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Sober Nation

Putting Recovery On The Map

10-20-11 | By

What if a Friend Relapses? What Should I Do?

There is a saying in recovery that goes “You have to step over the bodies” and as harsh as that may seem it holds a true to some extent, I’ve had to do it myself. Out of the sixty people I went to treatment with I know of one other that has stayed sober. It happens more often than we want to admit.

At the end of the day, I must also remember that I need to make sure I keep my recovery a priority. If I pick up, then all of this would have been for nothing. If I pick up, I wont be of any good to anyone, especially not my friend or someone who needs my help.

Priority

I’ve watched many friends fall to this disease and through it I’ve learned some valuable lessons. One of them being that my sobriety is not dependent on anyone but me, not even my sponsor. The fellowship is a great tool, as is your sponsor but if you rely on either too heavily on either you may be devastated when a friend picks up again. We can’t expect too much from our fellows, we have to expect more from ourselves.

I’ve seen the look in a relapsed friends eyes, I’ve felt what they’re feeling. A friend that has relapsed feels as though they’ve let everyone down and the truth is the only one they have let down is themselves, my recovery was not directly affected by them. All I can do is be there for them, I can understand what their feeling and I can do whatever I can to help them without enabling. Whether that means get them into a detox, treatment center or halfway house.

We can help with family and friends but we can’t enable. We shouldn’t give them money, a” free ride” or take them for one last high. We need to be helpful in their bottom, not harmful. We must never prevent someone from hitting a bottom but always be there to help them climb back up.

 

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