Lessons from my third almost-relapse

Three times now I’ve looked down into that abyss. Each time I took a step back without picking up the first drink.

  1. I didn’t have strong cravings until day 28 sober
  2. At 8 weeks sober – I really wanted to drink
  3. Yesterday – I actually ordered a beer before my girlfriend sent it back.

After talking with my sponsor, he asked me to think about the triggers and what I’m doing that’s now working. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

What went wrong

  • All three times I was emotionally out of control. It wasn’t a desire to drink rally – it was a desire to feel happy or at least numb the internal drama I was feeling.
  • All three times I was physically fatigued and hungry. Just the basic “I get bitchy when I’m hungry” commercial.
  • All three times I was embracing guilt and self-pity.

What I should have done

  • I didn’t call my sponsor until the crisis was over.
  • I didn’t pray or seek spiritual support.
  • I didn’t think through the drink. I only imagined the 5 minutes of relief at the bottom of the first drink.

Today is another day. I’m grateful that my girlfriend saved my sobriety, but it was too close for comfort. I want to learn from those mistakes and move forward with my recovery.

That’s the plan – one day at a time.



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