No, no, no, this isn't a rant of today. Everything is still good. These are the words that still echo in the walls of our home.
This is the question posed by another person I regularly read. Here is Joe's link: Changing Lives Foundation
We all evolve and learn in the process of parenting an addict. When I first entered this world my way of thinking was cut and dried. You either did it or you didn't. If you didn't you failed. Learning is hard. Conceptually we see it every day. Especially for you parents that are teachers in school. It's all so easy if they would only listen, all of it is so easy. Learning is not simply screwing off the top of a head and pouring the knowledge inside. Especially if you happen to be an adult trying to learn.
When the learning first involves unlearning what you believe to be true it is especially difficult. I struggled a lot. Most of you can see that in my archived posts. It literally took me years to understand what so many of you knew and told me over and over, relapse is a part of recovery.
Most people reading me for a while know I am fairly simple minded, some of you may substitute simpleton, that's OK too. But I have to break things down as I learn. How do my life experiences enable me to accept what I am told when I have a hard time relating it to what I have experienced and believe in my life?
I can remember sending Alex off to his first inpatient rehab. So easy it was, why didn't we think of this sooner? Send him away, write a really big check and he comes home cured. Boy was I dumb!
It didn't take long for the anger to surface, 2 weeks in fact. What the hell, 2 weeks and it's the same old thing except my bank account is minus $6000.
Fast forward through a lot of anger, time and way too many more dollars than I want to think about. Relapse is a part of recovery. I don't know the statistics about how many "get it" the first time but they aren't really relevant.
What I have learned is that recovery is a process that involves many things and many variables of which relapse is one component. That's not to mean I accept relapse because it is part of the package.
Does relapse mean failure? Failure is the act of not trying. I had to break it down in simple terms for myself. When I was younger I water skied a lot. The first time I ran a slalom course I fell, if I remember right it was on the first ball. When I tried to trick ski I fell on my first 360. Failure wasn't me falling, failure would have been if I climbed into the boat and never skied again. Failure isn't the result of not succeeding. Failure is the result of not trying or giving up. No matter how many times it takes.
(proof Darlene and I were young once upon a time)