-2005, 10:58 AM   #9
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    Re: I just Relapsed after 6 years, 11 months, 26 days

    I am a member of Cocaine Anonymous. These are the first "Three Step" of the twelve step program. You can substitute drugs/alcohol in the place of cocaine in step 1.

    1. We admitted we were powerless over cocaine and all other mind altering substances - that our lives had become unmanageable.

    2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

    3.Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.


    My suggestion is to go with step 1, get in the program, talk with folks who have worked the program and some clean time under their belts. Listen in meetings and you'll find that person who you would feel comfortable talking with, get their number, go have coffee and let them help you understand the whole "Higher Power" concept. You don't have to believe in the beginning. There are many people don't believe in a "Higher Power" in the beginning, but with time, some do come to believe that there is something out there that has much more power than we humans do. It certainly can't hurt to try anything it takes to stay clean and sober. As for me, there had better be something out there with a greater power than me. If there's not, then I will surely gone back down that road and use again.

    Last edited by Arememom; 11-26-2005 at 11:01 AM.

     
    Old 11-26-2005, 11:01 AM   #10
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    Re: I just Relapsed after 6 years, 11 months, 26 days

    Lilly,
    HI Im Sara. When I read your post I prayed right away to ask God to work through me to speak to you... to show me the right thing to say to you...

    Lilly, If you are honest... and you spend a few minutes with God everyday- (I do it when I wake up before my children wake up) and you treat God being omnipotient... that means he is "all powerfull" - it says that in the big book- then you cant go wrong.

    As a matter of fact if you believe then you KNOW you are FORGIVEN as SOON as you ask for forgiveness. The second you ask.. it it done...

    There are only a few things that are required of us, and not just us.. everyone on this planet. That we are honest.. and that means telling a group of people in a meeting, and telling your sponsor.. both as soon as humanly possible.

    You are so kind and seem so sad that you relapsed. All that means is that you are human and God forgives you NO MATTER WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!

    Wow... that just helped me to say that.. because Im not perfect and I know that the opposite of God is guilt, unforgiveness, and staying in fear.

    You can do it! It will bring you happiness, and joy to be honest and the fear will go away! You have nothing to lose with your husband, sponsor, and others addicts except respect and admiration for being honest.

    What does your heart say? So many of us end up wanting to blame someone for this disease and who to blame but our creator? Blaming is something I figured out I had a lot in common with other addicts. We like to take the pressure off of us and onto someone else and what that does to me is make me feel fearful inside. I still do written 10th steps and I am 1 year and 2 months sober. I mess up a lot and have to own up to it.. sometimes it takes me longer than others to do... but I know sooner or later if I want to feel good inside I have to apoligize and own up to my bad choices.

    Hey, my thoughts are with you... and I know NO ONE will judge you for relapsing..... it is no big deal as long as you DO THE RIGHT THING as soon as possible... I have always looked like it as a mess.. you spill something and clean it up right away and smile and start over.. but if you don't clean it up it get worse, mold grows- it smells, people step in it and trak it all over the place and then you have way more work to do.. you have hurt other people in the mean time. I know that is really silly but it helps me to realize to stay honest.

    So ask for forgiveness, do what you are sopossed to do.. and then stop beating yourself up... mistakes are intended to help you grow... not eat up your insides...

    You are NOT starting from scratch, you are helping others in meetings that REALLY need it. Hey, you helped me today! Thank you for that...


    Love,

    Sara
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    -Sara

     
    Old 11-26-2005, 08:12 PM   #11
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    Re: I just Relapsed after 6 years, 11 months, 26 days

    Sara, is right, We all mess up, God knows I have so many times, I am not an addict but the mother of two sons that are. But In life I have made many many mess up. I have done things that I hated my self for, and it took me years to come to turns with. Be honest with your self, first Tell your self I am only a human I can make mistakes, ask your self what can I do to not let this happen again? second being honest with others lets them know you are a big enough person to amit what you have done and accept the reasonablity of your on action. They will not look down on you at all, they will amire your truth, and look up to you for that, I am sure many will cry with you, But thats a good thing it shows people care.......... There truly is a G_D that helps us in life Sometimes I think hes on vaction when I call on him But, I just leave a messege and he always get back to me LOL>>>>>> Felicia

     
    Old 11-28-2005, 02:13 PM   #12
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    Re: I just Relapsed after 6 years, 11 months, 26 days

    Gosh Brenda..that's like looking in a mirror and seeing my past. I have been right where you are..and I mean exactly - I can completely relate to your situation.

    I'm glad I found your post. I saw it a couple of days ago but I've just now found the time to sit down and dedicate myself to a response. I want to let you know you CAN survive this.

    I relapsed in August 2004 just short of my 11 year clean date. I would have had 11 years in mid September. I felt exactly as you do now only I didn't have the courage to tell anyone right away. You've already done that - you came here found us and reached out. I continued full speed ahead for over a year. I told myself a million times over - THIS IS IT..TODAY IS THE DAY..NO MORE DRUGS...I'M GOING TO TAPER THIS TIME. I didn't make it back until September 2005.

    What was my biggest number one mistake after my relapse? Thinking I could do it by myself. Thinking I could hide and "control" it myself and I could stop on my own. The shame, fear and guilt was almost unbearable. To think of telling my husband and my NA family was unthinkable. I could imagine all the horrible things they would be thinking and saying about me. I just knew my husband would leave me. I felt like I had to keep the secret inside until I could regain "control". What a waste of time and effort that was for me.

    I didn't get better and I didn't have a prayer of getting better until I reached out. Slowly at first. I have a very good friend through NA. She is not in recovery - but her husband is and she is a PA in a local addictionologist's office. I told her first - she encouraged me to just stop. I found a million excuses why I couldn't go cold turkey and I couldn't go away to Rehab. She tried to help me taper...I couldn't do that either. If I had access - I took them and more, more, more. I did things I am not a bit proud of to get more drugs. The addict took control.

    The "tapering" went on for months and months. Finally in a strong moment that felt more like a weak moment - I broke down and told my husband. He was afraid - not angry - afraid and he wanted me to live - not die addicted in an accidental overdose. He just wanted his wife back. But as you know - he couldn't fix me either. And, he couldn't force me. I had to do this for my own reasons - not anyone elses.

    So time rocked on...a few more months passed and I kept getting sicker. I lied to everyone saying I'd stopped when I hadn't. Then finally one day I'd just had enough. I didn't want to be a slave anymore, I didn't want my husband to loose his wife, I didn't want my kids to grieve a mother lost to a bottle of pills and an overdose and that's where I was headed. The drugs didn't even make me high anymore - I used to get by and feel halfway normal at this point.

    I finally came home one day and spilled my guts to my huband, I went to a meeting and I picked up a white chip, I called a very old friend of mine in NA and I asked her to help me, I found a therapist and started taking care of the demons inside me, I got a step guide and went back to number 1. I started writing. I have written 22 pages on Step once so far - and I'm not done.

    On September 17th of this year I took my last opiate dose. September 14 is my original clean date - I would have had 12 years if I hadnt relapsed in 2004. September 14th is also my wedding anniversary. I used to think it was really cool that I married my soul mate and best briend on my clean date. Well..I blew that too I guess.

    For a while I beat myself up. I can do a better job of that than anyone as you can probably understand. But slowly - very slowly I started to work on me again and began to see a glimmer of hope. The pity party ended. I finally realized God didn't fail me - I failed him and I failed myself. I took back control. It wasn't him. How could he show me the way when I insisted on taking the wheel?

    Today I am working on how I got back here and why I'm here starting over. But I'm okay with it. I look at it like everything happens for a reason and I'm learning the reason now. There is alot I didn't do to take care of me. I was too busy taking care of everything and everyone else and was accepting the crumbs that fell my way. That's it...I never took care of me. Today I do. I make my meetings, I go to therapy, if I need to read and journal - I do it, if I need to go have dinner with a friend I just go, when I feel my worst I do something nice for myself - like get my nails done, get my hair done, take a hot bath, take a nap..whatever it is that feels right at the moment. It helps you learn to love yourself again. In therapy I am working on issues I never faced before. They were always there just under the surface and I was acting out in ways I never even saw until after the relapse - so in some way's it's been a gift. My family isn't keeping me sick anymore and I'm not allowing them to make me nuts.

    I'm sorry this is so long and you have my appologies if you've made it this far. But I really wanted to reach out to you with my story. I have been right where you are and I could see myself in your post. Like I said before, like looking in a mirror. There is hope. Don't give up.

    I am here for you if you need me. Just give a shout. I am around the board almost every day and I'll reply to you as soon as I see your post.

    In the meantime - give yourself a break and give yourself some credit. You did NOT loose what you learned in all those years clean. They are not gone...they are right there as a constant loving reminder of how good life can be when we choose the right path and do the foot work.

    God Bless. I hope to hear back from you soon. I am an open book and I will do anything I can to help you - just ask.

    Last edited by BeginAgain; 11-28-2005 at 02:19 PM.

     
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