It is excruciating to discover that someone has relapsed. Especially when they’ve accumulated substantial time in sobriety. What on earth happened, I wonder. How could this person give up so much hard work and so much sober time – for what?
Just about anything, anyone, and any occasion can be blamed for relapsing. But ultimately, it’s a lack of the upkeep of the perimeter around our sobriety that is our undoing.
Think of a castle wall. The King, or Queen in my case (me) has her workers march out to the wall on a regular basis to check it for cracks and wear so that steps can be taken to fix it. The Queen doesn’t want or need to wrestle with any outside drama. Unfortunately for her, she has something in her life called the AV (Addictive Voice). And while she may turn her back on it indefinitely, it never truly dies. And if she makes the mistake of ever giving it ANY stage time in her head, it will eventually get the better of her. She must always be on guard for this.
So it is with the addict in recovery. We have to fortify the walls of our sobriety with impenetrable confirmations of self-acceptance, self-control, and curious awareness along with the fortitude of a warrior who will do anything and everything to keep the grounds inside the castle walls safe.
Having to restart our time in sobriety and recovery does not bode well for feelings of accomplishment and pride. That said, it is a testament to the addict’s stamina and courage to stand up to the face of a fantastically shameful fall.
If we are anything – we are resilient.