I still find it interesting when I encounter folks who have indeed relapsed but prefer to call it something else. Like a mistake. Or a slip. Or a setback. Or (insert your favorite noun) …
To me, this suggests that this person hadn’t paid the full fare for the recovery train in the 1st place. There’s no such thing as a setback or a slip when it comes to sobriety and recovery. You either stay sober and work on your recovery or you drink. The light is either on or it’s off. It either snowed or it didn’t. S/he either called or not. You either went to the gym or not. You either drank and relapsed or not (the amount is totally irrelevant).
If anyone understands how hard it is to get sober AND stay sober – it’s me. It took me 15 years to get my shit together. Many of us have to try more than once to get it right. But many of us get it right the first time too, and I think this kind of success amounts to the conditions of a person’s environment. But not entirely.
Because ultimately – regardless what is happening around us, putting our foot down and saying no to another drink is all that getting and staying sober boils down to.