~~There is no such thing as "Going back to square one." Even if you feel like you're having to start over, you are trying again with more knowledge, strength, and power than you had before. Your journey was never over, it was just waiting for you to find it again.~~ Unknown
I know it's discouraging when we 'lose' a quit. I know it's a struggle to go back to 'day 1'. And I know it feels like starting over means failure.
In reality, relapse just means that your journey is waiting for you to catch up.
Does that sound like an excuse? It's not. Really. And it's not one of Sheri's 'feel good' moments or a glossing over of a quit gone wrong.
Quitting is hard. There is so much information we are trying to process on our quit! Addiction, triggers, cravings, support, coping skills, physical withdrawals, psychological withdrawals, emotional cyclones, fear. Excitement. Courage. And you know the list goes on.
We read. We ask questions. We try to act 'normally'. The world continues on even when we get dizzy with trying to keep things under control. The cravings. The emotions. The quit.
Sometimes it's a shattered heart that knocks us off our path. Sometimes it's an exhausted spirit. It may even be a self-fulfilling prophesy of 'can't do anything right'.
Once the relapse occurs, we may decide to jump right back on the quit, no problem. We may decide we are going to wallow in our negative emotions for a while. Or possibly sit back and think about why we smoked....as we continue to smoke.
Negativity can spin out of control. It can swallow us whole and make us forget everything we learned up to this point. My advice is to put the brakes on that kind of thinking and REMEMBER instead.
Remember that you know more about addiction now and how relapse is part of recovery. Remember that you found the strength to quit to begin with. That strength is still inside of you, waiting to be brought back out. Remember that your support is still your support here. We are waiting to be of help so it's ok to ask questions, tell us your stories, and share your journey. Remember that knowledge is power and you have so much more knowledge now than when you first started. Which means the power is there, too. Gather it, use it.
Relapse. Sounds bad. Feels worse. But it's not the end of the world and it's not the end of your quit, not if you don't want it to be. Your journey is there, waiting for you. Step back on the path and continue your quit with more knowledge, strength, and power than you had before.