Relapse is NOT Part of Recovery

     The cliche goes, “Relapse is part of recovery.”

     This sort of waiting room wisdom is exactly the kind of nonsense I had to toss out of the window in order to recover from addiction. Adopting this type of attitude, accepting relapse, and letting yourself off the hook is a recipe for death. One obvious reason why such a platitude is so harmful is because addicts LOVE this slogan. Dead giveaway. They love knowing that relapse is part of their recovery, that they can always get jammed if they need to. Ridiculous. What a deranged avenue for addicts to rationalize using.

     This pile of bullshit is brought to you by the powers that be, the mainstream addiction authorities, the status quo of treatment centers, academics, doctors, therapists, social workers and wannabe addiction specialists & counselors who have decided what we are to believe about addiction. I like to call this, ‘academic addiction’ – that is to say, addiction understood and declared by those who have ZERO experience, those who sit in classrooms, convinced they know everything, even more than the addict himself, even more than the addict who has suffered, changed, and recovered entirely. Indeed, removed academics are cerebral narcissists. They really believe they know it all, and they have peddled this twisted notion that relapse is somehow part of recovery.

     This clever slogan is meant to brainwash you, folks. Think it through for a minute and don’t let it.

     Um, relapse has nothing to do with recovery. That’s the whole point of recovery: YOU DON’T RELAPSE. Why? BECAUSE IT’S WRONG. Because you’ve given up the right to use and to continue hurting others. And presumably because you’ve recovered, which, even though you’ve been told the opposite, is entirely possible.

     But hey, we are all free to be enslaved by the belief that we will never truly be okay, that we will always be struggling, that we will forever be teetering on the edge, that we are constantly at risk to relapse. This is the best shit that the status quo can come up with, the pamphlet cover catch phrase, “Relapse is part of recovery.”

     “Hey, don’t worry kid, relapse is part of recovery… so if you go off the deep end, steal all your mom’s jewerly, speedball for a month straight, destroy everything and rip your family’s hearts out all over again, don’t sweat it. No big deal, kiddo, because relapse is part of recovery. Here, let me put my arm around you and embrace you. Just make sure to call us up for another round of detox, treatment, therapy sessions and methadone, all subsidized by the impoverished taxpayers you’ve been stealing from as an addict for the last 15 years.”

4 thoughts on “Relapse is NOT Part of Recovery

  1. I used this idea to keep going (using) for a long time, and the people around me who had no idea how to react would just write it off with that statement, take a deep breath, say tomorrow is another day, we'll try again then, blah blah blah…music to my ear's when all I wanted to do was keep using – and now it's part of the 'romanticizing' process that I'm trying to get rid of. That statement is bullshit. It's really tempting to think that this statement has a place in devout recovery.

    Thank you for your website and for sharing your journey.

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