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Advice Column

Susannah

Susannah
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I am a professional counselor specializing in the treatment of addiction. I combine what I know about recovery with my Christian beliefs. This thread is for people to ask for advice about their addiction. Your user name will protect your identify. I have been doing this for 38 years and believe my sobriety depends on helping others find recovery through Christ.

Susannah
 

marrea

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Jun 9, 2020
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Would you have any advice on setbacks? I had a setback after a long time of sobriety, than i just continued... I felt terrible and almost puked, afraid of losing progress, i feel like when i have a setback i am taken away from the right path and i feel a terrible pain, but i just can't stop, even though i want to...
 

Susannah

Susannah
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Thanks for reaching out. Relapse is often part of the recovery process. Each time. you learn something new that will aid your recovery.

It is good to feel regret, but do not feel shame as that will make things worse. I have relapsed with all my addictions except alcohol. I have 38 years of sobriety. But the road was not easy.

There are a lot of reasons people relapse:

1. You are isolating and trying to heal by yourself. You need a peer support group and the help of God. I recommend Celebrate Recovery.

2. You are under a lot of stress and have given in to the compulsion to drink.

3. You are not dealing with underlying issues like anxiety and depression. These must be treated.

4. You have lost hope and thrown in the towel.

5. You have lost your connection to God and are trying to recover by will power.

6. You have too much idlel time and need to find distractions. Staying home during the epidemic gives you too much unstructured time.

7. You have allowed yourself to become cynical or feel sorry for yourself. "Poor me. Poor me. Pour me another drink." Recovery is the hardest thing you will ever do. You must be optimistic all the time.s

When I was six months sober, I was under a lot of stress and I decided to get a drink. I went to the liquor store and while in line a voice said "You do not have to do this." I was startled and left the store. I went home and called my sponsor and she said, "You can drink, but tomorrow you have to start over." That horrified me so got in bed and turned on the radio. The song, "Help me make it through the night" was playing.

What I got out of this was that God was watching over me. It meant I need God every moment in my life and that means more prayer and meditation. Also, if I do relapse I am expected to start over right away and not go on a binge.

I differentiate between setbacks.

A flare-up is the compulsion to drink again.
A slip is a one time occurrence.
A relapse is giving up.

There is only one reason I never had a slip in my recovery from alcohol , and that is God. Whatever the problem, he is the solution.
 

marrea

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Jun 9, 2020
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Thanks Susannah, and i'll probably come back here to read your reply again a few times!
 

Prycejosh1987

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Jul 28, 2020
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I am a professional counselor specializing in the treatment of addiction. I combine what I know about recovery with my Christian beliefs. This thread is for people to ask for advice about their addiction. Your user name will protect your identify. I have been doing this for 38 years and believe my sobriety depends on helping others find recovery through Christ.

Susannah
I wish you all the best in what your doing.
 
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