Does Relapse Mean Failure?

He relapsed, does that mean he failed? 

It seems like over and over it’s the same old crap, every time. 

Won’t he ever just GET IT?
 

Those words were expressed very loudly by a father of a son with a drug addiction: Me. 

No, no, no, this isn’t a current rant. Everything is still good with my son today. These are the words that still echo in the walls of our home. 

We all evolve and learn in the process of parenting someone with an addiction. When I first entered this world, my way of thinking was cut and dried, black and white. You either recovered or you didn’t. If you didn’t, you failed. 

Well, learning is hard, especially if you happen to be an adult. And when learning involves first unlearning what you believe to be true, it is particularly difficult. 

I struggled a lot. It literally took me years to understand what so many people told me over and over: Relapse is a part of recovery. It was hard to accept this idea when I couldn’t relate it to what I’d experienced and believed in my life.

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by Ron Grover, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids