Addiction,Recovery, Relapse


Addiction, recovery, relapse; it’s a loop which grips you like a noose. That first step to recovery is painful and frightening. Many addicts are in two minds about it when they take the first step, so it comes to nothing; in no time they are back on the street scoring. It’s claimed that you have to hit rock bottom before you’re ready for recovery, but rock bottom can be an awfully long way down, with untold dangers on the way.

It’s unusual for an addict to go into permanent recovery at the first attempt. They often get into that familiar pattern: addiction, recovery, relapse, addiction, recovery, relapse. This is traumatising for everyone who cares. Each time the addict relapses they are at high risk of overdose, as their tolerance for the drug has gone down. Family and friends often give up on the addict, but they need to know that with every attempt, there is more chance of success, just as every time a learner driver takes a driving test, they are more likely to pass.

So, addiction, recovery, relapse is a loop which grips you like a noose, but a noose can be untied. The circle can be broken, placing the addict in permanent recovery, though only time can tell if this has occurred.

Addicts get clean every day, and stay clean for the rest of their lives. Some of them go on to work tirelessly to support other addicts through recovery, though their hearts may be torn over and over again. I have great admiration for all recovering addicts.

Today, I pay tribute to recovered addicts everywhere; in particular, two brave young women who will remain nameless (it’s enough that they know who they are); a local man called Jimmy, who has become an inspiration to many in this town; Adam, at the Bideford Lighthouse project, and, of course, my daughter Laura.

I live in hope that I may add my son’s name to this list at some point.

With Grateful thanks to Sumyanna, whose thoughtful suggestion has given me new hope, and who may be pleased to learn that she inspired this post.

The Daily Post #Loop

©Jane Paterson Basil

38 thoughts on “Addiction,Recovery, Relapse

  1. good to clarify the cycle of ups and downs and that you have found support and inspiration 🙂
    I enjoy the friendship of several recovered addicts altho they don’t proclaim their background to many .. each and every one makes invaluable contributions to their community and we couldn’t ask for more 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m grateful for all the amazing support and inspiration I get from the WP community. It’s led me to view the world in a different light 🙂
      You’ve made a point that I is missing from my post – recovered addicts tend to become stalwarts of the community 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. absolutely … they really know what suffering is about and when they do turn around it’s completely .. and service is deep within them maybe to right the wrongs or simply out of gratitude … just look at your daughter 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh so sweet. Now I’ve got tears in my eyes. I do hope you can as his name as well. I know you truly have not given up on him and I won’t either. Congratulations to the beautiful ladies who were strong enough to give themselves new leases on life. May they enjoy life fully.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure they’ll both have wonderful lives, judging by the progress they have made. They are both kind, generous women, who’ll leave an impression on those they meet.


    1. Thank you. It’s a hard lesson to learn, and even those who should know better can make that mistake . When my two youngest children became addicts I knew about addiction, and yet I was in denial where they were concerned. I thought they’d be different – a couple of months and they’d have had enough and clean themselves up. That was ten years ago. My daughter’s been in recovery for three months, and I know how lucky I am.


  3. As a recovering addict I totally relate to this, and yes I am in the business of supporting other addicts. I host and produce a weekly podcast on iTunes called “Addictions” I try to provide valuable insight for those struggling with addiction. You can check it out and listen right from my wordpress site.

    You’ve gained a follower here. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know when you went into recovery, but congratulations, and sincere respect to you for your dedication. You’re doing a great job.
      I’m listening to one of your podcasts as I write. You’re talking with an addict about the social acceptability of alcoholism. I’ve spoken to a few drug workers about alcoholism – they all agreed that it’s the hardest to deal with – bearing in mind that there’s not much meth in this town – if any, and we talked before they started to feel the effects of the crack dealers moving in.
      I have a site about addiction, but I got lost somewhere along the way, then I burnt out. I need to get it running properly again. I also had an idea for a recovery site, but I chickened out of the responsibilty.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So far I am going on 8 months sober. And honestly it is hard to believe. But I do know one thing, I am never turning back. That is for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. If he was willing I would love to do a telephone interview with your son for a future episode of my podcast. He can remain totally anonymous if he would like.
            If he would rather not be interviewed and just want to tell his story, he can call 616-522-2364 and leave his story in the form of a voicemail. Length is not an issue there. But if he would prefer, I can speak with him over the phone and do the interview that way. Again, if he does not want to do it, that is no problem. I just thought I would ask. Thanks in advance.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I don’t see him, but I’ll speak to him about it when I get a chance. I can’t predict whether he’ll want to do it, and he has major issues with honesty, but I’d be pleased if he agrees to it.
              Would skype be an option? I know you don’t use video, but the advantage of skype is that it’s free – and we live in the UK.

              Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you.
          Some of my earlier post are angry. Writing as a parent of two addicts who were abusive in different and extreme ways, sometimes it got too much. The blog was intended primarily for families and friends of addicts, to tell them that none of us are perfect; we do our best, but we all mess up, and to remind them that they weren’t alone.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. We seem to be writing about similar things from a different perspective.
            It feels good to express and also talk. I’m always here for a rant 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Congratulations. I meant what I said; I have great admiration for recovering addicts. You have a lot to offer the world, once you’ve reached a safe plateau.
      Thank you for reading, and for your warm comment.


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