Experiencing a relapse can make you feel like a total failure. Even though you may know that your addiction isn’t your fault, you may still find it hard to open up to the people that you care about the most. Your AA sponsor has been with you through some of the roughest parts of your sobriety, and you’ve likely developed a strong relationship that makes you not want to let them down. Figuring out how to tell your AA sponsor you relapsed doesn’t have to be hard. Instead, you can work through these steps to initiate an important conversation that helps you get back on track.
The first thing you’ll want to do is try your best to minimize the impact of your relapse on your life. If you currently have drugs or alcohol in your home, then getting rid of them can help you avoid falling even further back into old habits. If you are worried about having severe withdrawal symptoms, then you may need to reach out to a treatment center before you even speak with your AA sponsor. You can always reach out to them once you are in a safe place. If you prefer talking to your sponsor first, then you can begin preparing now for having this important talk.
Remember the Reasons for Being Honest About Your Relapse
Anxiety can easily get the best of you, which might make you want to walk back on your promise to always tell your sponsor the truth. While your sponsor may be strong in their sobriety now, it might help to remember that they’ve once been in your shoes. Even they are vulnerable to having a relapse, and being open about yours can help both of you to get stronger.
In AA, you’ve learned that honesty is an essential part of your sobriety. Once you let one lie in, it is easy to get caught up in a tangled web of untruths. Sharing your relapse with your sponsor offers you these benefits for helping you to get sober again.
- prevent yourself from hiding future drug or alcohol use
- alert someone you trust to your need for help
- gain a sense of acceptance
- stop feeling guilty and ashamed
- begin working on a solution for upholding your sobriety
Ask Your Sponsor for a Good Time to Talk
You’ll want to approach your sponsor in a similar way as you’ve been communicating all this time. If you regularly call your sponsor up out of the blue, then it is okay to do this now. However, you may have a better response if you let them know that you need more than the usual amount of time to talk. For instance, you might tell them that you’ve had a relapse and ask to follow up your initial conversation with one that goes more in-depth when you can meet in person.
As you plan your meeting, you may also want to think about where you will talk. Ideally, you can meet in a private location where you’ll feel comfortable opening up about what led up to the relapse. For example, you might not feel like sharing about your painful breakup or getting fired from work in a public place such as a busy coffee shop. A park, your house or another quiet place may make it easier to share more details about what happened. During your conversation, your sponsor might ask you questions to gain a better understanding of the situation. Remember to continue to speak openly and honestly so that they can help you determine your next course of action.
Be Prepared to Create a Treatment Plan
Having a relapse is never a great thing, but you are already one step ahead by having a sponsor who can help. You might want to go into your conversation with an idea of where you want to go for treatment, or you could lean on your sponsor for suggestions of places that they know could work. Your sponsor may also offer to provide you with support during your treatment by driving you to the rehab center or visiting if visitors are allowed.
Telling your sponsor about your relapse may make you feel like you are disappointing them, but they likely just want to know how to help you regain your sobriety. Opening up to your sponsor is freeing, and you’ll likely be met with compassion and complete understanding. While the first few words may be hard to say, you’ll soon find that your conversation flows as freely as it has when you talked about other issues in the past.
Are you nervous about telling your AA sponsor about your relapse? We can help you share what happened and suggest an effective treatment center to help you get back on track. Give us a call today at 302-842-2390.