Why Do I Keep Slipping?

Table of Contents

For many alcoholics and addicts, finding recovery is a desperately needed relief. Yet even for those of us who are desperate, sticking with recovery isn’t always a linear journey. Like everything in life, there will be ups and downs, good times, and rough times. Some days will be easier than others. These are the natural rhythms of life, not just recovery. 

For some alcoholics and addicts, making it in long-term recovery can be difficult. The reasons for this are many, and they are deeply personal. For some of us, relapse is a part of our story. Whether we slip once or a dozen times, relapse is common. The truth is, it doesn’t have to be. Relapse happens, but it isn’t necessary. The good news here is that no matter how many times you have slipped, as long as you are alive you have the chance to get hold of lasting, life-changing, long-term recovery. The cycle of relapse can be stopped. Anybody can do it, no matter how hard it’s been before. Anyone can recover. 

So, why do some of us continue to relapse? And what can we do about it?

Work the 12-Steps

It doesn’t matter how obvious this one sounds — it needs to be said. Our recovery is a daily reprieve contingent upon the maintenance of our spiritual condition. It’s not like we work the 12-Steps once and then we’re good forever. Our experience with the program of recovery evolves as wAre you struggling to overcome alcoholism or addiction? Do you keep slipping? We have a solution. Stop relapsing and start recovering. Call (866) 529-9255.e and our lives change, so we would do well to continue working the 12-Steps actively with a sponsor. However long we wish to remain in recovery is how long we should stay active in working the 12-Steps. 

The program is designed to help us recover. But if we don’t work the program as outlined, it’s hard to expect recovery. It’s a simple equation, but a surprisingly overlooked one. You may not like what you get if you work the 12-Steps half-heartedly or in your own way. We must be willing, honest, and open-minded for the 12-Steps to transform us.

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Maybe we’ve kind of tried the 12-Steps a little bit, but they didn’t really work for us like they did for other people. We have to stop comparing our journey to that of others — our life isn’t their life. We all have different circumstances, aptitudes, abilities, and paths to walk in this life. Imagine if somebody worked the 12-Steps for a few months and suddenly had a fully-rebuilt life, while we’re a few days ahead of them without much to show for it other than our sobriety. Shouldn’t we be happy for them and grateful that we are sober? Shouldn’t we keep working the 12-Steps, especially now that we’ve seen how much is possible with a life in recovery? Look at what it can do for those around us. Their solution can work for us, too. Maybe we have some other work to do about our attitude or work ethic or relationship style, but the success of others is actually good news for us. It means recovery works.

Patience isn’t a word that most people like, but it’s crucial to at least practice. Comparing ourselves to others is poison. The important part of seeing other people succeed in recovery is that we know it’s possible. If one man can do it, another man can do it. But we need patience — just because we don’t have everything we want right now doesn’t mean that we never will. It simply means that we don’t yet, so maybe we should stay the course, do the work, and let the timeline of our lives unfold. We should learn to enjoy the journey, not give up on it because it’s not happening fast enough. 

Gratitude is another important thing to keep in our hearts here. Weren’t we dying of alcoholism and addiction? Aren’t the 12-Steps keeping us sober and showing us how to recover? Isn’t that amazing? It is amazing! It’s a miracle. As long as we stay sober and work the program of recovery, there is no limit to how much better our lives can get. Just keep working the 12-Steps, and give it some time.

The 1st-Step Is Just That

The 1st-Step is big for us at Jaywalker Lodge. This is the one that made the difference for us. In fact, really understanding, personalizing, and working a deep 1st-Step is what got us excited about working the rest of the 12-Steps. It’s what helped us find patience, gratitude, and begin our new lives in recovery with hope, joy, and purpose. Heck, the 1st-Step is what got us here right now, talking about recovery in the first place.

We believe in the 1st-Step with all our hearts. See, we were chronic relapsers ourselves. We were Jaywalkers, just like it talks about in the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous. We’d tried to recover before, but we just couldn’t grab hold of this thing. Then we were educated about what the 1st-Step really means. We had it explained to us by somebody who had recovered, somebody who had been where we were and was now happily in recovery. The 1st-Step was made personal for us, and we were given the opportunity to see ourselves in the recovery literature. Seeing our disease in the program gave us hope that it could work for us like it did for others. We were taught about the true nature of alcoholism and addiction, and we began not only to understand it, but to relate to it on a deeper level than ever before. We believed the solution, and we knew it was our best shot at not dying of alcoholism and addiction.

Maybe you’re just like us. Maybe what you need to finally stop the cycle of relapse is a rock-solid foundation built firmly upon a true, deeply personal understanding and education of the 1st-Step.

For the most part, alcoholism and addiction are a confounding, frustrating disease that is largely misunderstood by doctors in the medical and psychiatric fields, and even by the people who suffer from the disease or are affected by it. Luckily, there is a solution contained in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. Not only does this book do a world-class job of helping us understand alcoholism and addiction, but it can also help sufferers diagnose themselves. At this point, they will be directed to the solution that is outlined within that same book. The 12-Step program is designed to be undertaken with guidance from someone who is already living in recovery. This process almost always produces the necessary psychic change and vital spiritual experience that end the cycle of relapse and lead to lasting recovery. At Jaywalker Lodge, many of us once struggled to achieve and maintain long-term sobriety. We have discovered the most common sticking points and aim to help people overcome those hang-ups, so they can finally experience recovery for themselves. To learn more about our programs for men, call us now at (866) 529-9255.

author avatar
Stefan Bate, MA, LAC, CCTP Chief Clinical Officer
Stefan Bate, BA, MA, LAC holds a Master's Degree in Applied Psychology from Regis University and is a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Colorado. Stefan has wide-ranging experience in the field of addiction recovery including: working as a recovery coach, therapist, and program director.

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