Relapse is a symptom of addiction, just as much as the craving, obsession and withdrawal. Most addicts relapse one or more times. That isn’t to imply that it’s a good idea, but it is a fact. (This may seem like an odd subject for Thanksgiving Day, but bear with me here.)
Holidays provide two things that are dangerous for addicts: plenty of different kinds of stress, and ample opportunities both to think about using and to actually do so. Some of us are going to start some additional research over the next day or so. Some of us have already started. Those who do will discover that it’s not working any better this time than it did before. Most will find that things are even worse. Some will die. Some will make it back into the rooms of recovery.
It is vital that those who make it back share about it — at meetings, after the meeting, and especially with their sponsors. (If you don’t have a sponsor, perhaps you might take your relapse as a sign that you need one, eh?) There’s a saying that we’re as sick as our secrets. It’s true. Secrets lead to lies, and they lead to more secrets, and the first thing we know we’re so tangled up and emotionally exhausted that a drink or other drug seems like the only way out. Once again.
So no holiday secrets. They lead to the wrong sorts of celebrations for us — and sometimes for our survivors.