It’s too much — the days are too long; the demands are too great. You’re surrounded by chaos, are expected to simply accept it, resign yourself to fate. Such resignation seems to be impossible, however. Your thoughts are wild. Your needs are many. And an addiction begins to stir, whispering its promises, offering an escape. It would such a simple thing to return to your old ways, to ignore the progress you’ve made. That progress hasn’t made your hours any easier, after all. It’s merely left you strained. And life isn’t meant to be frantic. It’s instead to be content.
So you give in — clinging to the past and undoing all of your efforts. The shame is immediate (even if it’s tinged with relief). You think yourself a lost cause. You think you can never free your body from addiction.
You can. You simply must start over.
The notion of the relapse (when individuals submit to former addictions, can no longer sustain their treatment regimens) is one many assume to be the proof failure. They think it represents the end of all rehabilitation, that they somehow defy the ability to overcome their pasts. It is estimated that one out of every two addicts will be unable to succeed with their recoveries on the first attempt — and this statistic is thought to offer nothing but despair for those who falter.
This isn’t true, however.
The numbers may speak of failure — but the facts are far more kind. While 50 percent may stumble on the road to recovery, the other 50 will instead succeed. And second attempts boast a far greater chance for victory: with only one out of three individuals unable to continue with treatment. Each time offers higher percentages and, when addicts continue to work toward healing, they can achieve it.
Relapse is common. Attempting recovery again and again, however, is essential.