As I sit here and write this blog… I come from a pretty low place. I am in the detox unit at Sunshine Coast Health Centre in beautiful BC and thankfully the worst of the withdrawal seems to be over. As anyone who has ever had to deal with a relapse, there are a million reasons for it and it can also seem like there is no good reason. My life was going very well and I was slowly learning to deal with situations that would break me down in the past. I certainly don’t have a scientific-educational background, but I do know these things are a sad part of recovery.
I can speak firsthand about just how much shame and guilt is felt when this occurs but it continues to be a part of the journey toward recovery. Those first moments of walking back into a facility are heartbreaking, anger-inducing, and humbling to the core.
I know I have been that person who has been there when someone comes back. The first thing I usually say to the person is, “I am very happy to know you are back and OK.” Because alcohol and drugs take out so many people along the way. Those were the very same words I heard when I arrived back and it made me feel a little less like a failure as a human being. More as someone who struggles with a disease (if you are 12-step) or a disorder (if you prefer non-12 step), which is still hard for people to understand.
I am blessed and thankful for the people I have met in my life who are helping to pick me back up after my fall. A person may or may not believe in the idea of paying it forward but I know there will be a day in the future when I will be able to help a fellow human being who feels like their whole wide world is falling apart. It goes back to understanding the suffering which goes into the battle with drugs and alcohol.
Relapse is a part of my story and while it may not be something I am particularly proud of I feel I would not be the human being with the compassion I have for others had it gone any other way. Those people along the way I have helped are right there to help me and vice versa.
I can already feel a bit of glimmer coming back into my being in the amount of time it has taken me to write this blog. I know there are better days ahead for me and I know I can certainly learn from where things have gone awry in my past. I don’t know if vigilance is the right word but something I have truly come to believe is there are pieces of us that grow in tandem whether we believe it or not. And in moments of relapse, the pieces are not severed. They simply need to be resewn and strengthened. And pleased are places like this where this can occur.