When you get clean, it is said that the addict inside of you goes to the gym and gets stronger so that when you experience a moment of weakness, he is ready on the sidelines. He will convince you that you need to get your hands on that drug of choice that used to make you feel so much better.
What that addict in your brain fails to remember is where your addiction took you. It hadn’t been fun or pleasurable in a while and your life was suffering because of your choices.
Escaping The Reality Of Drug Addiction
This part of your brain tries to convince you, pretty much forever, that relapsing is a great idea. That you need alcohol, drugs, and an escape from reality so that you can cope with all the B.S. that surrounds you.
If you find yourself in an uncomfortable moment of weakness, that addict brain will rationalize substance use and you may not be able to talk yourself out of a relapse. This part of you will come up with some crazy excuses for relapsing, and if you are not prepared for it, you may find yourself messed up and back to those destructive behaviours you’ve worked so hard to change.
Do any of these 10 excuses for relapsing sound familiar to you?
1. I thought I could have just a couple of drinks.
Let’s say your drug of choice is Vicodin. You never had a problem with alcohol. You are out and someone offers you a drink. It seems harmless enough, so you think, “I never liked alcohol that much before, I’ll be fine with a couple of glasses of wine.”
Wrong. Transfer of addiction means that the addict part of your brain will crave the altered state of consciousness, no matter what substance you’re using. One glass of wine probably turns into enough to get hammered, and then you will be seeking your number 1 drug of choice.
2. It was my birthday.
If you think that your birthday each year is a good time to “cheat” and it’s your excuse to relapse this year, you may want to reconsider. Just like Excuse #1, your one day of use will probably turn into a full binge with multiple days lost and bad decisions made.
3. It was my ________’s wedding. (friend, sibling, cousin, etc.)
Same rationale as Excuses #1 & #2.
4. I earned it after I __________. (got a new job, got a promotion, achieved a certain number of sober days, helped somebody out, etc.)
If drugs and alcohol are serving as a reward at all, then you may need to reevaluate your recovery. Again, the addict part of your brain, which is a part of your life, will be getting stronger and stronger while you’re sober. The second you put that drug of choice back into your system, you will slide right back to where you left off, if not worse.
You can come up with other, sober ways to celebrate accomplishments.
5. I thought I was cured. I had been clean for ___ days.
Once an addict, always an addict. Rehab is not a cure, and a certain number of days sober is not a cure either. As addicts, we make a decision every day to stay clean. Keep going!
6. I wasn’t sleeping well without __________. (your drug of choice, alcohol, pills, etc.)
This is simply an excuse.
7. _______ (someone) did _________ (something) to me!
People are always going to do things to us we don’t like. Are you going to hurt yourself by coping with substances?
8. There was no one there to stop me.
See Excuse #7.
9. I have physical and/or chronic pain that I just cannot deal with on my own.
Consult with your doctor, there are narcotic-free ways to treat pain.
10. I wanted to feel good again.
Join forces with other sober people to discover ways to enjoy your life without drugs and alcohol. There is no good excuse for relapsing!