I’m sure you’re all saying to yourselves, or thinking, that if someone relapses it means that they’ve messed up. It means that they didn’t do something right and that they should’ve known better. And yes, honestly that’s how it feels. When you fall back into old habits, at least for myself, all you feel is shame and guilt. Like you were on cloud nine, or at least somewhat stable, and now you’re back at square one. Like all the progress you’ve made is meaningless and you’re still the same old sick, horrible person, your “sick” self used to tell you that you were. Relapsing, my friends, is actually the most normal part of recovery.
Nobody, at least I don’t think, goes through the process of recovery without a relapse or few. It’s actually a fact, told by one of my graduate professors, that the more someone enters rehab, the more likely they will end up in recovery. If they keep coming back, it shows that they truly want to make a change within themselves.
So what I’m saying is, relapse is NORMAL. Relapse isn’t shameful, embarrassing, or throws all of your progress out the window. Relapse just means you’re on the road to recovery, and you’re doing a great job.