Blogs


Notices

What's a relapse?

Old 06-01-2009, 05:31 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Never settle.
Thread Starter
 
gneiss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Under immense pressure
Posts: 1,505
What's a relapse?

Just wondering what the general opinion is on relapse? What is it? How much does it take to relapse?

Not that I have had any substances lately. I'm just curious. I've seen some people who said they relapsed when they went out one night and had a beer. I've seen others classify that as a "bad night" but not a relapse-- they seem to think a relapse involves falling back into your old habits.

Since I *quit* I've had a couple nights when I've used, but I got back on track the next day... there was no dramatic Hallmark moment where I was found in a dumpster. I just woke up and thought, "Yup, that was stupid. You can do better."

So, kiddies, what constitutes a relapse? Or does it matter to you?
gneiss is offline  
Old 06-01-2009, 05:40 PM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Dee74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 194,504
Blog Entries: 1
I think relapse is a pretty subjective term here on SR, so I'm not even gonna try for objectivity.

I eschew the semantics - I think you're either drinking/using or you're not. Quantity is immaterial.
Recovery is a state of mind to me.

No such thing as a little bit pregnant.

But I know that's not the same as some other people's definitions, and I can live with that - what I think doesn't matter past my nose

For me, personally, one drink would be a relapse...cos it would never just be one drink.
D
Dee74 is offline  
Old 06-01-2009, 05:53 PM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Looking For Myself...Sober
 
Aysha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Where the heart is
Posts: 10,210
Blog Entries: 26
I agree with Dee. For me a relapse is one hit or a thousand. One minute or a week. I also believe a relapse happens before you actually use. I notice with myself that old thinking comes back. Denial and excuses. I can do that and not use and I wouldnt consider it a re;lpase.
It is such a wide spectrum to everyone as to what it is.
I know my DOC is crack. But if I were to have a wine cooler one time. I also wouldnt consider that a relapse. I never had a problem with alcohol. I am sure alot would disagree with that one. But if I were to get me a regualr drinking habit or any other one to replace my DOC. Then I would say it was a relapse.

For me I relapse whenever I smoke crack. Small amount..big..long or short itme.

Amd I think what ever the person considers for themselves to be a relapse.
Some people like to break it down in all kinds of sub catebories..Like relapse..slip..like that. There is no differencer to me.
Just one tiny bit is a relapse for me.
Aysha is offline  
Old 06-01-2009, 06:09 PM
  # 4 (permalink)  
mergirl
 
Gypsy Feet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Paradise
Posts: 4,161
Blog Entries: 4
When I first came here I we had a spirited debate in our class thread about pot use. The ONLY reason I don't toke now and again is because I get tested at work. That being said, I am sort of glad it wasn't available to me when I quit booze or I wouldn't know that I could do it sans substances.

I am TERRIFIED to drink a beer. I don't believe in most of the mumbo jumbo about disease and my genes and what not, but I know I have depended on alcohol to see me through every big hurt in my life, and I thought I needed it like air.

I am free now, I no longer have a master. I don't want to know what it would take for me to relapse.
Gypsy Feet is offline  
Old 06-01-2009, 07:00 PM
  # 5 (permalink)  
9/15/08
 
Overman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: midwest
Posts: 257
IMO, relapse IS a very subjective concept. It depends on the person, the situation, and the substance involved.

I occasionally hear stories of alcoholics with over a year of sobriety who had a beer with coworkers after work and it didn't trigger a full-blown fall into old patterns.

Or a recovering crack addict who smokes a joint on an isolated occasion and doesn't feel the urge to buy an eight ball.

They are in the minority, of course, as most of us would go right back to our bad habits when placed in similar situations. I know I would. So why risk it?
Overman is offline  
Old 06-01-2009, 07:31 PM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Attitude of Gratitude
 
serenityqueen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 2,305
Here is what I consider a relapse:

First, my old thoughts and behaviors begin to occur. I'm on edge, my patience is very thin, I anger easily. I find that I begin to smoke a lot more (cigs only!) my sleep patterns become irregular. I begin to think that everyone else is wrong and I am right. Then, I begin to entertain thoughts that since I do have legitimate medical conditions that cause pain, there is nothing wrong with getting some pills to take, but only when the pain is bad. Of course, the pain really starts to get bad now. Then, I'd swallow one pill, hence I relapsed!!!!

I don't think that anyone can be going along great in their recovery, not having any old thoughts and behaviors come into play and suddenly pick up. I feel that relapse is a process, beginning with thoughts and behaviors that lead up to using.

Looking back at all of the times I relapsed after some significant amt of clean time, I can see where the above scenario played out every single time.

serenityqueen is offline  
Old 06-01-2009, 08:26 PM
  # 7 (permalink)  
problem with authority
 
FightingIrish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 870
A relapse for me would be knowingly drinking alcohol.
FightingIrish is offline  
Old 06-01-2009, 08:29 PM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Big Idiot Man Child
 
windysan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: La
Posts: 5,664
a relapse for me would be getting good and strung out. i ain't gonna do the things that get me there. no opiates for me, thanks.
windysan is offline  
Old 06-01-2009, 09:34 PM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 26,407
Blog Entries: 1
i drank again..sometimes i say i sliped, sometimes i say it was a relapse but mostly i just say i was sober and then i drank....

i do sorta get tired of the debate....doesn't matter to me what you call it ... for me it is all the same thing...and by trying to use catch phrases or specific word choices for what ever detailed reason...we almost miss expressing what the actual expereince is...we debate what a word means instead of simply sharing what happened to us and what works for us...

i had periods of sobriety with a night here and there of drinking....never more than one night and some sobriety that was years after i began to recover for my alchoholism and drug addiction in 1985. Every time i drank it was a dificult thing to deal with..the emotions, feelings of failure, feeling i might not ever really get it, fear that it would happen again...wondering what i did wrong wondering if i just wasn't ever gonna get it...

I was sober 7 years before my last 8 year drink....I started and didn't stop and that one almost killed me. The sevarity of the impact of the 8 year drunk was much worse than the one day drunks of previous slips/relaspes/drinking episodes....

i believe that every time i drank there were choices that i was unable to make correctly that preceded the return to a drink as the answer. By the time i picked up the drink i was incapbable of choosing differntly..i was already too far gone...

Today i try to pay attention to my life, my emotions, my choices and believe that helps me to be less likely to slip into that part of the journey where drinking has basically become inevidable because i no longer have the ability to do it differently.

Well...at least thats how i see it today
Ananda is offline  
Old 06-01-2009, 10:14 PM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Never settle.
Thread Starter
 
gneiss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Under immense pressure
Posts: 1,505
I've asked because I started wondering about my alcoholism lately. I definitely drank more than I should, it definitely caused all sorts of problems at work, school, in my family, with friends, etc. My drug use is more certain, I was hooked on that. I've had half to a whole beer a couple times and been fine with it. There was none of the stuff that went along with my old drinking patterns. But I don't even want to try it long-term. I'd be right back where I was, because the alcohol seems to be oil on the slippery slope of drug use.
gneiss is offline  
Old 06-02-2009, 12:20 AM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Dee74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 194,504
Blog Entries: 1
Double sodding post

D
Dee74 is offline  
Old 06-02-2009, 12:25 AM
  # 12 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Dee74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 194,504
Blog Entries: 1
You won't be the first to wonder if you're really alcoholic gniess - I went through a thing like that this very year....and I nearly died from the stuff 2 years ago.

Based on anecdotal evidence, it seems some can give up X and dabble with Y...I doubt that would be the case for me.

I've done my experimenting.
I like me, and I like my life, as is - although neither are perfect...

I fold

D
Dee74 is offline  
Old 06-02-2009, 09:33 AM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Member
 
jamdls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Dallas, Tx
Posts: 2,405
Blog Entries: 2
A relapse for me would be like someone else said: knowingly taking a drink
Because I know 1 drink would eventually lead to too many and I don't want to tempt fate.
jamdls is offline  
Old 06-04-2009, 12:03 PM
  # 14 (permalink)  
Heathen
 
smacked's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: La La Land, USA
Posts: 2,567
Blog Entries: 1
I hate the word "relapse" because it follows the disease model.. and I don't.

People are either clean and sober, or they aren't. They drink and/or drug, or they don't. If I quit smoking, and smoked another cigarette, I certainly wouldn't consider myself an ex-smoker. Course.. unlike the term alcoholic.. I quit smoking and I'm not called a "smoker" for the rest of my life either. I give up..lol

I don't drink, or use drugs, and I haven't since 9/1/08. Not a sip, not a line, not a slam in my arm.. if I did, that would be what ya'll call a relapse. To me there's no "kinda sober" or "mostly sober".

My "quit" date is the last time I used.. why would it be before that? I never get that kinda math.
smacked is offline  
Old 06-04-2009, 12:24 PM
  # 15 (permalink)  
Looking For Myself...Sober
 
Aysha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Where the heart is
Posts: 10,210
Blog Entries: 26
knowingly taking a drink
Is it possible to not knowingly take a drink?
I understand if someone gave you alcohol and didt tell you what it was and of course accidents may happen. But that would be an accidental swallow.
I dont drink. So I am guess if once you accidentally tooka swallow. Would it ba hard for you to stop then? Or would you have that taste for blood so to speak and go nuts with it?
Then you are knowingly drinking ..right?
Aysha is offline  
Old 06-04-2009, 01:04 PM
  # 16 (permalink)  
Member
 
jamdls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Dallas, Tx
Posts: 2,405
Blog Entries: 2
If someone spiked the punch like they used to high school and you drank it w/o knowing that wouldn't count but if you kept drinking after you realized it was spiked then you are guilty. Also for me I won't eat anything that I know was flavored with alcohol but if I didn't know and ate it it wouldn't count.
jamdls is offline  
Old 06-05-2009, 03:47 PM
  # 17 (permalink)  
mergirl
 
Gypsy Feet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Paradise
Posts: 4,161
Blog Entries: 4
I still cook with wine, its sitting right next to me. I never set out to be "sober", I just quit getting drunk. Unfortunately, this means I cant enjoy any alcohol because once I start, all bets are off.
Gypsy Feet is offline  
Old 06-05-2009, 04:05 PM
  # 18 (permalink)  
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: far away from the ocean
Posts: 376
For me, relapse is a process not a final result. It's when you decide (maybe subconsciously at first) that you don't want to/have to continue to live sober. And then you don't mind toying with your triggers and ultimately give in.

But I do cook with vanilla extract and such and don't consider this a relapse.
OceanBound is offline  
Old 06-06-2009, 08:14 AM
  # 19 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,141
Good question, gneiss. I look at it this way. I've heard there are lapses and relapses. A lapse is a small thing. A relapse is a bigger thing.

As I define it though, and this is just for me, there is no such thing as a relapse. When I choose to drink it is not a slip, a lapse or a relapse. It is a conscious choice to drink. Now I know most people won't agree with me, but only I make the choice to lift the drink to my mouth. There is no oops! about it. It's my choice.

I guess this is why I use the word addiction rather than alcoholism. I don't buy into the disease concept anymore than I think the addiction of smoking is a disease. Now, both will cause disease to be sure. Well, this is just the way I view things. To me, it's about accountability and having some degree of power over what I do.
Katie09 is offline  
Old 06-06-2009, 08:41 PM
  # 20 (permalink)  
Never settle.
Thread Starter
 
gneiss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Under immense pressure
Posts: 1,505
I had a case in point this weekend for what I said earlier: alcohol oils the slippery slope of my drug abuse. A buddy and I went out, we have these goofy little redneck bars around here and I have to admit I kind of like them. He offered me a beer but told me no reason to drink if I didn't feel like it. So I had a beer, and after a while I had a second. I didn't drink any more than that, my tolerance is pretty much zero now. But next thing I knew the friend I was with was talking to some old friends who are opening their own bar nearby and we went over to check it out. We sat down in the office and I swear it took about 30 seconds for the first joint to go around. No biggie. Pot doesn't really do much for me so no problem. 30 minutes later a meth pipe was being passed. Whoops! Not what I'd bargained on. This was a difficult situation for me. I didn't know these people, and they were already paranoid from the pot. I played it off like I just don't like it and passed the pipe on when it came my way. But... OMG. Every time I saw one of those guys smoke it my mind would swim. I wanted so badly to take a hit, and they kept passing it to me. Other than second-hand, I didn't inhale anything though. That was rough, but once again alcohol dulled me down just enough that I got myself into that situation.

I can't afford to drink if that's the end product.
gneiss is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:49 AM.