Life in treatment is about learning to walk again. At first, we staggered from fiasco to fiasco until, falling down, we could not get up. For some unfortunates the fall can be harsh, resulting in jails, institutions and death. For those lucky enough to have reached a degree of powerlessness due to their addiction and were fortunate enough to find some help, there exists a way back.
However, the journey back is fraught with hazards too. Having been graced with a daily reprieve from disaster, we can only do the suggested things and begin to build a new paradigm for living. Unfortunately, the past catches up as well. Forgotten debts resurface. Old relationships thought long dead are resurrected; current partners take the opportunity to reclaim resentments – put on ice while you were in therapy.
The challenge for the addict is to resist being sucked back into the vortex of guilt, shame and anger, because therein lies relapse. Other people’s baggage is theirs to sort out. The addict needs to put their recovery first.