Relapse. It always looms.
It’s the elephant in the rooms of AA. It’s something I face everyday with the other clients at my rehab center.
But, it today happened to my best friend in rehab. And, she didn’t tell me.
I found out as we went around the room sharing our sobriety dates in our relapse prevention group this afternoon. I don’t know what happened. Because after group, I just couldn’t reach out to her, I was frozen. I had to go talk to a counselor. I still can’t explain why.
I couldn’t face her. I didn’t know what to say. What to think. How to be.
So many things are going through my head tonight. And, I can only imagine how she’s feeling. She didn’t share it with me for a reason. And, whatever that reason is, I respect it. But, it’s confusing. I feel hurt. Hurt that I couldn’t help. That she was in such a dark place, that she couldn’t reach out to me. Having to acknowledge that she doesn’t trust me with that piece of herself.
In recovery, relapse is a part of so many stories. And, for many it’s the end of their story. For others, it’s a new beginning.
I just didn’t want it to be a part of either of our stories. We are recovery buddies, and, I feel like I failed her. I know that I had nothing to do with this. There was nothing I could have done to know about it, to prevent it. I wasn’t privy to it. There are some secrets that we all keep locked up. Our private spaces. And, as much as we want to think that even our closest friends in recovery will call on us in their darkest days, hours, minutes, and seconds, the truth is, those dark places can keep us from so many things.
I know that all too well. While relapse isn’t a part of my story on this day, I am reminded that it is a very real possibility. And, I have to be vigilant about my own sobriety. I have to be aware of the tools and people I keep in my back pocket, so when my dark moment comes, and come it will, I don’t have to live in it alone.
Right now, I feel like an asshole for from running from my friend after group. Running to a counselor instead of to her side. But, I was scared. How could I know what to say? I thought we were the strongest people in our group at rehab, and, there I sat on the couch, feeling like I was at square one, and it wasn’t even my sobriety that had been lost.
How do I reconcile this? I’m still not sure. But, I called my friend and left her a message letting her know that I love her. That, no matter what, I am here for her. And, yes, I was scared and a bit hurt today, but, I still care for her to no end. I could never judge her for what she is or what she’s done. That’s not the kind of friend I am, or ever want to be.
I can be here for her. And, so, I am.