Written By: Fiona Stockard

Who is a Chronic Relapser?

Once upon a time, I dubbed myself a chronic relapser. Maybe you’ve heard the term?

It’s someone who’s trying to get sober, but can’t stop using. It’s someone who falls into a vicious cycle of going to meetings, using, going to detox, going to meetings, using, going to detox, and finally declaring, “why even bother trying to get sober?”

Potential and the Chronic Relapser

My life wasn’t always this way.

Years ago, I was a kid with so much potential. Many months ago I was in treatment. I did my thirty days. Hell, I even quit smoking and was nominated floor president!

So, what happened? I left treatment and refused to take any suggestions. My heart wasn’t in recovery. I had reservations, stipulations, and speculations. I was nineteen. I never used a needle. I was jealous of thirty-five year olds getting sober. I was jealous they had more years of using than I did! To put it another way, I was battling my demons and not talking to anyone about it.

There were two ways my situation could have played out.

Scenario One: the Road to Happy Destiny

I could have talked to someone about how I felt. I could have gotten a real sponsor, instead of the sponsor I called only once (to cry about my latest arrest). If I was honest about my feelings, I’d have quickly learned that most people new to recovery have the exact same thoughts!

I could’ve taken suggestions, even though I didn’t want to. I could’ve gone to a halfway house and lived with people just like me. I could’ve tried prayer, whether or not I believed in it. Instead, I spent countless hours looking for proof. By doing so, I missed God (or Higher-Power,if you please) altogether.

Scenario Two: Going on to the Bitter End


This was the scenario I chose instead. It’s a terrible and unhappy life. Unfortunately, this disease is cunning, baffling, and powerful. So, off I went.

I teased myself at first, saying things like “I’ll call my sponsor later,” and “I don’t really need to go to that meeting. Maybe I needed the pain. Maybe I needed to get it out of my system. Sometimes we need to be beaten completely down. Later, I learned we hit bottom whenever we stop digging!

I think the most important thing I should’ve done was reach out to people. I should have been open, honest, and upfront with other women.

Honesty and the Chronic Relapser

I’m a true believer that if you’re not ready to get sober, you’re not going to get sober. There’s nothing anyone can do. There’s nothing anyone can say. There’s no place, thing, or person that’ll save you.

If you’re done though, if you’re ready to get sober, there’s hope. For the women who’s fed up with living a sh**ty life, there’s so much hope. Once I was done using, I got honest quick. From this honesty, all sorts of remarkable relationships began to spring up in my life. Even though things around me didn’t change a lot, things inside of me did. I felt like a new woman.

To this day, if I’m going through a rough patch, I know all I have to do is reach out to another woman. All I have to do is be honest. All I have to do is talk to my sponsor, or a sober-support, about it and I feel better.

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