For this weeks Voices of Recovery we conclude the story of Ali, whose addiction to cocaine and meth and several attempts at sobriety left him questioning his will power. In the conclusion of this story we learn that redemption can be found in strange places. You can read the previous installment of this series here Drug Addiction Relapse is never Permanent Part 3.
Was it was solely the work environment that played the role in your relapse?
I am ultimately to blame for my relapse and take full responsibility. That said, it was a large company that offered perks and benefits for after work activities which often included alcohol. And come Friday when you perceive normal every day people enjoying a post work cocktail I began to think that maybe I could once again just be normal and enjoy the occasional drink. And that is really how it started again, and I know for most who experience a relapse it always starts with one small event. And it was not as if I had one drink and immediately started drinking heavily, but it slowly progressed without question to daily drinking and eventually back to using meth and back to drug addiction. It wasn’t an immediate process, but it was a process that could not be avoided because I let it happen.
Was it a full blown addiction relapse with drugs and alcohol?
Once I started drinking, it elevated back to meth. But once meth came back into the picture everything else ceased to be. So this time it was different in that all I was living on was meth and water. I wasn’t drinking alcohol or smoking pot or even going out to eat; I was living on nothing but Meth and water. But having the history of knowing what I needed to do to get back to where I was in terms of sobriety, I knew I had to get back into AA.
What made this attempt at sobriety different than others?
After losing my job and again experiencing the horrors of addiction, I legitimately felt like this was my rock bottom…a real rock bottom. I felt lower than ever and scratching my head as to how I could let this happen. For some people that may happen when they find themselves in jail, for others it may be in the hospital, for other it may be waking up to find their best friend dead of an OD. I guess I was fortunate in that I reached my rock bottom realization moment without having something horrific to wake me up, and I was conscience enough of my situation where I voluntarily went back to AA on my own free will. My bottom was finding myself in a hotel, jobless, with two grand in the bank left to my name and deciding on whether or not I should sell my car to get money to buy more drugs.
What makes the difference between an addict going to AA or going through Detox succeeding versus the percentage who relapse again and again?
In my case, it was spirituality. I think there are very few addicts who can succeed without having some type of spirituality that proves the difference maker. I am not saying someone who is not spiritual or religious can’t become sober or clean, but for many addicts trusting your life to a higher power can ultimately be the final piece in the puzzle for those looking to maintain sobriety. Without a doubt, my coming back to, and ultimately embracing my spirituality as a guiding force was, and will ever be a key to my success.
Have you ever suffered a relapse? Share your stories of drug and alcohol relapse victories in the comments section!