Someone we care about relapsed

After about 16 months of sobriety, a good friend relapsed. I was worried when I had not heard from him. But then with some investigation, we discovered what we hoped we wouldn’t. Relapse. It happens as part of this disease.

Since his phone is broken, we can’t reach out that way. I just want him to know we care about him. So I texted a friend of his today and bingo. She is in touch. I do think he’ll find his way back to recovery. But I worry in this relapse period if he will do things that takes months to come back from. And of course, we always worry about his health and safety.

I have to have boundaries when someone is using. And those boundaries with each person that suffers substance use disorder are different. Finding that balance between being there for someone and blocking their recovery is such a fine line. It shifts and so the people who love them have to shift, too.

I know he has not reached out to us because he feels ashamed. What I’m trying to tell him is that we are not ashamed. That we care for him no matter what.  I feel helpless. Randy feels helpless right now. For right now, I’m sending messages to the friend he is in contact with. There is so much I don’t know. Like where he is.

It’s easy to love people in recovery. Harder when they have relapsed and are using. This is when the rubber hits the road. We have to be there for him and love him even when he relapses. We can’t shame him back into recovery because he feels enough of that.

If you are wondering how you can help, how you can give back, why not support someone in recovery? There are enough people who could use an ally.


5 Mantras that kept me sane during Charles’ addiction

Published by

AnneMoss Rogers

AnneMoss Rogers is a mental health and suicide education expert, mental health speaker, suicide prevention trainer and consultant. She is author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW. She raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost her younger son, Charles to addiction and suicide on June 5, 2015. She is a motivational speaker who empowers by educating and provides life saving strategies and emotionally healthy coping skills. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now that's the legacy she carries forward in her son's memory. Mental Health Speakers Website.

10 thoughts on “Someone we care about relapsed”

  1. Please let your friend know that relapse is better than death. I would give anything for my grandson to be here. HP guide this person back.

    1. I don’t have any contact with him, unfortunately, although I’ve tried and I will keep trying. And I know how you feel since I lost my son to suicide as a result of depression and addiction. I know you miss your grandson, Dorothy. Thank you for commenting and keeping things real.

  2. Have gone through this many times with my nephew. It is so very hard to establish boundaries. Praying for this person.🙏🏻

  3. Relapse needs to be more a part of the conversation when talking about recovery. It’s sadly very common. When Billy first relapsed I remember being so shocked. Like literally dumbfounded. I just hadn’t had that cross my radar, which was incredibly naive of us… but we were still learning. I remember him laying in ICU and realizing where he was and that his Dad and I were there. He just crumpled. In tears. I didn’t even know what to say so I held his hand and said do you want to say the serenity prayer together. He nodded through his tears. So we did. Shew this one brings back some real vivid memories.

    To your friend. You don’t lose your clean time. You aren’t defined by your use or your relapse. Look ahead. One minute. One day at a time. You can do this. You are loved and you matter. 💙

  4. Dear Friend of Anne Moss and Randy – We don’t know you, not even your name, but we care. I just prayed for you. Don’t give up. Reach out and try again. You matter!

  5. I hope your friend reads this post. Now would be great, but even later when he is back in recovery, to see the love you all have for him. I’m sorry for pain you all feel and for the hard road ahead of him. We hope along with you all…

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