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The individual must maintain the discipline that insures sobriety.
However, there are ways in which others can help. Nearly every person
close to an acutely confused person is able to recognize behavior
changes which indicate a return to the old ways of thinking.

Often these individuals and other support members have tried to warn
the person, but the person may consider it nagging or a violation of
his/hers privacy. These are the ones looking for the excuse to relapse.

If approached, most will not be willing to be told anything, therefore
allow them their choice to "play the tape out".
However, if they are willing to go over an inventory
of symptoms, this is a sign they are asking for help.

If the symptoms are caught early enough and recognized they
may ask for help to get "back on the beam" again. A weekly inventory
of symptoms might prevent elapses.

The following is a list of common symptoms leading to Relapse or known in the 12 Step Programs as
"stink'n think'n " that is the source of relapse:

"1.
Exhaustion: Allowing yourself to become overly tired or in poor health. Some addicts are also prone to work
addictions perhaps in a hurry to make up for lost time. Good health and enough rest are important. If you feel well you
are more apt to think well. Feel poorly and your thinking is apt to deteriorate. Feel bad enough and you might begin
thinking about your addiction to help make you feel better.

2.
Dishonesty: This begins with a pattern of unnecessary little lies and deceits with fellow workers, friends, and family.
Then comes, the important lies to yourself! This is called rationalization or making up excuses for not doing what you do
not want to do, or for doing what you know you should not do.

3.
Impatience: Things are not happening fast enough. Or, others are not doing what they should or what you want them
to do.

4.
Argumentativeness: Arguing small and ridiculous points of view indicates a need to always to be right. " Why don't
you be reasonable and agree with me?" Looking for any excuse to re-engage the old behavior!

5.
Depression: Unreasonable and unaccountable despair may occur in cycles and should be dealt with by talking it out
of the system.

6.
Frustration: At people and also because things may not be going your way. Remember, everything is not going to be
just the way you want it to be.

7.
Self-pity: "Why do these things happen to me?" Why must I be a slave to an addiction?" Poor me... Nobody
appreciates all I am doing - (for them?)

8.
Cockiness: I've got it made, so I no longer have to fear addiction, I will never do that again. If one lies to himself long
enough he then becomes;

9.
Complacency: "Engaging my addiction is the furthest thing from my mind." Therefore, I do not need to be taught
anymore because I know it all. Whereas, to always have a little fear is a good thing. More relapses occur when things are
going well than otherwise.

10.
Expecting Too Much From Others: "I've changed so why hasn't everyone else?" It's a plus if they do, but it is still
your problem if they do not. They may not trust you yet as they may be waiting for further proof. You cannot expect
others to change their lifestyle just because you have changed yours.

11.
Letting Up On Disciplines, Such As: Prayer, mediation, daily inventory, support attendance. This can stem either
from complacency or boredom. You cannot afford to be bored while working any recovery program. The will cause
relapse every time. Accountability is your only friend now.

12.
Use of Mood Altering Chemicals: You may feel the need to ease things with a pill, and your doctor may go along
with you. You may never have had a problem with chemicals before, but unless you have a severe case of depression,
you can not afford to take a chance on chemical dependency now.

13.
Wanting Too Much: Do not set goals you cannot reach with normal effort. Do not expect too much. It's always great
when good things you were not expecting happen. You will get what you are entitled to as long as you do your best, but
maybe not as soon as you think you should. "Happiness is not having what you want, but rather wanting what you have."

14.
Forgetting Gratitude: You may be looking pragmatically regarding your life, concentrating on problems that still are
not totally corrected. Nobody wants to be a Pollyanna, but it is good to remember where you started from and how much
better life is now.

15.
"It Can't Happen To Me!": This is dangerous thinking! Almost anything can happen to you and is more likely to if
you get careless. Remember you have a progress heart condition, and you will be in much worse shape if you relapse.

16.
Omnipotence: This is a feeling that results from a combination of many of the above. You now have all the answers
for yourself and others. Therefore, no one can tell you anything. If you ignore suggestions or advice from others, you
invite relapse and is probably imminent unless a drastic change in your thinking is allowed to take place." - reprinted with
permission of the publisher, Hazeldon Foundation, Box 176, Center City, MN 55012. Taken from "A LOOK AT RELAPSE"
by Charles W. Crewe

Dishonesty appears to have become a way of life for most addicts. Most have learned to lie, even best to their
own-self. These tend to lie about their feelings, about their addiction participation, about money, about where they've
been and what they've done. Lying has become a way of life for most addicts, partly because it's a way of protecting
their-self from others realizing how deep they are engaged in their adverse behaviors, and partly because their minds
and emotions so muddled that many appear not to have full discernment between truth and fiction.

Fear which leads to Anger appears to be a key component of relapse. There is an old saying that if one can not
control its anger, its anger will control the one. During my many hours spent in Twelve Step Meetings I often witnessed
new members who seemed to be constantly searching for subjects to argue about. Later I realized that it had nothing to
do with the subject, but rather was everything to do with their need to shoot holes, or look for flaws in the recovery
process that would allow them a reason to make their escape. Therefore, if we look hard enough, our-self will give us just
the excuse that fits.

However, it was
complacency that was the least obvious to the addict, yet was the most often used. Anyone who
believes they have learned all they need to know, Knows nothing! It was if they suddenly had all of the correct answers,
they had the magic wand, they had found the silver bullet and they had already heard and spoke all of the correct words.
These were often those who suddenly disappeared, later to quietly slip back into the rooms of recovery. We knew where
they had been, but no words or harsh looks were ever needed to be exchanged.

Relapse tends to be part of the recovery process. 85% of addicts relapse in their first year of recovery. So if you fall off
the horse, get back on.

Relapse

If we continue to do what
we have always done, we
will continue to receive
what we always have.
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