What Does A Relapse Look Like? What Can You Do About It?

Posted by John Gall on

On the way to relapse we actually work backwards through the steps.

Stop working with others
Stop prayer and meditation ( or lose consistency)
Stop looking at ourselves and taking inventory.  Not making amends when we're wrong
Maybe we never finished step 8
Certainly not adding an new harms to a list
Not asking got to remove defects of character
Not willing to have them removed
Not discussing resentments, fears, sex conduct harms to others with someone else
Not writing inventory on the above
Not turning our will and live over to god (running the show)
Now we're two steps from relapse.

So the key as I see it is 1:  Recognize what is happening.  Are you in the midst of a dry drunk.  At least you haven't relapsed yet.  2:  Turn it around.  How?

A few ideas.

The most basic is a trip back through the steps.  If it sounds like you are regressing when you should be practicing these principles in all your affairs, consider this a warning sign.    When i'm off the beam, the way I set myself right is to ensure i'm taking the actions directed in the steps.  Usually this means writing some inventory, talking about that inventory with my sponsor and ensuring that my prayer and meditation is happening.  Sometimes I need to make an amend, so I do that if needed.

What are you are doing for service work?  This is a program of action, and while that means internal action such as writing inventory, discussion with others, prayer and meditation, it also means service.  This is also another way to help keep that spark alive.  We can't just get the gift of sobriety and keep it to ourselves or it wilts.  It has to be given away to others to keep it alive.  Taking on some sort of service commitment might also be just what you need.

If nothing else, a fresh look at the steps will help you teach them to others. 

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