Chronic relapse is a common problem in treatment. Clients have a difficult time grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty, real change, and commitment. The fault is not always a matter of “willingness”, a term often thrown around treatment. Willingness is important. We have to be willing to go to any length to stay sober. Having the mental and physical capacity to do so isn’t always available. Severe cognitive impairments and weakened bodies can leave someone extra susceptible to cravings for relapse. Overriding those impulses and being convinced that sobriety is worth it, cravings will pass, and that recovery is possible, takes more than willingness.
Still, the revolving door of addiction and recovery continues to turn. 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, 6 months, a year- chronic relapsers don’t tend to make it much further. Relapse at certain times of sobriety tends to be a repeated pattern. They come in, they leave, they come back again. Their return is never on a high note. Often it is joked about in recovery that nobody comes back from a relapse talking about how great it was and how much better they are for it. The only thing better is that it brought them back to the recovery one more time.
Each time, they face two roads to take. Get back to where they were, or go where they haven’t gone before. The problem with getting back to the “good” place where they were before using again is that they used again. It might be, and often is, better to go a different direction and try being in a different “place” instead of repeating the same mistakes. Doing something new requires doing something which hasn’t been done before. Asking, “What is different this time?” is important, because, the truth is, nothing might be different. It might just be another tour through early recovery before relapse. Something has to be different. A different sponsor, going to more meetings, calling more people, staying in treatment longer- whatever it is that gets done differently, has to get done.
Change follows action. Taking action to get out of another relapse and back into recovery can start with a single phone call. Design For Change offers residential treatment programs and services for long term care. Offering a refuge for addiction, our clients learn to change their lives, one step at a time. For more information, call us today at (877) 267-3646.