Monday, January 31, 2011

The Dope Doctor: Relapse is not a part of Recovery but IS part of the Disease [AJ mentioned]

I hear the statement “relapse is a part of recovery” so often that I felt that maybe I should throw my own 2 cents in.  Ok, maybe a few more than 2 cents, but hey, it’s what I do right?

Anyway, as many of you already know, my co-host Denise McLean Solis is the mother to Backstreet Boy AJ McLean, who I will refer to as Alex for the remainder of this blog.  Many of you are also very aware of his history with addiction and attempts at recovery.  If not then let me update you.  Alex came on our show during his Christmas Break from the NKOTBSB World Tour.  This alerted some attention because up until that point many fans were wondering “is he drinking”, “i think i saw him drinking”, “yep, he is drinking”, and if so, why would he be coming on The Couch Live, where he knows that his mom and Lui are all about discussing recovery?  Well, he came on to admit to us, to you as his fans, and of course, himself, that he not only has been drinking, but that it was out of control, and that he recognized the need to enter into a rehab and recovery once again.  I’m not sure you all understand how difficult this must have been for Alex, but anyone out there suffering from this disease knows, that putting it out there like that even without the fame is very difficult.  Many of us don’t want our own family, friends, or even a sponsor to hold us accountable.  Well how about millions of fans?  He didn’t give excuses, ask for pity, or cry out for attention.  He simply admitted to the struggle and let us know what he intends to do about it.  Very shortly after the show he solidified his plans and set the date.  Now he didn’t broadcast the exact date and was seen out on New Years, other celebrations, and enjoyed his birthday, so this caused concern to many of you, as to his sincerity.  That makes sense.  But, again, he had a plan and has followed thru with that plan to date.  We all wish him well as so many of you do.

So on to the real reason for this post.  Back to the statement “relapse is a part of recovery.”  What?  Recovery by definition is “gradual healing (through rest) after sickness or injury.”  A relapse is to “deteriorate in health.”  So if you look at these definitions you can see that although during a healing process we may suffer a relapse, the relapse is actually a part of the sickness or disease, but not the recovery process.  Those are polar opposites.  A lapse or relapse in our attempt for recovery from the disease of addiction is usually predicted by an interruption in our efforts, attitude, and/or thoughts related to our disease.  Therefore, they can be very useful in finding out where we need additional work, how to adjust our plan, and how to identify future interruptions when they are coming but not fully there yet (red flags).  Although very alarming, upsetting, and sometimes traumatic and/or chaotic, the relapse is most often survived.  Not always unfortunately, so don’t take this to mean that you can relapse and be o.k, because many of us know someone that paid the ultimate price for their relapse.  May they all rest in peace.  But, for those that survive it, it’s time to get back to work.  But not by excusing it as part of your recovery, because it wasn’t.  It was part of your disease and therefore the appropriate action and understanding on your part is necessary to avoid continued relapse.

For those that consider themselves “chronic relapsers,”  then the deal is to go deeper, harder, stronger, and with a very solid support system. To thine own self be true, as we say, and get with someone who truly understands how to help you through this.  But do not try this alone.  Never do you have to do this alone.  Starting your recovery over is never a crime.  Dying from it is.  Sure you feel embarrassed, ashamed, and disappointed, but we have steps for that.  That’s what recovery helps you deal with.

Recovery is possible, is worth it, and you deserve to experience it.  But never forget that it is a “process”  a “gradual process.”  And for those that have an addict as a friend, loved one, or idol, remember that.  Respect that.  And know, that nobody wants this disease or what comes with it.  This disease has no prejudice of race, color, social status, economy, or popularity. It affects us all and therefore all are invited to support any and all efforts of recovery with hope, faith, and understanding.  So please support anyones efforts for recovery whether it’s the first or 1000th time they do it.  It’s always real, it’s always possible, and always difficult.  But so very very very worth it.

Thanks for letting me share this with you and I hope that it helps where it needs to.  Smiles and hugs to you all.

Lui…..aka the dope doctor.

[Posted by TheDopeDoctor on January 11th, 2011,]