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What is a Relapse?

Old 11-26-2008, 03:04 AM
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What is a Relapse?

I was doing some reading yesterday and found some confusing information regarding relapse. Is 1 or 2 drinks a relapse or is a relapse "drinking to your previous levels on one or more occasions"? Thanks!
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Old 11-26-2008, 04:55 AM
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My opinion is that drinking is drinking is drinking. I had a slip, relapse, whatever you want to call it after six weeks of sobriety (I had two glasses of champagne at my anniversary dinner - and believe me, that was NOT drinking to previous levels!) and I chose to reset my sobriety date.

I don't know who can give you a definitive answer on this question except YOU. If you have defined your goals in terms of your relationship with alcohol, you know what violates them.

Best wishes!
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Old 11-26-2008, 05:00 AM
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To an alcoholic any amount of drinking would be considered a relapse. Most alcoholics would never be satisfied with 1 or 2 drinks so it wouldn't be a very common issue. It does raise an interesting question though, say for example a Catholic takes a sip of wine with communion, is that a relapse?
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Old 11-26-2008, 05:04 AM
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I know when I was in rehab, the therapist who conducted the groups considered one drink a relapse, and sobriety date would have to reset. I guess maybe he figured that as it is said for an alcoholic, One drink is too many, we will be back to the level we were in no time. I consider the date of my last drink my sobriety date. I have to be honest with myself and for me sobriety is alcohol free.
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Old 11-26-2008, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by maltipoobear View Post
I was doing some reading yesterday and found some confusing information regarding relapse. Is 1 or 2 drinks a relapse or is a relapse "drinking to your previous levels on one or more occasions"? Thanks!

Nice try, lol.

(No offense but that reminds me of something I might have tried to convince myself and possibly others of a few years ago. )
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Old 11-26-2008, 07:42 AM
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Welcome to SR....

Any time I returned to drinking ..I considered
myself to be an active alcoholic again.
For me...that means I did change my sobriety date.

Hope you find a way to abstain ..recovery rocks!
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Old 11-26-2008, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by BackToSquareOne View Post
To an alcoholic any amount of drinking would be considered a relapse. Most alcoholics would never be satisfied with 1 or 2 drinks so it wouldn't be a very common issue. It does raise an interesting question though, say for example a Catholic takes a sip of wine with communion, is that a relapse?
I think the answer is no. I know several priests & Catholics/Protestants in AA who take communion. It is part of their spirituality. Typically Priests/Ministers finish off any blessed wine the congregation hasn't taken. The Priests/Ministers I know never do, they only take enough for their personal communion and they let the lay staff finish off any excess.
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Old 11-26-2008, 08:42 AM
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I started getting a headache thinking about this so instead I will just not drink ANYTHING alcoholic today
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Old 11-26-2008, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by hrhxtc View Post
I think the answer is no. I know several priests & Catholics/Protestants in AA who take communion. It is part of their spirituality. Typically Priests/Ministers finish off any blessed wine the congregation hasn't taken. The Priests/Ministers I know never do, they only take enough for their personal communion and they let the lay staff finish off any excess.
REALLY you know several that's insane to me
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Old 11-26-2008, 10:00 AM
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One drink is a relapse for me.
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Old 11-26-2008, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Latte View Post
One drink is a relapse for me.
One drink is a relapse for anyone, lol.

But denial and rationalization are strong in some.
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Old 11-26-2008, 01:01 PM
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It does raise an interesting question though, say for example a Catholic takes a sip of wine with communion, is that a relapse?
I am a Catholic, and I take a sip of The Precious Blood of Jesus Christ at Church every week. It is not a relapse in my opinion, because I am not drinking wine. Through the miracle of Transubstantiation, the wine has been transformed into the Blood of Christ.

Motiviation in receiving, esp. in a faith that considers the wine a SYMBOL of Christ's Blood, and not the actual Blood, would be a matter of conscience I assume.

Interesting question.
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:43 PM
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1 drink would be a relapse for me as well. However, communion for me would not fit in this catagory. We have very small cups and I do this in rememberence of HIM. They even offer grape juice now!
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:53 PM
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To ME it is about motivation. Say for instance that you grab a glass that you believe to be yours and you BELIEVE it just has coke in it. You gulp a swig only to realize to your horror that it has alcohol in it. Have you relapsed at that point? I personally would say no, HOWEVER, if you then said to heck with it and drank the rest of the drink fully knowing it has alcohol then, to me, you have then relapsed.

For communion I think it is a very personal decision. People do not take communion to get a buzz, it is a demonstration of their faith so to them their motivation is not to relapse. Personally when I have taken communion I just take the bread but that's just me.

Interesting discussion,
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:54 PM
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What is a Relapse?
It is when we "stop recovering".

A relapse is not about whether you took one drink or two drinks or a hundred, it is about the fact that something in your thinking has caused you to start thinking that having a drink is a good idea.

We relapse when our thinking changes from those things which have kept us sober ..

It all starts in our head.

Accidentally drinking from a glass that has alcohol in it is not a relapse....it is an accident...
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by tommyk View Post
One drink is a relapse for anyone, lol.

But denial and rationalization are strong in some.
I try and only speak for myself.
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:59 PM
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Amen to that Latte.

Peter pretty much summed it up for me tho - it starts in the head.

D
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Old 11-26-2008, 03:06 PM
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How about a bong hit for Puff the Magic Dragon?

I know.. Nice try...

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Old 11-26-2008, 03:45 PM
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For a recovered alcoholic, the relapse startes long before you pick up the drink
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Old 11-27-2008, 07:06 AM
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I like the topic and the responses, we discuss this very topic alot at meetings.

Alcoholism is a cunning disease. It is the responsibility of each person to determine exactly what constitutes a relapse.

For the person who has vowed to abstain from any alcohol, unconditionally, the intentional intake of alcohol (one drink) would constitute a relapse.

For the person who has vowed to abstain from alcohol, with conditions attached, then some alcohol (one drink) may not constitute a relapse.

It is truly up to each individual to determine their meaning of 'relapse'.
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