Beliefnet
The Celebrity Therapist

If you read the first paragraph of my blog yesterday I shared that someone I love has relapsed.  When someone close to you relapses you go thru many of the stages of loss similar to the stages of grief when someone dies.  You go thru anger, depression, bargaining (where you try to make sense out of it), acceptance, and letting go.  They also don’t always go in that order either.

I once again am reminded that relapse
is a part of addiction. It takes a lot of compassion to understand
this–compassion for yourself if you’ve relapsed and compassion for others if
they have. Without that compassion, there can be no hope. And without hope,
there can be no sobriety.
One of the first things I had to do was shift from anger to compassion because without it, I was full of resentment, and as you know, addicts and alcoholics cannot live in resentment.

Addicts and
alcoholics sometimes engage in all-or-nothing thinking. In other words, if one
thing doesn’t go right, they often just walk away from the whole endeavor. If
they’ve made just one mistake, they judge themselves harshly or blame others.
This gives them an excuse to give up, but it also keeps them from reaching
their goals.  I did not give up on this person and thank God with some recovery, I realize that this is temporary and this initial pain will pass.  I don’t have to drink or use over it.

When you go into resentment mode if someone 
has disappointed you even once, you dismiss that person as unreliable. That
gives you an excuse not to trust or forgive, but it also cuts you off from
that person.

All-or-nothing
thinking can be toxic. It cuts us off from compassion. It stops us from moving
forward. It prevents us from helping those we love.

Just because
you or someone you love has made a mistake or even relapsed, don’t walk away.
Don’t think sobriety is impossible. It is
not.
Life is not all or nothing. One mistake is not a guarantee of a
lifetime of mistakes. We can make a bad choice today and still make a good
choice tomorrow. Believing that, will bring you the positive energy you need to
be hopeful and do the right things.  I am glad today I can walk in my dis-comfort with reacting impulsively.

 


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