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Have you relapsed but you haven't told anyone?

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by Sarasmiles, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. Sarasmiles

    Sarasmiles Member

    Has anyone ever heard of someone with years of recovery who relapsed, but then returned to recovery? Did they tell anyone, keep it a secret, or what happened? I've seen it occur a few different ways and I'm curious about the results. I know someone who had a slip-up and didn't tell anyone for the longest time. When she did, she felt like she should start over again, that her previous recovery time was forfeited by her slip. I've seen someone who had such a major relapse that it was no secret, and he had to start over as well. What makes people relapse, or what were some triggers? Does it forfeit your recovery time? Does it feel more shameful because you relapsed? Thank you and good blessings to all for sharing! :)

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  2. danjon

    danjon Senior Contributor

    To my mind, the biggest problem with relapsing and starting over again is that with each failed attempt at sobriety, the more that failure gets ingrained into a person's experience and psyche, and the more likely it can be that a recovery-relapse cycle is established.

    That said, I've relapsed many times (and expect to do so many more), but the only way forward is to keep trying. Easier said than done, but isn't everything to do with addiction.....?
    Gloria and Winterybella like this.
  3. Jasmine2015

    Jasmine2015 Community Champion

    My step father has tried the same thing. He thought he could get away with not telling he was relapsing. The alcohol changes his mood and more than anything else you can smell it on his breath. Then to make it more obvious he tried using mouthwash. It just doesn't work to hide it, ever.
  4. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    Thankfully no - I didn't go through this - I slipped up a couple of times but I had to be honest with myself and with my loved ones. I committed to being honest when I committed to recovery - so that was important to me.
  5. gracer

    gracer Community Champion

    I used to be a heavy alcoholic drinker but thankfully I have never thought of ever going back to my old ways. I am aware that some people do hide their moments of relapse and were able to get through it. Some were not as successful though.

    I think what we all need to take note when it comes to relapse is that it's but just normal to sometimes feel moments when we crave for what we were addicted to even if we are already recovering from it. The important thing is for us to acknowledge it and not be too hard on ourselves by thinking that we are not successful in our recovery just because we have relapsed.

    Yes, we may experience relapses but we just have to stand up and keep on moving towards our goal to sobriety and we'll eventually get there soon. Never give up even if you fall so many times. :)
    kassie1234 likes this.
  6. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    For me even if a person does relapse but either lie or not tell anybody about it, the most important thing is that they can't lie to themselves. They'll always know what they've done and that won't change.

    A relapse when trying to recover from an addiction is only natural so even if a person does relapse it's not something to be ashamed of as long as they keep trying.
  7. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    Totally agree with what you said about it's normal to feel cravings even when you've recovered - every now and then when I'm really stressed or upset, even though I've been sober for 7-8 years now, I still have part of my brain that says "just have a drink" - even though I know that's a terrible idea.

    I just have to tell that voice to be quiet and go away! ;)
    gracer likes this.
  8. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    I have not ever had to deal with an addiction myself but this is something I wonder about even when it comes to persons in the forum. Sometimes I read of a story of a person in recovery and I want to follow they progress and sometimes I am left to wonder if they might have had a relapse and not want to share it when it feels like they have disappeared. I know several things unrelated could be responsible for them posting but I can't help but wonder and often I just want to say to people that even if you should slip it's no reason to not get up and keep sharing or trying. Addict or not it's what we all have to go through- slips and slides, but we keep trying.
  9. ellyjude

    ellyjude Active Contributor

    My uncle once relapsed and later continued his recovery procedure. I'm the only one who actually knew about it. I wonder what family members would think of him if they noticed. They had been convinced that he was determined to change.
  10. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    A number of people who have been sober for a long time might believe they no longer can be addicted to a drug they don't use any more.

    Someone I know [who'd been a few years sober] was at a party with friends and decided to have just one drink but he couldn't stop himself from drinking more. He hid this from his family but some things can't be hidden for long. He continued drinking for a while but eventually he decided to fight the addiction and he's been sober since then.
  11. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    I went through this a few years ago. Back then, I was trying to quit smoking and I was doing pretty well, until I became friends with a certain group of people, and all of them were smokers. Just being around them triggered my cravings, until I relapsed. Everyone knew about this, as I was always smoking with them and occasionally asking for cigarettes, but I wasn't ashamed. We were all smokers and didn't judge each other. I was a little bit disappointed, though.
  12. FuZyOn

    FuZyOn Community Champion

    At the start of my recovery process I relapsed a couple of times, it was only natural. My close friends and family knew about it and they were there to support me, so I was lucky in that aspect! Bottling up feelings inside isn't always the best thing, and having someone there to listen to you might as well be the best outlet.
  13. rz3300@

    rz3300@ Senior Contributor

    That is really one of my big fears. I can just see myself doing that given my past. I am going strong so far and all is good but I think that we all have that fear deep down that we know that it can happen.

    I am sure that it is something that happens a lot too. I am not familiar with anyone in my personal life, but then again there might be somebody that I am unaware of. It is a scary thought but a sad reality, and hopefully the necessary help is in place should it be needed.
  14. gracer

    gracer Community Champion

    Hi kassie! :) You're right on that! Whenever we hear that teeny weeny little voice inside us telling us to go on and take a dip, we just have to shove it off and make it go away. These are the moments when temptation really plays with our ability to control ourselves. And if we are able to get past the urges, we deserve to give our shoulders a well deserved congratulatory pat. :)
    kassie1234 likes this.
  15. knitmehere

    knitmehere Community Champion

    I was clean for years and then relapsed last year. I used again for a few months, and I haven't touched it since. I honestly in my heart believe that was my final relapse because I feel the need for the drug no more.

    As for restarting the clock each time it happens, I think that's the right thing to do. You haven't been clean for ten years if you just used last month, you know? Even if it was only once.
  16. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    So true! I still give myself that imaginary high five when I tell myself I'm stronger than the pull towards alcohol. And honestly, the pull these days is only when I am really experiencing something tough emotionally. I guess getting through it when things are tough is even more reason then for the congratulatory pat! :D
    gracer likes this.
  17. Coolkidhere

    Coolkidhere Community Champion

    I think when a person relapses, it can be quite hard to get back on their feet. But I also know that relapsing does not necessarily mean that you've failed. It's much like failing a test, it doesn't mean you'll fail the subject but it does mean you have to do better next time. So for people who doesn't want to tell anyone that they've relapsed, it's okay to do that as long as they can handle it. The triggers, the cravings, they're all around you so a relapse is not really impossible to happen. But if you cannot handle the emotional aspect of a relapse, it's better to seek support from people around you.
  18. anorexorcist

    anorexorcist Community Champion

    Well... I'm not really sure if you can relapse while you're trying to stop smoking, but I have. I feel really guilty after that but at the same time I convince myself that is not a really important thing and there's no problem about it, I definitely need to change that.
  19. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    I thought I'd relapse some weeks ago, but fortunately I am fine :) I of course told no one, because doing that could be the worst mistake someone in a situation like this could ever do! Because something like this might end up stressing you out even more, I told no one and I am ok now :) I was lucky I guess. I'm still dealing with binge eating though...
  20. jupiter

    jupiter Active Contributor

    In my opinion, If someone relapses, they should do everything possible to avoid feelings of shame or guilt. Just continue on with their recovery and try to analyze what triggered them so you can try to avoid those triggers next time, or at least deal with them more effectively. Feeling shame or guilt just increase the chances of it happening again.
    Luvmybub likes this.