I have heard so many times in meetings that people say they “slip” over circumstances happening in their lives—whether it be a death, or a broken shoelace.
It’s relapse. A slip is because drinking was an option that was still on the table.
I believe that a SLIP is and acronym for: Sobriety Losing Its Priority.
A slip is something that you do on a banana peel, like in the cartoons. An accident. A mistake.
Relapse is a choice. We may not believe it at the time, but, so many things lead up to that decision. We have stopped taking all of the precautions that keep us from finally making that decision to drink. When drinking or using is an option, it will always become a real choice at some point. We will use that excuse, whatever it is, to drink or use.
When I got sober, I realized that I had to take drinking off the table as a solution. It was not an option for me anymore. Some people call that a “reservation.”— “I don’t know what I will do if THIS particular thing happens.”
Just saying that leaves the door open.
My sponsor sat me down in early sobriety and said, “I want to talk to you about relapse.” I was confident at that point that I was finished drinking—we all are confident at that point, right? She told me that relapse wasn’t just about the moment we take that drink—it is about all of the choices we make leading up to that moment. That is what she wanted to teach me. How to protect myself. How to put the processes in place to protect against that final decision.
Circumstances happen. Good or bad. They will always happen, whether we are sober or not. It is how we respond to the circumstances that affect our sobriety. Learning those tools were so important for me.
Sobriety is a process and program of action. My tools are: Meetings, fellowship with others like me, working my steps with my sponsor, serving others, and lots of prayer.
I don’t want to relapse, so that is my plan.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
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