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Chronic Relapsers on SR

Old 11-12-2017, 07:55 AM
  # 81 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by asixstringnut View Post
JScatt
I am one of those chronic relapser that you that you speak of. I have had as much a three years sober and I have had so many day ones that I have lost track.
I appreciate everyone who has reached out to me and not judged me for my failures but have encouraged me to keep trying. I have 12 days today and I am so grateful for those 12 days.
A little kindness goes a long ways and a little judgment can do lots of damage.
I guess I would ask you why do you let it bother you? Take the high road and try to be helpful.
Remember maybe someday you might be the one who needs the support.

asixstringnut
I never said it bothered me, I never said I've never relapsed nor did I say I ever will again.
I simply asked the long time members who have seen hundreds of people come and go on here if there was ever a time they lost faith in a person who constantly relapses and from reading all the replies I guess the answer is no and a lot of replies gave reasons as to why, which really helped me to understand how important support is.
I never said relapsers should be shunned and banished from this site or should just give up.
I did snap at Dee74 in a response to one of his replies but I have aopolgized to him and to all who thought this thread was out of line.
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Old 11-12-2017, 08:11 AM
  # 82 (permalink)  
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Because I don't give up on people, like people have never given up on me on here in the past. Pay it forward
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Old 11-12-2017, 08:25 AM
  # 83 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by OpenTuning View Post
When people relapse week after week, and post about how terrible they feel about that, my first thought is to want to say "if you could stop for good right now, you would. There is a reason why this keeps happening." I don't know what the reason is, and it's clear from their pain-filled messages that they don't know either. And yes, it's likely to keep happening until they are able to figure that reason out. But eventually it will happen. The penny will drop. Perhaps they'll see a therapist for help, or someone at an AA meeting or on here will share some of their own experience that's so familiar a light bulb will switch on. Until that happens, all we can do is offer our support and reinforce the message that the goal of sobriety is worth the struggle.

In my case, I would constantly ask "why do I keep doing this despite knowing how terrible I end up feeling", and the answer turned out to be "I keep doing this because of how terrible I end up feeling." Doesn't make any logical sense, but it's how people's brains can work (out of our awareness). We often find ourselves in situations that are familiar, even if what's familiar is painful. Working with a therapist to figure out my own role in creating those situations, and finally dealing with what was in my past that was leading me to do it, has made all the difference to me. My last drink was in May 2015, and I will never drink again.
I can't speak for everyone obviously I can only speak for myself.

Truth is I've had a handful of good times while I was drunk or high. Stupid because I've had 2x as many bad times on alcohol and drugs and both have really screwed up my life but for whatever reason I always seem to remember the good times as opposed to the bad times when I contemplate using.

It's really easy to justify using when I am having a bad day sober... it makes the pain of life go away if only temporary. It's the power of drugs.

Another factor is if you are using a lot you might not be used to being sober in certain situations so you get out of your comfort zone and it makes it hard to stay clean especially during the beginning stages of sobriety. Also, humans are like dogs in the sense we like to feel like we belong. So the natural human desire to 'fit in' is always a factor I see with many alcoholics who relapse.

Like many have said we have to learn why we are using and find alternatives to what we were using the drugs for... That's why relapses can be invaluable learning experiences. Not that I am condoning them.

I have nothing against chronic relapsers as long as they keep fighting as soon as they relapse. Most of us have been there.
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Old 11-12-2017, 08:27 AM
  # 84 (permalink)  
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Like they say, "you had to be there"
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:09 AM
  # 85 (permalink)  
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JSCatt - try not to be offended. This was a GREAT conversation you started. No worries! Enjoy recovery, stay connected here! Aren't we glad to be here in the company of so many fine people trying and succeeding in changing our lives?
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:19 AM
  # 86 (permalink)  
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JScatt, I understand the frustration you wrote about, because I have felt it myself on a couple of occasions.

I agree that this is a great conversation you started.

Last edited by Solarion; 11-12-2017 at 09:30 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:24 AM
  # 87 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by BixBees505 View Post
JSCatt - try not to be offended. This was a GREAT conversation you started. No worries! Enjoy recovery, stay connected here! Aren't we glad to be here in the company of so many fine people trying and succeeding in changing our lives?
Oh no, I'm not offended at all.
I am very grateful for the fine folks on here!
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Old 11-12-2017, 12:25 PM
  # 88 (permalink)  
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Grace

There but for the grace of God go I again. We relapse because we have Alcohol Use Disorder and it messes with our decision making abilities. Some more than others. And we don’t know where we are and will be. I was sober for 15+ years. Then started having a few. Well—now I am a chronic relapser, scrapping together 3-9 days at a time. And then? Well, someone says “white or red..”? and.....or someone “meets for drinks, I am feeling good and.....” All against my rational will; all despite vowing not to. Part of this is mental/ cognitive impairment. And no, I do not want to continue in a rational conscious mind sense. Obviously, other parts of me think I can “have just a few” despite almost 50 years of contrary proof.
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Old 11-12-2017, 12:40 PM
  # 89 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by JScatt View Post
Hey everyone! I don't post much but I do read here everyday, still sober since mid May and a lot has to do with this great place.
Anyway, as I read everyday I see a few members who seem to relapse like once a week and each time its for the same reason, same trigger, same excuse and each time they are given great advice by long time sober folks.
Seems each time this advice is ignored and the person is back seeking advice on how to quit, same advice is given again, ignored again then the person is back again asking for advice on how to quit....YET AGAIN!
I've noticed this with some who have been members for years.
I guess my question is...How the heck are some of you guys so patient, when do you (if ever) just say "screw it, do what ya wanna do" especially when you are just repeating the same advice over and over and over?
I think that there is a danger in trying to separate oneself from the chronic relapser. If you can say "screw it, do what ya wanna do" then you are saying you are in a superior position to the chronic relapser--which is the more direct way to relapse yourself.

I think everyone needs to take time off from helping--there is such a thing as compassion fatigue. But the moment we start looking down on other addicts is the moment our addiction regains strength.

I have often had to remove myself from here because of behavior that I see here. But when I am here, I try to be fully here.

Recovery is often like a puzzle. I was a chronic relapser because I kept following the same advice I got over and over even though it did not work. Eventually, I found what I needed to do...and I hope others in the same recovery-relapse cycle will also solve their puzzle.

But yes, it is hard not to just say "screw it." But doing that damages my own recovery.
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Old 11-12-2017, 12:46 PM
  # 90 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Solarion View Post
...it's also not The Internet Saloon.
I am taking a break from this for awhile.
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Old 11-12-2017, 12:56 PM
  # 91 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by miamifella View Post
I think that there is a danger in trying to separate oneself from the chronic relapser. If you can say "screw it, do what ya wanna do" then you are saying you are in a superior position to the chronic relapser--which is the more direct way to relapse yourself.

I think everyone needs to take time off from helping--there is such a thing as compassion fatigue. But the moment we start looking down on other addicts is the moment our addiction regains strength.

I have often had to remove myself from here because of behavior that I see here. But when I am here, I try to be fully here.

Recovery is often like a puzzle. I was a chronic relapser because I kept following the same advice I got over and over even though it did not work. Eventually, I found what I needed to do...and I hope others in the same recovery-relapse cycle will also solve their puzzle.

But yes, it is hard not to just say "screw it." But doing that damages my own recovery.
Well said
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Old 11-12-2017, 01:34 PM
  # 92 (permalink)  
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"Obviously, other parts of me think I can “have just a few” despite almost 50 years of contrary proof."

Hey Struggling, I know what you mean. My defective brain tells me, after a while, that since I have been acting responsibly for some period, I can have just a few. It's very seductive and I have fooled myself over and over. The reality is, I can't sit at a table with friends laughing over a few umbrella drinks. They go home and carry on with life; I go home and drink vodka.
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Old 11-12-2017, 02:42 PM
  # 93 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by potatojuice View Post
"Obviously, other parts of me think I can “have just a few” despite almost 50 years of contrary proof."

Hey Struggling, I know what you mean. My defective brain tells me, after a while, that since I have been acting responsibly for some period, I can have just a few. It's very seductive and I have fooled myself over and over. The reality is, I can't sit at a table with friends laughing over a few umbrella drinks. They go home and carry on with life; I go home and drink vodka.
Yup...I can leave a dinner party and then sit on the porch and drink 5 scotches “to just relax..”
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Old 11-12-2017, 03:54 PM
  # 94 (permalink)  
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When it comes to Chronic Relapsers here is part of a post I made a few weeks ago in another thread:

Here's what an old timer told a guy who kept showing up for meetings drunk.

Keep coming back. Seeing you drunk helps us remember what we were like and when you are ready to get sober we will be here to help you.

I never met the old timer I mentioned above. But I did meet the guy who kept showing up drunk. His name was Tom and he led the first meeting I attended back in November 2015. He's got 7 years and a really strong recovery message.


Let me add the topper to this story. Tom being a real hard core alcoholic burned out his liver and got a liver transplant. He drank after his transplant! When asked why he simply said the simple truth "Because I am an Alcoholic"

If folks gave up on Tom because he was perhaps the most hard core chronic relapse I have met who would have been there to welcome me when I walked into my first AA meeting?
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Old 11-12-2017, 04:23 PM
  # 95 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by JScatt View Post
I never said it bothered me, I never said I've never relapsed nor did I say I ever will again.
I simply asked the long time members who have seen hundreds of people come and go on here if there was ever a time they lost faith in a person who constantly relapses and from reading all the replies I guess the answer is no and a lot of replies gave reasons as to why, which really helped me to understand how important support is.
I never said relapsers should be shunned and banished from this site or should just give up.
I did snap at Dee74 in a response to one of his replies but I have aopolgized to him and to all who thought this thread was out of line.
Jscatt.
I went back and reread my post and I was a bit snarky and out of line.
My apology to you. I am sorry if I made it feel personal. It was a knee jerk reaction for me.

Again I am sorry.

asixstringnut
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Old 11-12-2017, 04:34 PM
  # 96 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by asixstringnut View Post
Jscatt.
I went back and reread my post and I was a bit snarky and out of line.
My apology to you. I am sorry if I made it feel personal. It was a knee jerk reaction for me.

Again I am sorry.

asixstringnut
No worries, you said nothing to apologize about! Have a good sober week!
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Old 11-12-2017, 04:39 PM
  # 97 (permalink)  
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Like and relate to this
The reality is, I can't sit at a table with friends laughing over a few umbrella drinks. They go home and carry on with life; I go home and drink vodka.
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Old 11-12-2017, 05:01 PM
  # 98 (permalink)  
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Relapse. Its been a part of my journey. For 10 years I have gone in and out of sobriety. I have never given up on the sober part even when engaged in active alcoholism.

For the ones who relapse time after time within the same week. Sometimes the message of what we must do does not become clear. Sometimes we need to keep beating our heads against the wall....or running into the same wall over and over again. Active addiction is a beast.

Now almost 8 months sober and I can say that my thoughts have changed and have grown towards myself and towards others who struggle with alcoholism.

We gotta give what we wish to receive. That makes sense to me. We gotta keep lifting each other up. Sometimes that means that we give support daily and weekly to the one person who is not receiving the message in their life. They will eventually get it. Patience and compassion.

No matter what, you gotta do you. Make your life shine and make that shine brighter than any other light you have seen.
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Old 11-12-2017, 05:01 PM
  # 99 (permalink)  
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Even when the rational brain is fully aware of the futility of resuming drinking, it can take quite some time and quite a few tries before the "lizard brain" can be coerced into agreement.

On a rational level, I knew fully by October 2005 that I was an alcoholic and needed to stop drinking. I sought professional help and announced to my friends and family that I was quitting for good.

It was March of 2013 before I finally did.

When I'm tempted to get impatient with posters who seem unable to "get it," I try to remember this.
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Old 11-13-2017, 02:36 AM
  # 100 (permalink)  
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I have relapsed so many times I have run out of fingers to count them on. And I have finally figured out why (this is me personally): I was in the great Egyptian river - denial.

I knew my drinking was not normal. I knew I drank too much. I knew that most people can have one drink and leave it at that, but not me. But I could never admit to being an alcoholic.

I thought I was too young to be an alcoholic. Early twenties and an alkie? Please, we all like to party and get wasted at twenty three, don't we?

So I would stop drinking or even moderating. Sometimes it would last days. Sometimes weeks. I even managed a few months at a time.

Then I would get cocky. See, I knew I didn't have a problem, I've just completed Sober October! And it was a doddle! I had only one beer last night and I didn't have another! I really wanted another, but I didn't!

Aaaaaaand low and behold I would slip back into it. All because I got cocky and wouldn't climb out that river. I don't know exactly what has caused the lightbulb to go off, but it finally has.

I am an alcoholic, and if I continue drinking it will kill me. I will lose my friends and my family. I will be unable to work. I will probably get another drink driving conviction. I won't be able to travel which is what I love most in the world.

I don't know if I will relapse again, but at least if I do I am no longer in denial. At least I am trying.
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