Relapse has always amazed me. It amazes me because I wonder how people can get sober and yet return to something that has caused so much pain, damage, and heartache? You can say they are addicted as the reason for their return and I would not argue with you. That is not the stumbling block I cannot get over. It more comes down to how they relapse. How did they get back to that place? What led them there again? Where is their support? What drove them to relapse? I guess it is one of those situations where you do not know until you have been there, but for most of us we have been there.
I am back in St. Louis for a couple of days. Originally I was suppose to be here to move some stuff to Nashville but plans changed and I do not need to move anything back rightnow. I also was in town to meet up with my friend the dentist, go to a hockey game with a friend, and get a lot of coffee with friends. Those were my original plans, but I have not accomplished a single one. In fact, the last two days the entire city of St. Louis has not done anything except for sit in their house and bake cakes. The snow has changed all the plans for many and has given me a time to rest.
As I sat around the dinner table last night my dad said something interesting in regards to relapse. We were not talking about that subject at all, more about our family, the next five years, and how it was good to be home. Here is what he said:
Everybody reverts and returns to the part they use to play
Now that might not sound that revolutionary and in all honesty anything close to dealing with relapse. But the context in which he was talking was in regards to reverting back to the parts we use to play in our family. Living in a new city on my own has allowed me to establish who I am, by myself, without my family identity. Not saying that I ever want to be known outside of my family, but it has given me the chance to start shaping my identity. What struck me about what my dad said was that in the short day that I had been at home I immediately took up the role I played the 23 years before that I lived there. It was almost like I never left.
I was watching a show last night with my sister called “I Use To Be Fat”. The premise of the show was to follow overweight high school seniors that wanted to change their health and get in shape before they left for college. As we followed the journey of a kid who was working hard to lose 70lbs I wondered not if he would make it but how long it would last. See I think the struggle that we all go through in our life of conquering fear, chasing our dream, and making things happen is not if we will make it but if we will keep going. Fear is a funny thing, it doesn’t just go away. Conquering fear one time does not deliver that death blow that will make it disappear forever.
Earlier I was talking about relapse and how I think we have all been in that place of relapse. I think we have all relapsed back to something. Back to the place that has pulled us down, caused us to quit, made us give up. We have all been “sober” and “healthy” and in a moments time reverted back to who we once were. Maybe it is because we all return back to that familiar place where we have a role to play or maybe we like being safe (fear) rather then being driven (doing) to follow through.
Whatever causes you to relapse and revert I think its important that we call it on the carpet and hold each other accountable.
Fear causes me to shrink back. What about you?