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Old 01-21-2010, 02:50 PM
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relapse

A question came up at the noon meeting today about relapse:
How long do you have to be in recovery before going back is considered a relapse?
If you have been sober 1 day and go out drinking is it a relapse? If that is the case I have a bunch of relapses.
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:04 PM
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In my opinion if you made an agreement with yourself that you were going to stop, and then drank one minute later that is considered a relapse. Unfortunately, I have had multiple, multiple relapses during my career and from what I understand, happens quite regularly! Good luck to you and stay here for a while. As you can see, I joined this board in April '09 but I am part of the November birthday group, with 209 relapses between 4/11/09 and 11/6/09. But I do not think about those anymore. If anything I am extremely grateful for them because it showed me how powerless I really am over alcohol!
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:05 PM
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Hi Dan and welcome.

I suppose if you are not sober, then it doesn't really matter what you call it. It is what it is.

Are you new to AA? Really we find recovery when we live in the solution rather than the problem. If the group are wondering if it is a relapse or not to drink on the second day, I wonder if that is living in the solution?

If you are in recovery, you will know you are in recovery (by definition that is not relapse)
Keep in touch.
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:06 PM
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I don't know that there's any rule or set amount of time about when a relapse is a relapse.

What I've heard and believe is that it's a "slip" when the time periods between drinks are short. The acronym for slip is....

Sobriety
Loses
Its
Priority
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:54 PM
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I believe that a general definition for a relapse would be something like a return to previous behavioral patterns, getting drunk/high and acting like an alcoholic/addict. It is necessary for some period of abstinence to allow for a 'return' to old behavior--if you have only one day sober it is probably not a relapse because there is no period of recovery to speak of--really what can you accomplish in one day towards recovery? A slip would be getting drunk/high but just a one-time thing, meaning you don't revert to old behaviors and continue with your recovery. Overall, this is all fairly semantic and different people will have different defintions, but I think the ones I am giving would be the same that professionals in addiction medicine would use. The point is just not to get drunk or high, regardless of whether it is relapse or slip or whatever you want to call it.
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Old 01-21-2010, 06:17 PM
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I like to call it what it is...return to drinking. That pretty much cuts out all the BS and high drama with " is it a slip or a relapse".
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:13 PM
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Welcome to SR:-)
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Old 01-22-2010, 06:03 AM
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Welcome to SR Dan.

If you decide to quit drinking you should never drink and if you decide to stay sober you shouldn't get drunk. The time thing is not relevant as far as I am concerned.
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:19 AM
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I am relasping right now and cant stop myself. it sucks and i should just go away. f it
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:24 AM
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DanH,

Some may disagree, but it's pretty much universal in recovery that we have a recovery "date" whether we like it or not. That date tends to stick with us. So, if you have to change the day you had your last drink". You relapsed. ie: the date you had your last drink has changed.
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:07 AM
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Dan, There's no universal agreement of any time period being associated with relapse. Even Terrence Gorski, who I consider the guru of relapse, never mentions any time period associated with relapse. He merely defines it as the return to the use of any mood altering drugs. And that means anything that's mood altering, not just alcohol. If you're really intersested in the subject, read Staying Sober A Guide to Relapse Prevention someday. But whether we call it "relapse" of "slip" doesn't matter. It's something that we should focus on avoiding rather than trying to fine tune its definition.
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:35 AM
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IMO you have to be sober to relapse otherwise you just had a drink...sobriety to me as i am in AA is having worked all the steps and continuing to do so on a daily basis, have a close conscious contact with your HP, helping others etc...stop doing all that and then drink, yeah then its a relapse i guess...
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:04 PM
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I have been sober since 04/23/1986 and the thing that worries me most is to hear drunks brag about the number of times they have relapsed. It is almost like 'junkie pride'. That is one of the drawbacks of halfway houses. Many times they seem to have bragging rights as to how many times they have relapsed or how bad they were and how good they are now. Reminds me of the evangelists standing up there stating all the bad things they have done in their life but look at me now. It seems in AA we hear too many newcomers sound real good real fast. We just had another relapse by a drunk who was sober for 12 months but tried to come off as having years of sobriety. We are at our worst when we con ourselves. When I came in in '86, we were not allowed to even talk in a meeting for a year. The old adage of pull the cotton out of our ears and stick it in your mouth was really pushed by my sponser. Today he has 32 years and I have 23 years. So we must have done something right.
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:29 PM
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Well he wasn't sober in the first place then Dan, so it wasn't a relapse just a return to drinking! Sounds like you and my sponsor would have a good chat about all this, mostly in agreement i am sure! I don't agree with the one year fits all thing, i think better than time would be share of you have actually worked the steps...i've met people with several years of not drinking(well one with 20, couldn't believe it scared the **** out of me, i remember i had just finished step 4 i said to my sponsor that night, it was a social occasion, mate we need to get moving on step 5...he laughed when i told him why!) who haven't worked the steps and are still insane, they know the lingo and attend shed loads of meetings but basically need to do what you suggested...we do have 2 ears and one mouth for a reason...just my opinion:-)
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Old 01-23-2010, 01:22 PM
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returning to drinking is drinking.....full stop..
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Old 01-23-2010, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by yeahgr8 View Post
Well he wasn't sober in the first place then Dan, so it wasn't a relapse just a return to drinking! Sounds like you and my sponsor would have a good chat about all this, mostly in agreement i am sure! I don't agree with the one year fits all thing, i think better than time would be share of you have actually worked the steps...i've met people with several years of not drinking(well one with 20, couldn't believe it scared the **** out of me, i remember i had just finished step 4 i said to my sponsor that night, it was a social occasion, mate we need to get moving on step 5...he laughed when i told him why!) who haven't worked the steps and are still insane, they know the lingo and attend shed loads of meetings but basically need to do what you suggested...we do have 2 ears and one mouth for a reason...just my opinion:-)

I agree with you totally. It still scares me to hear someone talk about relapse and states it is just part of the disease. they may be right but I just think newbies don't need to hear this and think it is OK to relapse. We do hear what we want to hear!!
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Old 01-23-2010, 02:35 PM
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Somehow I got the idea you were newly sober DanH.
Congratulations with your 23 years

D
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Old 01-23-2010, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
Somehow I got the idea you were newly sober DanH.
Congratulations with your 23 years

D
We all just have 24 hours. Some days I act and feel like a newbie. Thank God for sponsers to bring me back down to the real world!!!
This disease scares the crap out of me at times. I was a ED nurse for many years and seen the worst of this disease.
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