Relapse can be a part of your journey, it can be a teacher, it can be something you overcome, it isn’t something that you should treat like the end of the world, but relapse is NOT a part of recovery – it is the opposite of recovery.
Saying relapse is a part of recovery is like saying an infection is part of a wound healing. They both can happen, but both are preventable if you take the necessary precautions.
When you say something like “relapse is a part of recovery”, you are telling your mind that relapse is a predestined part of your journey. Although you may not intend to relapse at that moment, you are planting the seed.
Once the seed is planted, every time a temptation comes up a little voice will appear in your consciousness that says, “it will be OK, it is a part of recovery”. If you already have this as a set belief, you will silently agree with that voice. And every time you silently agree with that belief, you give the voice more volume, until that seemingly innocent statement becomes your justification.
And then you relapse. And you justify it as “part of the recovery” rather than doing the work to see what the underlying cause of relapse and what to do to prevent it next time.
That sets a pattern of a false belief system that keeps people in the viscous cycle of being a chronic relapser.
The words we tell ourselves and each other matter. While it is important that we don’t kick ourselves when we are down after a set-back, it is even more important that we don’t set ourselves up for failure in the first place.
It is critical that we take our power back rather than constantly justifying something that kills so many of us.