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After nearly 3 years clean, I relapsed

I don’t really know what to say in this post if I’m honest.

I guess I can just get straight to the main point… I relapsed.

In August this year I would have been 3 years clean, however, last week I relapsed on opiates… Originally, I had just taken the recommended dose because I had a migraine and was in more pain than I have ever been in, and needed to just get through to the next day when I could contact my doctor. Once that migraine passed, I told myself I wouldn’t use them anymore because I knew that meant relapsing… However, I started using those same painkillers for minor pain. At that point, I knew that I was in a relapse.
Knowing that I had just broken my clean time of nearly 3 years, it was no longer about pain relief, it was about making my relapse “worthwhile”. Only relapsing for 1 day after that long of being abstinent felt like I’d just thrown away all that clean time for nothing, so to make it feel more like the relapse was “worth it” I continued to use for a few more days.
My plan was originally to finish the pills that I had and then work on getting clean again.

I lost my best friend and a friend I’d worked with for more than 6 years both to suicide, both within less than a year of each other. I was trying to mask the grief that I was feeling, because I was truly feeling what felt like double the grief and it became too much to handle.

I can’t afford to be in therapy right now, and the free services have wait lists of 8 months+, so using felt like the only way out. I can’t seem to get past 24 hours clean right now. I’m sorry to all of you that were rooting for me for the past almost 3 years.



It’s okay. You were almost 3 years clean. That’s amazing! Don’t let one bad day get to you.


Hey @Kayla,

I’m sorry you had a relapse last week. Losing the people we love is one of the hardest experiences to go through. Our mind can be tempted to walk around it, but still there is this unfair reality that we have to learn to compose with. But sometimes this reality seems too much. Too unfair, too painful, too heartbreaking. So, it makes sense to try to look after quick ways to escape and regain an illusion of control. For me, it has been through eating disorders and the illusion that controlling my body would keep my heart where I could stop feeling, or just a little less. It’s human.

It’s also very strong to admit a relapse when it happens. You know that already. You know there is strength to find in vulnerability, even if it feels like starting over. Your 3 years clean are not gone because of a relapse though. Because during these 3 years you have learned and you have grown in many ways. I wasn’t here three years ago, but since I contribute to reviewing the old posts for beta-testing, I also see yours sometimes, and I see how much Kayla today is one who has learned to thrive through these deep hardships. And the very fact that you are here today, sharing about all of this, is another proof of your bravery.

I can’t speak for others, but I truly doubt that anyone here who have supported you - but even more who love you - would be disappointed by you right now. You are not failing anyone. You are actually reaching out and being honest, which makes a huge difference. That is something to honor and to be proud of. Because you are loved dearly, and you are not alone. Thank you for breaking this wall of isolation that a relapse is likely to create.

As for the therapist, I understand why this is very upsetting for you. Are you still in touch with step groups/would you like to see if you could reach out to them again? Maybe some mentoring programs could be worth it as well? (even though I know our options are very limited with that in our countries…).

I’m sending love your way. This relapse doesn’t define you, nor your worth or your strength. I believe in you. We all do. :hrtlegolove:


I do not have personal experience to draw from to help you but I believe that almost three years clean is amazing and that you have the strength to keep on your path despite your relapse.

I’m so sorry about your friends and I hope you are able to grieve them and then get to the point where you can celebrate their lives and the good times you had together.

Stay strong friend :yellow_heart:

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Hey @Kayla ,

This is my and another member of the Houston team Hanson responding to your post. Love you, and I know you got this.

  • John
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Hey Kayla,

It’s been a really long time since we’ve talked. But you’ve been on my mind. I want to remind you that you are loved, and you matter.

A wise man and mentor once told me that “Your relapses don’t define you, and neither do your mistakes.”

I love you friend! Keep fighting and never give up!

Hold Fast,