What Is a Slip? And How to Take Back Your Recovery

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It doesn’t matter if you’re in a drug and alcohol treatment program or if you’re in the 12 step Rooms, you’ve heard of having a slip. You may even think you understand what it means. But a slip is more than just the beginning of relapse and it happens well before you pick up a drink or start to use.

While a slip is typically referred to as a small relapse, one that you can pull back from without having to lose it all, a slip is also so much more than that. A slip is an event in which you make a mistake and “slip” by using, yet it’s also an acronym, one that stands for “Sobriety Losing Its Priority.”

When Sobriety Loses Its Priority

When sobriety loses its priority, or you “slip,” you’re beginning to walk the road that leads to relapse. You’re not focused on recovery. Often, you find yourself in high risk situations. You may be picking up your old, bad habits or hanging out with friends that you know don’t support your recovery.

You may find yourself in a dry drunk, engaging in all your addictive behaviors, but just not using. You’re angry, pissed off even, and you can’t verbalize why, you just know that everyone and everything gets on your nerves. You feel like crap, and you’re constantly irritable.

Gain Back Your Recovery

The nice thing about a slip is that it’s just a slip, something that you can pull yourself up from and get back on track. But you have to do it. And you have to be receptive to those in your life that point out your backward sliding behaviors. When you ask someone to help you watch out for warning signs, which all typically present themselves during a slip, you have a responsibility to listen to what they say and take action when you need to.

Once you realize that sobriety is losing its priority, it’s time to take it back. Consider enrolling in outpatient therapy. Hit a meeting. Hit two. Heck, do 90 in 90. Spend time volunteering in a treatment center. Do something. Recovery is active and if you want to remain in recovery, then you must get active.

Beyond that, take a moment to remember where you were and what you’ve gained with your recovery. Remember what your unmanageable life was like. It wasn’t pretty. Really think about what recovery means to you and why it needs to be a priority.

And then make it one.