I have heard dozens of addicts confess to a relapse to sex addiction – every few days. Here’s the hard question: If you continue to have relapses, is it really a relapse?
Poet Pablo Neruda offered an interesting perspective. “He who returns never left.”
I believe there is a danger in saying, “I have had a relapse” too loosely. If you are falling every few days, here’s the problem with calling that a relapse. It infers you were doing well, and then suddenly fell. You were riding the wave of recovery, living a life of solid sobriety, and then you crashed. The danger with this thinking is that it overestimates your progress, which leads to the complacency which may have led to each “fall” in the first place.
We only go backwards (relapse) because we quit moving forward. That is why Jesus warned, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation” (Matthew 26:41).
Robert Collier offered great advice: “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”
Recovery Step: If you are a chronic “relapser,” admit what is obvious to the rest of us. You aren’t really in recovery. You may be dabbling around the edges, finding spotty success, but that’s not true recovery. So try this going forward – judge your recovery by the results you are getting, rather than by the intentions of your heart.