Although I have never relapsed since coming into our beautiful program (thank you God) I have firm "opinions" on the word relapse and peoples use of it. Why? Because I'm so damn opinionated I guess.
Can't we just please save one "word" one "term" one "definition" for the poor soul who has worked the steps and found a connection to the "Power of the Universe" who then fell prey once again (for whatever reasons) to the spiritual malady which lead to that person to becoming powerless once again?
When an alcoholic or addict who has worked the steps becomes powerless again, un-hooked if you will from their higher power they will again suffer the spiritual malady and powerless people "use" again because they are powerless not to. People who can stop and start at will are not powerless and probably don't need a twelve step program. Can't we reserve the word "relapse" for those who have worked this deal?
To me, if a person is right out of treatment or just a newcomer to the program and they say (and others affirm) that they have relapsed....it makes me crazy. Call it what it is please....stopping and starting. Most of us spent years stopping and starting and that is not a relapse.