On ballerina slippers, temptation sneaks up from behind. Dressed in our disease, she does a silent soft-shoe, enticing us to turn around: to wallow in past mistakes, to bury ourselves in regret, to pull her out of the rearview mirror sheathed in the glamor of alcohol’s good times.
As temptation turns on her charm, she reaches into her bag of tricks and pulls out euphoric images of that first high. The one we could never recapture, no matter how hard we tried. Feeling little resistance, perhaps because we have become lax in practicing our program, she continues to entice us. Revving up her engine, target in sight, she takes dead aim at our vulnerabilities. If we start to feel edgy, she gives us a nudge, reminding us of that momentary relief that a shot of Jack Daniels gave us. Engaging our ego, she replays those feelings of superiority, lust, and pseudo-independence that were as fleeting as they were fallacious.
And before we know it, that I don’t give a shit attitude emerges and we have played right into the hands of our disease. Tottering on the edge, her claws digging into our fragile armor, our shield crumbling, we are faced with a choice: A life of sobriety or the hell of addiction.
Below are just a handful of relapse warning signs:
- Believing we will never drink again.
- Compulsive-Impulsive behavior.
- Immature wish to be happy.
- Irregular eating habits.
- Irregular sleeping habits.
- Loss of daily structure.
- Decreased attendance at AA or treatment meetings.
- Self -Pity.
- Thoughts of social drinking.
If you are experiencing any of the above, consider using these tools to get you turned around.
- Serenity prayer
- Meditation books
- Increase meetings.
- Turn it over.
- Reach out, call your sponsor.
- Look at your halts.
- Lighten up.
- Cry if you need to.
- Find your sense of humor.
- Make a gratitude list.
- Use the steps to climb out of it.
Although relapse does occur, it is not a prerequisite in attaining and maintaining sobriety.