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As Another Bill Sees it: Slips / Relapses

It is rare for an alcoholic or drug abuser to maintain sobriety the first time they make the attempt. Bill Wilson speaks about this in the following quote.

About this slip business — I would not be too discouraged. I think you are suffering a great deal from a needless guilt. For some reason or other, the Lord has laid out tougher paths for some of us, and I guess you are treading one of them. God is not asking us to be successful. He is only asking us to try to be. That, you surely are doing, and have been doing. So I would not stay away from A.A. through any feeling of discouragement or shame. It’s just the place you should be. Why don’t you try just as a member? You don’t have to carry the whole A.A. on your back, you know!”

There’s a bit of preaching going on, but I agree with the premise that sobriety and recovery is a process. A friend of mine in AA use to say “It’s not news when you use, it’s news when you come back (to sobriety)” I took this to mean that, as alcoholics or drug users, it is our normalcy to drink or drug … using was not news in our life. Not using was the real news.

A slip or a relapse can be devastating for some, and devastating for their loved ones, however it does not need to be. Executive Home Detox has a discussion with each client about if, and when, they slip or relapse. A drink or a drug can lead one to ruin, but it doesn’t have to. A drink or a drug can just as easily lead one to seek help, or additional help, they previously didn’t think was required.

We have a number of clients that have been through an alcohol home detox or an opiate home detox that have slipped or relapsed. They often feel, as Bill Wilson noted above, guilty, however we like to remind them that they have many more days of sobriety or clean time than they have had in their past. We like to refocus our clients on success rather than berate them with a concept of failure.

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