Thoughts Alcoholics Might Have Before Relapsing


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In Chapter 3 of the Big Book it is stated, “Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.” This is the case for everyone with an alcohol addiction. There is no controlling how much you drink. It may seem as if that can be a solution for a while. You may even go a year without drinking and then be able to go some time only having a few drinks. However, eventually, you will be back to your old ways. You will be back to living the addictive lifestyle if you pick up a drink again. There are some thoughts alcoholics might have before relapsing that you should be aware of. Knowing about these thoughts may help to prevent you from having a relapse. Before going further, you should know that if you have relapsed, you can get help from an alcohol rehab center today.

Not So Bad If…

If you start thinking that it wouldn’t be so bad if….so and so…that is the beginning of relapsing thinking. For example, in Chapter 3 of the Big Book, Jim believed whiskey wouldn’t affect him as much if he mixed it with his milk. This was one of those cases where a man believed he could outsmart alcohol. This can never happen. You might think that it wouldn’t be so bad if you only drank beer instead of vodka. Again, with the hold alcohol has over you, this isn’t possible. As an alcoholic, you are still going to be addicted to the way alcohol makes you feel. In fact, you may drink far too much beer to try getting the same effects vodka had on you. Some men and women try this and end up with alcohol poisoning.

It Would Be Nice If…

Another mentality that often precedes a relapse is it would be nice if…such and such. In Chapter 3 of the Big Book, Fred decided, “…it would be nice to have a couple cocktails with dinner.” He ordered one cocktail, then another, had a highball that night, and many more. Thinking that it would be nice if you could have a drink is normal. However, as an alcoholic, you can drink normally. There is no chance of that happening. It might seem blunt, but it is the truth. Alcoholics can’t afford to convince themselves that it would be nice to drink like their non-alcoholic co-workers, friends, or family members. The risk is much too high.

Deserving of a Break…

Another mental thought many alcoholics have prior to a relapse is that they deserve to have a drink. They feel they have worked hard and deserve to take a break. The problem is that in their minds their prior version of a break was going out drinking, getting drunk at a party, or drinking until they blacked out. That is not a sane version of a break. As is said in many pieces of literature, “repeating the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.” That is exactly what drinking to have a break is…insanity. Alcoholics can’t drink to take a break. They will end up drunk…whether it is the first night they take a drink again…or shortly thereafter.

These are some of the thoughts alcoholics might have before relapsing. If you have relapsed, the first step is to get into one of the detox programs. You can go through an alcohol rehabilitation program after that.
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Esra Ahmed - MS, NCC, LPC, MHSP
Esra Ahmed - MS, NCC, LPC, MHSP

Experienced Clinical Director with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital & health care industry. Skilled in Anger Management, Healthcare, Medicine, EMDR, and Life Transitions. Strong healthcare services professional with a Masters Degree focused in Psychology from The University of Memphis.

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