The benefits of relapse.

The persistent will get it, the consistent will keep it.

Relapse is to recovery as cold is to ice cream. I can’t tell you how many times I tried to quit using. I think I graduated out-patient rehab successfully three times. It’s a funny thing though, the relationship of our dueling mind isn’t it? How can we want two things which are at war with each other? When did it become so black and white is the question. The answer of our desire is to balance it all. Yet, we can not. So, our answer must be to use, or not to use. Is it our inability to stick to a decision? Is our suffering all because of our indecision?

While in one of my many rehab visits, I learned that every time we try to quit using, the next time we have a better chance of success. They just don’t know the exact percent. They differ from person to person. This stuck with me for years. Every time I tried to quit, I hoped this would be the time. All but one yielded failure. It is well that I persisted. However, with all the people who have achieved long term sobriety, there are many who still fall back to their old life style years after their success. Which brings me to this belief. The persistent will get it. The consistent will keep it. Time for the break down! 

Why did I want to quit? Why was I trying to find a new life? For others? For me? What did I want more than to make myself feel, different? Simon Sinek wrote a book he titled, “Find your why.” Honestly, my why was not clearly defined while I clawed desperately to the light. I didn’t want to be in trouble anymore. Well, after a while jail isn’t that bad. So that lost its appeal, at least at the time. It was just a part of life. I wanted stability? Man, I wish it was that easy. I loved the life of little responsibility. You know what my why was? My son, and my grandpa. 

I hadn’t seen my son in too long. I started looking forward in time and saw a life which Peyton was in search of answers. I remember being high walking around Crescent lake, in St. Pete. Florida. We were taking pictures at the time. Heather told me I looked like Peyton. I stared a long time at that picture. My mind formulated a story in which his wonder led him in search for answers. He came to Florida getting high and living a life like mine to see why. Why I chose this, over him. 

Wow, I just balled. I mean I haven’t thought about this in years. I don’t get it? I mean, I have been clean for 5 years now. He is a part of my life. Still, the remnants of this alternate reality my mind flashed to, or imagined was real to me. Even today as I write this, I can’t believe how big the battle was. All those little things man. 

One day I put a white tee shirt on. It’s remarkable how something so simple can start a rollercoaster of emotions. You see, if we rewind to my childhood, you’d see a toddler and adolescent who would get more excited to go see his grandpa, than to go to the candy store. Grandpa’s nick name for me was Whomper. As I grew vertically into teenage maturity, I thought my grandpa’s style was cool. I loved his joggers and how soft his tee shirts were. When I stayed the night, he’d always give me a soft white T-shirt. When I’d put it on, it’d have his smell. 

Back in Florida, as I pulled a plain white T over my face, the scent of his traveled as electric through my nasal cavity to spark memories long buried. As fast as flipping pages the memoirs of our past flashed in my mind. Again, emotions dammed were released through the flood gates of my eyes. Into my friends arms my face went buried. He had no idea why I started crying seemingly for no reason at all. I had to explain that my grandpa hadn’t talked to me since I overdosed with Peyton in the car. I had to tell him that if I didn’t straighten up, he’d die with worry on his heart. That I loved him more than I could describe. This vision, the vision of him leaving this world. The man I respected more than anyone in the world, would move on, ashamed of me.

I couldn’t see my why until I looked from the sky and forward in time. The end results of my actions. What’s your why? It might take a change of perspective to really sink in.
Once we try to quit a habit the second time, we have begun the process of persistence. To persist is to not give up toward your goal. During the quest of persistence, we are developing into the person we need to become to reach the next chapter of our life. We must keep trying no matter what. We mustn’t give up. Every time we try and quit, we are learning something. Consciously or sub conscious we are taking in new information and developing ourselves to a person who will overcome. The habits and mindset we are developing will in the end, bring us to our goal, however, once we get there, are we going to stay there?

Persistence and consistence are likely part of the same pole only different ends. They are separated in a sense by the goal. Once the goal is achieved, we must continue doing what got us there. Should we falter or slack in our diligence we could lose what we worked so hard for. 

Once we have a why, even if it isn’t much we can begin to persist. Persistence is just a long word for not giving up. Often, we want consistence. Persistence is consistence. It just isn’t as consistent as we’d like. Once it has become the frequency of our desire, we call it consistence.  Many times, we will persist until we get it, then quit. If we don’t continue through consistence, we will lose what we persisted for. The persistent will get it. The consistent will get it.  

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The BA2L is real,
Be Addicted to life.
Eric (Airek)


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