Do I always get another chance after relapse?

No I did not relapse and I’m not saying we are not allowed to. This is something much more serious. At my AA Fellowship we host a group of men from our local long term recovery center. These men have freely commited themselves to the center. Most 90 days. Some longer. Tonight we were told that one of them relapsed and stepped in front of a moving train last night and was killed. I did not know the man, but then again I did because he was one of us fighting the disease/addiction. We have several of our members that volunteer their time that are deeply shaken. My point is that we should all take this business of recovery seriously. I have written here before that for many of us this is Life or Death. I have heard it said many times that if you choose to take that path it may be the last time.


Sorry to hear that. May he rest in peace.

That’s what I am afraid of. And I think about that every time I feel like relapsing.

That helps me going tho. With my sobriety.


It’s always hard to hear someone lost their battle. We’ve had a few recently in our rooms. I didn’t know them but it still saddens me. The fact is…We all have another relapse in us but not all of us have another recovery.


Yes @Lisa07 . Maybe it’s just me but it seems as recovering Alcoholic/Addicts myself included that sometimes we get to used to relapse as being an option/norm instead of an exception.


I used to think like that I’ll always have another chance, but each time I went out the worse it got, my last detox nearly killed me.

So do we have more chances maybe? Idk all I know is after I crossed the bridge the last time, I didn’t want to find out if I can do it again


I am so sorry for the loss of that man. That is incredibly heartbreaking.
I was one of those chronic relapsers… and at one point (actually for a very long time) I truly thot id have chance after chance to get this recovery thing. Even after some overdoses and surviving, I STILL thot that id have more chances at recovery. The reality is that we never ever know when it will be our last. Either from the drug itself or from another outside source ending our lives. It’s the true reality of addiction. Its very scary. And for some reason my mind convinced me for so many years that Id always have another chance. This is serious business. People are dying :frowning:


Over the years lost many friends to this addiction , our graveyard is the proof of this ,the door dosnt always swing both ways


Yes!!! This really is life or death. Our active addictions are killers. Mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.

Many many times, I’ve watched the gifts recovery bring take people back out. They get lax on working their program. They “don’t have time” anymore. They get away from their recovery community. Stop doing the work. Get away from their programs. And then they go back out. Many times they never make it back. They may die quickly or suffer slowly dying in the miserable life addiction brings. If they don’t die immediately, the guilt, shame and remorse often eats them up so they are discouraged and struggle to get back on the wagon. There’s always a new bottom we can dig ourselves down to. And sometimes that new bottom becomes our graves.

I’m always happy to see someone who makes it back into recovery after a relapse. To not give up and have it in them to fight this again. Or even to those beginning this journey. It is not easy. But, going back out or continuing to use and not being serious about recovery is a huge and painful action taken that has a big price tag attached to it. Often the ultimate one.

Relapse does NOT have to be a part of the story. I am sure I absolutely could have another drunk in me. What I don’t think I have in me is another recovery and I’m not willing to take that chance as I know it’ll kill me in one way or another.

The longer I’ve been sober, the more active I have become in my program. I know I can’t rest on my laurels. This is why I’m still sober. For 1468 days, I’ve done whatever it takes to end my day sober. One day at a time. Some days aren’t easy. I’m still pretty “young” in my recovery. But the further I go, I have seen far too many times where getting complacent takes people back out. It has made me strengthen my commitment to my own recovery. I don’t want what they have, I’ve watched where it’ll lead me time and time again.

My higher power lead me into these rooms and into my recovery. I get to decide with my free will if I want to stay with it. I don’t want to die a drunk and that’s my alternative that I get to choose between today. Recovery or addiction. Recovery and a real shot at a real life wins today. :heart:


@MandiH Thanks Sooo much for those words ! I hope many people are able to see and read them.

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@Farmer @Butterflymoonwoman @MandiH @Ray_M_C_Laren @Lisa07 @GOKU2019. Thanks for taking the time to read and respond. I wanted to give our TS community something to reflect on. Now let’s go out there and have a blessed and sober day !


I couldn’t agree more. One of the shortcomings we addicts must learn to contend with, is “cause and effect”.

I have no doubt that had I kept drinking, my wife would have put me out. My likely reaction to this would have been to drink more. This would have likely led to my wife limiting contact with my daughter, and my reaction to this would have been to drink more. By this point, I’d likely be unemployed/unemployable…etc. etc., until I died. Either slowly or through misadventure, continued drinking would have killed me.


I really resonate with these responses. I do think we should forgive ourselves if and when we relapse, but I agree with the person who said (I’m paraphrasing) that we shouldn’t use inevitable relapse as an excuse not to put in the hard work of staying sober. I’ve relapsed many times because I wasn’t putting in the work. Last time I fell and busted my face and knees and almost ruined my relationship as well. I know that if it were to happen again, not only would my relationship probably be nonexistent, but there’s a chance I could hurt myself way worse than I did before.


Maybe, but that would just be us projecting our own internal frustration. And more deeply, our own fear: in the relapsing addict, we see ourselves - or at least, our addict self that is always just one stumble away - and it scares the shit out of us.

What these people in active addiction are doing is not our life. It is their life. And it is legitimate to respond with reasonable compassion.

I think you can make an argument though, that “it’s ok” is maybe not the clearest way to put it. :innocent: That’s a good point :+1:

Something like:

you relapsed; it was your choice; but it is in the past now and you need to make your choice today: do you want to be clean and healthy? Do you want it more than anything else? Are you willing to choose it over anything else that comes up today? And are you willing to explore new paths and new people to do it? If yes - then here’s a good place to start: [insert relevant link]. Check back in here - keep visiting, keep reading, keep sharing as you walk your path, and take it one day at a time

… something like that is compassionate in a reasonable way, it opens a door without being codependent & trying to push them through, and it places responsibility where it belongs (which is empowering).

This response can be copy-pasted as many times as we want. People come to Talking Sober when they are struggling. (They stay for a lot of reasons, but usually when they show up - or return - they’re struggling.) That’s what this community is. We all know that people will be sharing about relapses here for years to come. And that’s ok. Understanding and growing past relapse behaviour is part of the journey. :innocent:

We need to have a relationship with our fear so it doesn’t take control of us when we are face to face with vulnerability. We have that power - and we can empower people who come here, to grow with that power as well. :muscle: :woman_climbing: :person_climbing:


I can’t afford to have a relapse. I am 40 I only drank heavily for about 5 years I didn’t even actually start drinking other than a beer or two every here and there until I was almost 26 even after that I only drank sporadically until I was 34 I have cirrhosis with ascites if I relapse I am a dead man.


@Jester290. So sorry to hear that. Yes. It doesn’t always take long years of drinking or using to make it to that point. Wishing you bwst and sending lots of Hope to you !


This is a great topic. I definitely was in my way out if I couldn’t get sober. It is life or death for me. I get more frustrated with the relapse posts where the OP never shows back up or answers what the might do/change in order to get sober. I also think there are a lot of people here, and I was one of them until I finally got it, that don’t truly want to get sober and haven’t accepted the reality of the situation. I was that way for a long time. I need to remember that I had that struggle too.


@LeeHawk Absolutely ! I need to always stay alert to my alcoholic thinking. The mind of an alcoholic/addict is a very complex thing contrary to others opinions. We are not stupid. Many of the alcoholic/addicts I have known are some of the most intelligent and deep thinking people I have ever met. That’s what gets us into trouble sometimes. Thank you for your words. Sending lots of Hope your way !


I think everytime we relapse we risk our life. Do I stop in time? Do I get behind a wheel? Do I alienate myself from family? We never know. Back in college I pulled a stunt because I had liquid courage in me. I ended up in a wheelchair with a broken back and 2 broken heels. Doctors thought for sure I had bone fragments and one would hit my spine and I’d never walk again. 6 weeks later I walked out of his office to his disbelief I was completely healed. God has given me many chances. It’s time I do something with that.


@Jmillwill Well said ! One of the girls in my meeting last night put it well. If we are sober we are all walking miracles. Don’t throw away that gift given to you. Hold onto it with everything you have.


I was lucky when i went to my first meeting i was home just buckled down and did what was suggested i didnt know anything thank god if it seemed right i did it as ive said theres always away back the thing is not to repeat it life or death your choice , been through Divorce , deaths ,disappointments ,anger ,fear, happy times ,sad times , plenty of excuses but no reason to lift a drink , it your choice for me it was no brainer, effort and desire work so far no relapses