Many of us have been there. We skip a meeting or two, get a phone call from an old friend, find ourselves mysteriously surrounded by our triggers, or something happens with which we haven’t learned to cope, and it happens. We relapse.
What could be worse for the recovering addict than falling into relapse? The answer is simple… Staying in relapse. When our minds are clean we can see this as an objective fact, but in the moment our guilt and shame have this tendency to keep us hidden in the shadows. The pain we had fought, many of us for years to keep at bay has in a moment reared its ugly head. We find ourselves in the same line of thinking that got us into addiction in the first place. We start making excuses.
“Well, I’ve already had one, might as well go all out.”
“The group is gonna be so mad.”
“You’ve messed up this time,” a little voice in the back of your mind whispers. “God could never forgive you for messing up after all He gave you.”
There’s a fundamental problem with this. In relapse, our demons often tells us that we’ve messed up too bad to go back. They tell us to take just one more… And as they say in group, “One more is never enough.” Addiction seeks to destroy our lives, and in the middle of relapse it makes destruction seem like a good idea.
But all is not lost. God has not given up. Assuming we have lost God’s love is assuming we did something to earn it in the first place. We didn’t. He just loved us. We didn’t come to Christ by getting sober. We got sober by coming Christ. God knows that as long as we live in this flesh, we will deal with sin. He always offers us a way out, but we don’t always take it.
We’ve heard it said before that relapse is a part of recovery. But be careful not to use that as an excuse. The truth is, it is part of the recovery of some, but it doesn’t have to be.
When we mess up, it’s not because God isn’t big enough to save us from it; it results from us making a conscious decision not to heed his will, but our own. The beautiful part is that we find that instead of God being mad, He shows us His love in ways we had never experienced before. When we come to Christ broken from relapse, He wraps us in His arms the same way he did when we first got sober. When all else fails, his love remains. Never give up. A momentary lapse of reason does not have to lead you to jails, institutions, or the grave yard . Reach out. Call a sponsor. Call on Jesus. He’s still listening.