Relapse – Keep coming back!

Relapse – Keep coming back!


Two minutes earlier I was sitting on the couch, feeling in control, watching a TV show. The past days have been full of red flags that I have ignored. “Don’t be a wuss”, I tell myself, “You can get through this”. This being intense thoughts about drinking, over and over, anxiety building, the literal urge to drink. That’s my mental obsession kicking in.

Had I better self-awareness I would have noticed it much sooner. But I too often have I noticed imminent danger only when it was late – thus minimizing my chances to get help.

Something in my head suddenly clicks into place, I get up from the couch and put on my shoes.

This happens in a sort of trance that I call autopilot-mode. My alcoholism is directing me now, with little resistance from me. I have crossed the line and am firmly in the grip of what I can only call plain insanity.

Had I not crossed the line, I could have used my tools:

  • call somebody from the program and TELL what’s about to happen
  • pray to my Higher Power for help and safety
  • drag myself into a meeting and TELL somebody what’s going on

just to name a few.

But it’s too late now, my alcoholism has convinced me that I want, no, need a drink, and whatever capacity of sane thinking I had is not accessible anymore. With tunnel vision I hurry out of the house and walk to the store in a more and more urgent pace, because my body yearns to have alcohol.

This is not a craving as we understand it in AA, that one would set in as soon as I drink. I don’t care about anything at that moment, I enter the store.N

ow, as my mind understand that alcohol is going to happen, my heartbeat is off the charts and my hands have a slight tremor.

“Don’t do this! Don’t throw away your sobriety!” I think, but to leave without alcohol is unthinkable.


Back home, the first drink. My whole body exhales. Peace. Peace, finally! Now that the immediate thirst is quenched, I remember how badly I just screwed up. I think of AA and my friends there. How I am disappointing everybody one more time. I think about my job, my partner. And then I proceed to get drunk as fast as possible, so I don’t have to think. Feel. Exist.Even though I learned in AA and saw for myself that drinking gets always worse, never better, I am yet again amazed how things went downhill so quickly. I am under the illusion that this time it will be different. But I am left with a memory gap the size of a mountain, and over the next few days painfully have to find out what I did…


Every single time I relapsed, my friends in AA told me to “keep coming back”. I needed my time and was too ashamed to go back to AA, but after increasingly shorter periods of drinking I give up and do come back. By now I have realized I have no other option. I will drink myself to death without AA, and insanity knocks on my door pretty instantly when I drink.

The last time I was only drinking for a month and I nearly killed myself. I cannot drink. I cannot not drink. My existence is a disaster. Powerlessness? Unmanageability? I think so.


For today I am sober. I do the daily actions that were suggested to me by my sponsor. Every little thing I do according to the principles of AA is a little insurance against the next drink. I don’t know what tomorrow brings. But most likely I will ask my Higher Power for a safe and sober day, and to do its will. This is the best chance I have. And believe it or not, I am actually looking forward to tomorrow.