I’ve heard a lot of questions asked by fellow addicts and alcoholics regarding certain aspects of recovery and sobriety – questions that, however sincere, I could deem nothing short of misguided. Most of these questions revolve around what exactly relapse entails, and how long one can dick around in the gray area before actually needing to pick up a white chip.
It isn’t uncommon for newly sober individuals to freak out after eating some butter rum ice cream or obliviously devouring a whole plate of penne a la vodka, unaware that such trace (truly undetectable) amounts of alcohol will do little to absolutely zero damage. It really all boils down to the same thing – intention. Are you eating gallons upon gallons of buttered rum ice cream in attempts of getting wasted? If so, you have a lot of really serious issues to address.
Are you taking Benadryl because you are having a serious allergic reaction to something you just ate and need antihistamines in your system to prevent cardiac arrest? You’re probably in the clear. But if you are taking three Benadryl before bed to help you sleep, you may want to take a step back and check your motives.
It’s All About Intention
I was out on a date several weeks ago with a “normie” – an individual who can drink normally and will never fully understand addiction. My charming date took me to a Thai restaurant and ordered a Thai beer, which I assured him, was fine (it didn’t bother me – this is not necessarily the case for everyone).
He asked if I wanted a sip, just to try it, seeing as I had never had Thai beer before and apparently it was super exotic and different. To me, all beer tastes the same. It tastes like alcohol and therefore it tastes good. Without hesitation I took his glass and tried the beer. Fortunately it was not a trigger for me, and I enjoyed my Pad Thai and went about my business.
Did I rush to a meeting once the evening ended and pick up a white chip? No. I did not relapse. I took one small sip of beer without really thinking beforehand, with absolutely no intention of altering my mood with the assistance of an illicit substance.
Of course, I don’t recommend this to my booze-hound friends, seeing as tasting alcohol is a huge trigger for most alcoholics (including me probably, had I not been so consumed with eating my pad thai sexily, which is literally not even possible). That being said, I will not go out of my way to try anyone’s alcoholic beverage again to err on the side of caution. I can definitely picture myself taste-testing a room full of drinks and rationalizing, “What, I just had small sips to try the different flavors!” as I hiccup, take off my shirt, and get into a stranger’s car.
One Is Too Many, 1,000 Is… Way Too Many
When it comes to relapse, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what counts and what doesn’t. Again, it is truly all about intention. If you take the prescribed dosage of DayQuil because you’re at work dying of a head cold and you need immediate relief, you probably don’t need to lock yourself in the closet and read Bill’s Story 500 times. But if you drink a bottle of DayQuil and chase it down with a 12-pack of Keystone Light because the Giants aren’t doing too hot this season – pack your bags. You just bought a one-way ticket to Time For Rehabsville.
Struggling With Addiction?
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