Today is the 5th of July, and we at Cottonwood Tucson sincerely hope that everyone working a program of recovery was able to navigate through the 3-day holiday weekend without having to use a mind altering substance. If you were able to do so, then it is an accomplishment for which you can be proud. The holidays can be a time of excessive drinking around the country. Those in recovery are often exposed to friends and family members drinking.
Add on the fact that holidays can bring back feelings of nostalgia of a time when you were drinking on the Fourth of July, or feelings of depression stemming from not having family in your life currently—it can be a real challenge to resist the temptation to drink. Fighting off the urge to drink or drug during a holiday can be accomplished. And the best way to ensure that your recovery remains intact is to stay close to your recovery peers during the course of the day. More times than not, those who relapse fail to go to a meeting or stay close to their support network.
If you were unable to maintain your program over the weekend, please do not use a relapse as an excuse for not recommitting your efforts to recovery. It is often said that relapse is a part of recovery, but it does not need to be the end of recovery. You are not alone. Your sponsor and recovery peers will help you get back on track. The worst thing you can do is give up on recovery on account of a slip, the damage is repairable.
Get yourself to a meeting, humble yourself by identifying as a newcomer when asked if anyone has less than 30 days clean or sober. If you have a sponsor, then it’s likely he/she will want to discuss the relapse with you so that future slip-ups can be avoided. If you do not have a sponsor, find one with haste so you can begin working the 12-Steps of Recovery.
There is a lot that can be learned from relapse. Knowledge that can help you and your sponsor decide what needs to be worked on or what was missing before, that may have had a hand in the relapse. Relapse prevention is the goal, and it is vitally important that every step is taken to avoid one in the future.