I Screwed Up. What Now?

Slips and relapses sometimes happen, especially early in recovery and, later, if we lose sight of what we need to do to move toward our recovery goals. If it happens to you, don’t forget the 4 “R’s” of dealing with a relapse.

RESIST wasting your time and energy telling yourself you’re a loser or a hopeless sinner. It’s not productive.

On the other hand, don’t try to convince yourself that a slip or fall is “no big deal.” It’s a VERY big deal.

The reality is that a relapse shows you there are still some issues in your life that haven’t been completely resolved. Instead of beating yourself up, use your energy to explore what those issues might be and ask God to show you what to do about them.

REVIEW what’s been going on in the hours, days and weeks just prior to the relapse.

Were you feeling isolated, rejected, helpless, stressed, or inferior? These and many other thoughts and emotions can actually be some of the non-sexual triggers that push you toward your compulsive behaviors.

If you can isolate what they are for you, you can begin to work with a counselor, pastor or trusted friend to find ways to lessen their impact. Very often, these are re-occuring feelings that have haunted you for many, many years. It’s time to get to the bottom of them.

REPENT to God for falling back into your old habit of seeking something other than Him to deal with life’s struggles.

God wants and is fully able to be our provider, protector, and comforter, but he never forces us to accept the blessings he offers.

If we insist on dealing with things in our own way, he won’t interfere, but he will continue to love us and beckon to us to cast our cares on him and allow him to heal our brokenness and soothe our fears.

RENEW your commitment to recovery. Don’t let a slip take your focus off your original desire to find healing and freedom.

Avoid making promises . . . they set you up for failure. Promises say “From this day forward I guarantee I will be perfect”. It’s a statement none of us can make.

Commitment says “No matter what it takes, I will keep picking myself up, turning to God and others, and focusing on what it takes to live healthy and whole. If I fall, I will get up and keep going. I will not give up until I have found freedom.”

True healing takes time and hard work. God will do much of that work in our hearts, as long as we keep surrendering our fears, frustrations and failures into His able hands.

“When I said, ‘My foot is slipping,’ your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation  brought me joy.” — Psalm 94:18-19 (NIV)

TODAY’S CHAT: What is the most freeing thing God has ever taught you through your failures? We’d love to hear about it!

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