Six years ago today I got home from treatment in Utah. (It also happens to be my parents’ anniversary. 37 years!)
Two weeks after that I started back to school. (Musical Theatre . . . not so much fun jumping back into a very appearance and exercise focused world straight out of lock-down)
It was pretty much just a slippery slope to relapse from there.
I used to count and celebrate that anniversary every year. I felt really guilty about it after a while, because I wasn’t doing well in recovery, but I had to keep celebrating or people would ask questions.
I felt like a complete failure. I was symptomatic, therefore I’d relapsed. It was over.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. As much as I hate to admit it, life isn’t black and white, and neither is recovery. There is a lot of space in between. If you tell yourself that you either have to be in recovery or in relapse, you’ll never win. Humans make mistakes, life gets hard, old habits are hard to break.
If you trip and fall walking down the street, you wouldn’t just give up and roll all the way home. Hopefully, you’d stand up and walk. The same goes for recovery. A lapse is not a relapse. Get back on the “recovery” horse.
So many metaphors getting tangled in this one. Still with me? Good. Here’s a little something to help you remember.
The “learning from it” part is one of the most important things I’ve learned from WGT. You can’t figure out how to fight the monster unless you figure out why it beat you in the first place. What causes the lapse is more important than the lapse itself.
The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing – Henry Ford
Live. Fall. Get up. Look to see what tripped you. Try not to trip over the same thing again. This is what life is all about. This is what recovery is all about. I’d rather have a wise recovery than a perfect one.