The word “relapse” scares me. And so do its synonyms: recidivism, recurrence, regression, worsening, backsliding, fall, lapse, loss, retrogression, return, reversion, setback, fall from grace and the ever popular – turn for the worse…
I have been going to a lot of different recovery meetings recently, and although they seem to be (overall) a positive, I have been exposed to a startling number of people who bravely stand up in front of strangers and say they have “relapsed”. The term “in and out” is also used to describe repeating relapses, as in, “I’ve been in and out of the program a number of times, and this time…”
I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but Psychology Today gives us these sobering statistics (pun intended) on relapse:
- Only about a third of people who are abstinent less than a year will remain abstinent.
- For those who achieve a year of sobriety, less than half will relapse.
- If you can make it to 5 years of sobriety, your chance of relapse is less than 15 percent.
It seems that like blog readership quotas (another subject dear to my heart), you simply have to give sobriety time to germinate…
Obviously when trying to get through the first sober year and beyond, one should also avoid triggers such as: disappointment, job setbacks, isolation, relationship snafus, familiar drinking locations and bad hair days. But isn’t that life? We really have to find a way to live life without a booze bottle in the glove compartment or behind the Draino under the kitchen sink, for a “rainy day”. And we have to be patient…
I was talking to Dee last night, while she ironed and I ate a substitute addiction’s worth of leftover, no-bake cookies. She said, “No amount of rehab or lectures or prayer or instructions or meetings will keep you sober unless you are ready.” She told a story of three acquaintances who went to the same, year-long facility, two of whom are now sober ten years later, and one who climbed out of a bathroom window and hitch-hiked to the nearest bar.
Per usual, Dee’s words sunk in.
You have to be ready for the long haul.
And cookies help…
Peanut Butter-Chocolate No Bake Cookies
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- Large pinch kosher salt
Line a baking sheet with wax paper or parchment.
Bring the sugar, milk, butter and cocoa to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, then let boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Add the oats, peanut butter, vanilla and salt, and stir to combine.
Drop teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, and let sit at room temperature until cooled and hardened, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Eat (instead of drink) and enjoy…
Today I’m not drinking because I’m READY!!!
How come you’re not drinking?