Archive for the ‘ My Last Relapse ’ Category

Too Busy for Meetings

By Leolady
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By Leolady

What do you think triggered your relapse?

I got too “busy” to go to meetings. I decided after nearly 10 years of sobriety to work full time and get my master’s degree at night. I didn’t listen to my sponsor when she advised me to take it easy, and to get my degree over time. I thought I should push myself to get the master’s within two years.

I was beginning to feel resentful at work, feeling that I didn’t get every opportunity I deserved. In actuality, I had the best job I’ve ever had in my life – a dream job. Instead of dealing with those feelings in a responsible way, I decided to “tackle” them with hard work.

I was also in a relationship that my sponsor warned me was unhealthy for me. Relationships like that are a pattern with me, but again, I did not listen.

I had little time for meetings, began to exhaust myself, started screwing up at work, cheated on my boyfriend, and eventually picked up.

My relapse was directly related to not listening to my sponsor, not going to meetings, and not taking it easy on myself.

Tips and Tricks

  • I need to ask for help when I’m overwhelmed.
  • I need to take it easy on myself.
  • I must trust my sponsor.
  • I need to talk about my feelings with other healthy women.
  • I need to trust God more.
  • I must go to at least three meetings a week.

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June 26th, 2015  in My Last Relapse No Comments »

I Let My Alcoholic Mind Take Over

By Carol G.
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By Carol G.

How long ago was your last relapse?

My sobriety date is October 22, 2003. Six years and eight days ago, I took my last drink to date.

What do you think triggered your relapse?

Not sharing what was going on with my sponsor – keeping a secret because of ego reasons – skipping meetings, avoiding contact with my sponsor, not praying, and working the steps backwards. Nothing unique – just not using the tools I had been given, hence letting my alcoholic mind take over. The thought that I would drink when I returned home (in a month) without ever sharing that plan with a single soul. The hopeless belief that a drink was the only way to fix my problem.

Tips and Tricks

  • There’s no answers in the bottom of a bottle.
  • Nothing lousier than a head full of AA with a belly full of booze.
  • The Program is simple – don’t complicate it.
  • Don’t drink; go to meetings; ask for help and use it.
  • Take suggestions and ask for ideas.
  • Move out of the driver’s seat.
  • Times are tough? Hit a meeting. Times are good? Hit a meeting.
  • The best way to face fear is to walk into it – but not alone.
  • I am NOT unique – I’m just another bozo on the bus.

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June 26th, 2015  in My Last Relapse No Comments »

Stressed and Harboring Resentment

By Beth W.
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By Beth W.

How long ago was your last relapse?

My last drink was on April 12, 2004. It happened after almost 18 months of sobriety. I had graduated from a long-term residential treatment program and I was living in their aftercare housing while I completed college.

After graduation, I still attended meetings and therapy but because of transportation and financial issues, my 3-year-old daughter attended most of my meetings with me so, I usually spent the majority of the meeting trying to keep her from disturbing anyone.

What do you think triggered your relapse?

There were several key factors preceding my relapse. One was the fact that I was not able to concentrate on the meetings I was attending. Another is that I was not getting the proper amount of rest. My schedule had me up around 4:45 in the morning and in bed around midnight.

I also had unresolved issues with my self esteem that were triggered when my relationship with a fellow AA member went bad. I was under so much stress that during a therapy session I blurted out that if things didn’t change I was going to drink. I said later in the session when I had calmed down that I hadn’t meant it but my therapist said that for me to make that statement in the heat of the moment like that, that drinking was still an option for me somewhere in my mind. I didn’t think she was right.

However, a couple of weeks later I woke up only with the plan to take the day off from school and just get myself together. I decided to walk to the store. On my way there I was struck with the bright idea that after 18 months of sobriety I could surely drink four beers without any negative consequences. I just wouldn’t get drunk.

I even went so far as to go to a store that sold the 24 oz singles and bought two of those. I didn’t want to buy a six pack because I was only going to drink four! I got home opened the first beer and I looked at the smoke curling up out of the can opening. I put my nose to it and smelled it. The beer seemed harmless enough so I took a sip. All was well so I decided to make an occasion of it. I cooked myself a nice steak and baked potato only before I finished my meal I was out of beer.

For some reason, I had forgotten all about my four-beer quota and I was out the door to buy more beer. I didn’t ever finish my steak. I drank until I passed out and I awoke around 3:30 in the morning feeling ashamed and terrified. I vaguely remember yelling at my daughter and then later putting her to bed telling her she needed to just go to sleep without a story. I remember she had a troubled look on her face.

What’s worse, I wanted another drink. If it hadn’t been raining outside, I would’ve loaded my sleeping child into her stroller and went walking to the beer store at 4:00 in the morning. It was in the midst of pondering how and when I was going to get a drink that morning that I realized that I was just as out of control from that one day slip as if I had never stopped drinking.

Tips and Tricks

  • My therapist had been right. Somewhere in my mind, I had stubbornly clung to the delusion that if things got bad enough, drinking could be an option. I realized that to think I could drink just four beers and control it was insanity. I had been tired, stressed and harboring resentment. I shut myself off from the sunlight of the spirit. Insanity returned and I drank. It was then that I conceded to my innermost self that I was an alcoholic and I could never drink successfully. Today, I take care of myself. Today, drinking is not an option, no matter what. After all, everything does pass!

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June 26th, 2015  in My Last Relapse No Comments »

Abuse Lead to Relapse

By Deb
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By Deb

How long ago was your last relapse?

It’s been over 2 years since my relapse. I was clean and sober for 16 years when I entered into an abusive relationship, I was into going to a lot of AA and Al-Anon. Slowly but surely I was getting sick without noticing I was falling hard. I was super mom and devoted to my husband, I started to take prescription pills from my doctor.

What do you think triggered your relapse?

I do believe being in a abusive marriage helped get me sick, my husband was supposed to be a Christian man but treated me like i was a useless nothing. He had a severe anger problem and I believed it was all my fault that he was so miserable. That’s what he had me believing anyway. I just went down fast. I’ve had a few relapses and each one got worse. I ended up in jail with a criminal record and in dept. I stopped taking care of me and focused on only making our marriage better, and I thought I was a complete failure. I finally had him arrested for threatening my life and got a restraining order and got myself together, now it’s me and my boys. were very happy living in peace.

Tips and Tricks

  • i really learned a lot experiencing what I’ve lived, it’s been a living hell for sure. I learned that I am a good person, and to take care of myself first, before anything else, and of course not to drink and take pills. I put my loved ones through a lot and myself, that I now have a much better story to tell. I have talked at open meetings and at schools about my addiction, and enjoyed doing that. I learned to be extremely cautious before I ever get into another relationship again, to hold my head up high and feel good about who I am and not to beat myself up for what I’ve experienced.

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June 26th, 2015  in My Last Relapse No Comments »

Relapse After Relapse

By Brenda P.
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By Brenda P.

How long ago was your last relapse?

My sobriety date is 23 March 2007 but that date was 15 years in the making; relapse after relapse, not believing, searching for answers, barely surviving, struggling with the memories, or lack thereof, filled with remorse and pain.

What do you think triggered your relapse?

Anger and resentment coupled with unrealistic expectations and the inability to deal/cope with the source of my anger. The “I’ll show you!! by drinking and hurting myself!!” syndrome. Boredom, depression, the fear that the life I was leading was all there was and will ever be for me. I don’t deserve anything better so I might as well get the worst it has to offer.

Tips and Tricks

  • relapse doesn’t begin with that first drink but ends with it
  • relapse is a process that begins long before the drink or even the decision to drink
  • identify your patterns of behavior leading up to that first drink & the “trigger” used as justification
  • make a plan of action for others to take in case you pick up, such as take you to rehab, call a mentor, close the bank accounts, etc & have them agree
  • relapse can be a part of recovery but is not a prerequisite
  • there is no shame in relapsing; the only shame is in not doing something about it
  • with every relapse you learn more about yourself

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June 26th, 2015  in My Last Relapse No Comments »

I Stopped Going to Meetings

By Ian
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By Ian

How long ago was your last relapse?

My last relapse was 8 days ago, I was 6 years clean and sober 8 weeks ago, I relapsed and thought I could control my drinking again! It didn’t work as always; it got worse. I’m now 8 days clean and am living in the day again. I stopped doing AA meetings a few months ago and stopped going, it led me to relapse after six years of sobriety. As shocked as I feel I’m back doing meetings and have hope to live a day at a time sober through working the 12 steps and helping others. It’s the only way to stay sober and be happy.

What do you think triggered your relapse?

Lack of aa meetings, I stopped going a few months ago and thought i didn’t need them anymore, I’m well enough to stay sober on my own. As soon as I stopped going to meetings and stopped working 12 steps, I began to change back to my old ways of thinking and behaviors, I was off my head and too busy and arrogant to see it. Then it was my birthday a few weeks ago and all of a sudden my old head said, “go on you can have one drink.” I didn’t just have one, even after six years of been sober my massive consumption of alcohol was still there. I drank for 12 hours solid and didn’t stop,

Tips and Tricks

  • I need to get back into AA and 12 steps. It’s the only way to stay clean and lead a happy life. I need to stay with AA people and keep doing meetings and 12 steps for the rest of my life. I need to keep life simple today and always walk with one foot in front of the other. It’s just a day at a time at the moment. I’m truly grateful to be sober!

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June 26th, 2015  in My Last Relapse No Comments »

You Can Find Any Excuse to Relapse

By Eckybeat
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By Eckybeat

How long ago was your last relapse?

My last relapse was in Dec 2010 and lasted pretty much until April 2011 when I had a seizure and was rushed into hospital. Been sober from 20th April until now 6th August.

What do you think triggered your relapse?

I think my last relapse was triggered by a period in rehab ironically to get treatment for a previous relapse. I had been to this relapse facility before and it helped tremendously (too good perhaps). I was sober for 3 months after coming out and felt great. Like many others I thought I could manage an occasional social drink. Quickly back to square one but worse. Looking back I am amazed how quickly I deteriorated. My sister secretly phoned the rehab who then called me and convinced me to go back for two weeks “relapse” consultation.

The regime was completely different the second time and although the detox worked great, (Librium again), I didn’t enjoy the stay and hit the wine the day I got out. Got caught for drunk driving the next day. Now that I had no license no excuse not to drink, as if it had stopped me in the past! Carried on for about 3 months (3 litres of wine per day roughly). Passed out one sunny lunchtime on my patio and was taken to hospital in an ambulance. Kept in for 10 days, more Librium, drips for hydration and vitamin build up. Still wasn’t fully ok when I was released but deep down I knew I couldn’t drink again – it would kill me.

Tips and Tricks

  • You will find any excuse to justify drinking – good news, bad news, nice day, filthy day – anything.
  • Each relapse gets worse and the symptoms come on quicker and are worse. Not sure I could cope with another one.
  • Talking about it helps (after the initial embarrassment). This forum is a godsend. I only found it after I am hopefully past the worst and wish I had come across it two or three years ago, but wasn’t looking then.
  • Value and appreciate your family and friends. Without them I couldn’t have made it so far.

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June 26th, 2015  in My Last Relapse No Comments »

Picked Up Again As a Means to Cope

By Azori
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By Azori

How long ago was your last relapse?

September 7, 2008

What do you think triggered your relapse?

Stress, inability to accept circumstances and feelings. I picked up again as a means to cope. I had gone crazy trying to make the relationship with the man I was involved with work. He was into drugs and neither one of us could get clean, sober and it was a big mess.

Tips and Tricks

  • I could not stop until my body physically gave out. By then I had lost my mind and felt stuck in a strange dimension. I pushed everyone away and ended up completely alone.

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June 26th, 2015  in My Last Relapse No Comments »

I Thought Maybe I Could Drink Socially

By Rusthead
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By Rusthead

How long ago was your last relapse?

October 20, 2009

What do you think triggered your relapse?

I was just 4 months sober. I had a meeting outside of Tuscon, Arizona. I was on my own, away from friends, family, and AA support group. We were 20 miles from the nearest meeting, and I had no transportation. Cell phones did not work at this remote ‘retreat’ location. I was an organizer of the meeting.

Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. I stayed up late into the night trying to rectify the problem; I skipped meals; I was stressed because a database I had prepared was not working; I was angry because while I was working, a colleague took credit for my hard work. I felt ‘other’ because all my colleagues and friends were drinking and I was not.

Also, I think I had ‘planned’ to drink. My alcoholic self had been whispering wordlessly into my ear that maybe I was not really an alcoholic, maybe I could drink socially, how would I know unless I tried? So, on the last day of the meeting, at the banquet, I decided I ‘deserved’ a drink.

I raised a toast to the group, and drank a glass of chardonnay. I remember little after that one glass. I know I walked barefoot under a full moon in the desert amidst the rattle snakes. I know I had to drink a beer the next morning that was in the fridge, to keep my hands from shaking; I know I got to the airport, said goodbye to my colleagues, and went straight to the bar. I remember ordering a drink, and dissolving into tears of fatigue, shame, fear, remorse.

I was still new to the program, but called a friend from back East. He tried to talk me into getting out of the bar and going to the restaurant and getting something to eat. I couldn’t do it. It was like I was riveted to the chair in the bar. He told me to call the local AA. I did, but got someone who spoke mostly Spanish, and tried to direct me to a local meeting that night at some random place in Tuscon.

I was so new that I did not know the term ’12th step’ and that I desperately needed to be ’12th stepped’, that is to have someone come get to me, right away. I tried to call my friend in the east back, but my cell phone died. I was all alone, in a strange city, at a strange bar, I didn’t have a chance.

I next remember ‘coming to’ at a random hospital, arguing with a police officer. Apparently I had been transported there by ambulance. I have no recollection. I have no idea why the police were still there. I had no idea where I was. My blood alcohol was 0.30.

I spent the night at the hospital, sobered up, made my way home, back to AA.

Tips and Tricks

  • Alcoholism is a disease
  • Alcoholism will ruin your life and ultimately kill you
  • I am an alcoholic
  • I am powerless over alcohol
  • If I drink, it will ruin my life and eventually kill me

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June 26th, 2015  in My Last Relapse No Comments »

I Thought I Should Be Able to Enjoy Myself

By FreeMary
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By FreeMary

How long ago was your last relapse?

My last relapse was at the end of June. I finally stopped on July 12, 2011.

What do you think triggered your relapse?

I think I picked up because it was 4th of July weekend, and I thought I should be able to have a cocktail and enjoy myself like everyone else. But I don’t enjoy myself like everyone else. The next morning I called out of work and went to the liquor store and bought a bottle of vodka. That was it, I was off to the races for a week.

I wound up taking a leave of absence from work for two weeks, one week I continued drinking, and the next week I finally realized what I was doing to myself – again! So I finally had my last small amount on the 10th.

Tips and Tricks

  • My lesson learned is that I have surrendered to the fact that I am an alcoholic. I don’t drink like other people. I can not take that first drink and think everything will be ok, because it won’t. I need to do something else when I get that feeling, pray, call someone, get out of the house, anything but drink. I hope I have this sobriety date until my last day on earth.

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June 26th, 2015  in My Last Relapse No Comments »