Relapse comes in many forms. Terry Gorski and Alan Marlatt are two well known relapse prevention experts in the addictions field. I am moved by Gorki’s definition of relapse as, Dysfunction in Recovery. I take that to mean that a relapse might or might lead to a bet or substance use. I know for myself that I have experienced times in my life thoughts/feelings/actions taken that felt the same as if I gambled. When someone asks me about “clean time” I sometimes give a list: over 30 years without the use of drugs, over 10 years without a drink, over 7 years without making a bet, and about 1 minute or 5 without some dysfunction of the mind or action.
As someone who accepts my own imperfections I do no judge others for their imperfections. At least I don’t for a minute or five. I feel fortunate for the awareness of both my imperfections and the opportunities to change how I think, feel, and act towards others and the same towards myself.
I have talked to two friends recently who had relapsed to use. I was impressed that both said it out loud which helped with breaking the cycle and that both are looking at deepening their recovery.
The above is a topic/experience I love to explore. So let’s explore my planned relapse(?) to watching the White Sox. As I mentioned in the previous post on Alan Watts youtube ads gambling ads are all over the place. Gambling itself is all over the place including in our hands. Until there are systemic changes we are stuck with those facts though my goal is to be part of the process of systemic changes. As another friend mentioned the other day to me that it seems like it too late for any positive changes to be made. That might be the case. I might not be part of the process if there are changes made. And, maybe one of you are part of the process of change.
While I am waiting for those changes should I deprive myself of watching a game and team I enjoy. One of my dysfunctional states is rigidity/judgment. I want to live congruent to my values and sometimes I might take that to extremes. Is being a vegan rigid? I struggle with being in relationship with others who have beliefs that differ than mine in these heightened times. I judge myself for not doing more to effect change based on my values. I judge the State, casinos, the White Sox and other teams, the advertising platforms, for doing harm to the system of gamblers.
I self-soothe/learn in some positive ways. I read, walk with Blush, self-examine, talk to family, friends, strangers about life, I write this blog. I also over eat, judge, isolate among other ways that are not healthy ways to self-soothe/learn.
As I have learned from others when they relapsed and I remember my relapses my watching the White Sox is not a relapse to me. I will tape the games to be able to fast forward through the ads. I will not watch the pre and post game shows where they explicitly talk about gambling odds. As always I ask for feedback.