by Pastor Joe Cordovano

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  You all are in my prayers each and every day.  I pray for your health and wholeness in your spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical walk.  Summer is upon us & that means we’ve been through spring break, Daytona Bike week, and Leesburg Bike week.  Let me translate what that means: party, party, and party some more.  The parties continue through the summer on our beaches and lakes.  With all that said I thought it would be timely to share with you about the imminent dangers of falling into relapse.

There are many behaviors that can quietly or noisily signal a relapse, which means you always need to be on the alert for the following red flags, to avoid a slip.

Elaborate Excuse Making : When you find yourself going to great lengths to rationalize or explain away your behavior.  Missing meetings, being late for work, or just being on the brink.

Panic : Anxiety or panic attacks, thoughts of suicide, compulsive behaviors such as gambling, promiscuous sex, or over indulgence in eating.  I call this switching addictions.  Nevertheless they are signs that your life is careening out of control.

Irresponsibility : Avoiding commitments, procrastinating through deadlines, and doing things you know are not in your best interests.

Breaking the Rules :  Rules you laid out for continuing care.

Lying Low : Not checking in with your support group or mentor (sponsor).

Sick Thinking : You entertain thoughts of going to the bar or hanging with old drug buddies.  You act on impulse rather than forethought.

Strapping on Spare Parachutes : You turn down a ride to a support group meeting, you didn’t delete your drug dealers number from your phone.  You rationalize you need to keep that old bottle of pain killers just in case your injury flares up again.

Treading Water : You know you’ve hit a plateau but put off asking for help.

Neglecting Yourself :  You find yourself not showering, or brushing your teeth, not getting your hair cut or cleaning your living quarters.  These behaviors often reflect how you feel about yourself and your recovery.

Switching Addictions : Telling yourself you never had an alcohol problem, it was drugs, or vice versa.

By now you’re bummed out because reality has smacked you in the face.  You’re probably asking yourself, what can I do to stop this downward spiral?  The answer is to take action quickly.  You need to go back to the basics of what got you this far in your recovery.  Read you BUDD pamphlet, get back to meetings and church.  Remember, the thoughts of drinking or drugging will pass, but only if you do something else.

James 2:14 reads: (NLT) “Dear brothers and sisters, what’s the use of saying you have faith if you don’t’ prove it by your actions?”