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Old 01-04-2007, 07:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Relapse vs Slip

Thanks to Edmundo30...
who got me thinking on what is the difference?

Are they the same?

To me...
a slip is when an alcoholic drinks in early
sobriety
or
when a long time sober alcoholic has a drink.

A relapse is when an alcoholic begins drinking
with the intention of continuing.

JMO...what is yours?
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Old 01-04-2007, 07:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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My interpretation was that they were the same. Either way you drink. And if a person with long term sobriety even takes one drink, I didn't think it was considered anything other than a relapse. I'll be interested to see what others have to say.
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Old 01-04-2007, 09:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't really see a difference either. I slipped around a few times early in recovery, but it was not accidental. I knew what I was doing and I planned it. I think the same is true with other relapsers I have known.
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Old 01-04-2007, 11:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Slap any name on it that you like, a drink is a drink is a drink.....
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Old 01-04-2007, 12:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'll go with your definition Carol, in part.

However, a slip can lead to a relapse. I don't think the alcoholic ever has the intention of continuing, it just happens. Part of the disease.
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Old 01-04-2007, 09:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I think Carol's definition shows compassion towards those who have a one time mistake or lapse of reasoning. I think "relapse" implies a change in direction where "slip" implies a bump in the road.

I believe that slips and relapses are normal to recovery. It is only by the grace of God that it hasn't happened to me... Let's face it: It's normal for Alcoholics to screw up.

Back to the definition thing. I think the difference lies in the motivation and thoughts of the individual.

Relapse
Thinking about drinking and drinking.
Thinking "Nobody cares about me, I might as well start drinking again"...then drinking. A consious decision to go backwards in recovery, with no intention of setting it right again.

Slip
Not thinking about drinking, but picking up. It can happen. The individual feels bad about it and has the intention is to come clean at the next AA meeting, and continue in recovery.

These are only my thoughts on the matter, and everyone has an opinion.
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Old 01-07-2007, 02:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I agree with y'all ... and that both are why 'we are responsible'. I don't particularly agree with using them as 'meters' for some kind of 'degree' of 'mistakes' ...
because if the timing and setting is right ... either one can kill an alcoholic, ya know?

...but they do come in handy in being able to differenciate the two when discussing matters conversationally, like in a meeting, or something like that.
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Old 01-07-2007, 03:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
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For me they are the same. A drink is a drink and if the intent to drink is there, I'm headed for trouble!!

It's all in the thought process, not the amount of alcohol I would drink.
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Old 01-07-2007, 04:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
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For me Carols explanation is by far the best.

If you label someone who has had a drink for the first time in about a year to have relapsed then that person might well think 'In for a penny, in for a pound'. In other words (just in case that is a UK saying) 'I might as well go on a 1 month bender if I am relapsed (failed) anyway'.

That said, if in the same circumstances someone had said to this person that they had, had a slip - but that it still constituted only 1 drinking session in 365 days (which is far more soberiety than even the 'normal' person enjoys) then it might well encourage that person to see that mistake for what it is. A one off mistake.

Maybe this is how I prefer it though? The preference is in the ear of the listener I guess? I would react in the way I have described above if I was told I had relapsed - but I would go straight back on the wagon if I was encouraged and told it was a slip.

Having said that it might work the opposite way round for some people and I accept that.
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Old 01-07-2007, 09:44 AM   #10 (permalink)
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well,
you can scroll to the bottom
and
check out the SOBERPEDIA

RELAPSE IS THERE
BUT
COULDN'T FIND SLIP
A SLIP AS I GATHERED
IS A SIP OF BEER, A GLASS OF WINE, ETC


BEST
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Old 01-07-2007, 10:29 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Hmmmm....just thought of this.

How does one accidently get drunk ?
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Old 01-07-2007, 03:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
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If I relapse, it is implied that I've recovered. I can't relapse from what I've never recovered from. Most "relapses" are actually slips.
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Old 01-07-2007, 07:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
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What a book may say or the opinions of others are is not how I list what is what.
What I have lived is how I judge it.
Both a slip and a relapse have the same start...Stinking thinking.
I can handle just a sip. As I justify the sip in my thought.
The slip happens with the thought I allowed grow into actions.
The slip was me forgetting what I am or thinking I had power over alcohol to any degree. A tiny little sip won't hurt me. I can handle a sip.
A sip and a slip are but one letter off. It wasn't the sip I see as the slip but the thought that came before it.

I would see a relapse as taking the warning that came with just a sip and carrying it to the next stage...just a half of a glass won't hurt.
The warning comes. Your eyes become opened to the danger you just put yourself in and then... You ignore the warning...Stinking thinking, denial, or just not careing any more and you are in relapse. Just smelling the cork could be seen as a slip. The warning ignored and you are in relapse.

Both a slip and a relapse start with a thought...a selfish or prideful thought.
Both are stopped by staying with our recovery program...every day. (even when we have years behind us)
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Old 01-08-2007, 06:49 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Well having 112 days without out a "slip" or "relapse", at this point in time if I picked up I personaly would call it a relapse for me even if I only took a sip!

At this point in my sobriety even a sip would be a conscious decision on my part.

I "slip" on ice and accidently fall.
If I decide to drive into a brick wall that is not an accident.

I agree that someone early in sobriety while they are still in a fog may truly slip, but once the fog has lifted it (IMO) is a decision one makes to pick up, I fully acknowledge that it is our disease that convinces us it is okay to pick up, but we still decide that our disease is right, we do not fall down and a drink "slips" into our mouth.
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Old 01-08-2007, 09:36 AM   #15 (permalink)
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For me, I true slip is accidental. No on intentionally slips and falls on the ice. Slipping is not intentional. I don't see how I can pick up a drink "accidentally." If I go to a party and people are serving wine, I should know not to start drinking it. If I pick up a glass of wine that someone hands to me and I drink it, then I know what I'm doing. The only way I can accidentally drink is if someone slips me some alcohol in a non-alcoholic drink I am having. But after the first sip, I should become suspicious. If I continue drinking after I taste that first sip of alcohol, then that is my choice.
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Old 11-28-2008, 02:08 AM   #16 (permalink)
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OK...So how does one "Accidentally" Slip? Two ways in my opinion, and in both cases you need to be around alcohol:

1) White Out --- Completely being unaware and having a lapse in time and memory and picking up a drink without any thought whatsoever
2) Reaching for your energy drink and going for a big chug when you realize thats where your cousing had poured her Vodka in...You spit it out, then patiently await the next day to call your sponsor...You don't drink it and/or more just because, or say "F*ck it"...You then pray to your Higher Power that he relieves you from your glaring character defects.......
especially lust (No, not my cousin) Her pill-popping friend.

I have a habit of hanging out with drunk girls who wanna have sex with me with no strings attached because I don't wanna hook up with any girls in the meetings I go to....I love my meetings and what sobriety is doing for me.

YES, this happened tonight on Thanksgiving at around 11PST and it wasn't til about 1:00AM that the Vodka taste was removed from my tongue...No matter how many times I continued to spit and drink sodas and eat ice cream, the tase stayed for about 2 Hours...I am unsure if this is a Relapse...To Mine Own Self Be True...I know my sponsor will want me to stay away from any drunk girls, which is probably good because my head is out to get me! (I'm convinced)

Last edited by imthat1guy; 11-28-2008 at 02:20 AM. Reason: I'm new to this forum and website
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Old 11-28-2008, 03:02 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Sobriety
Loses
It's
Priority

Relapse: another way to say, "I had a drink" that sounds more palatable

I drank after long term sobriety, and I call it "I drank after long term sobriety"

As in I made a clear choice to drink after not going to meetings for two years and my life was unbearable, the choice for me was a bottle or a pistol, one or the other was going in my mouth, the pistol had been a choice in my mind for so long because a drink wasn't a choice any more.

Now here is where it got tricky for me.

I literally drank in my sleep years before after three years of sobriety, like sleptwalk, took a shot, woke up in the morning, thought it was a dream.

I had been entertaining the idea of drinking for about three months, so i took one, it just happened to be in my sleep. I had something like 5 sponsees, was working the steps with a sponsor for i think the fourth or fifth time, did five meetings a week, told the truth....

it took me out....I made it like 45 days....then 30...then two weeks...within 6 months I was a daily drinker....took me five years to make it back, that's when I learned on a cellular level what "powerless" means, even after sobriety.

So once I "made a choice" to drink, once....I guess you could call it a relapse although I never have had called it that....sounds a little chickenshyte to me...but in the context of this thread I guess relapse sounds about right.
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Old 11-28-2008, 03:28 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolD View Post
Thanks to Edmundo30...
who got me thinking on what is the difference?

Are they the same?

To me...
a slip is when an alcoholic drinks in early
sobriety
or
when a long time sober alcoholic has a drink.

A relapse is when an alcoholic begins drinking
with the intention of continuing.

JMO...what is yours?
This is definitely my view. Drinking but then getting right back on track - i.e. that day / the next day back into recovery is a slip. A relapse as carol says for me is after x period of sobriety / recovery (day week month year) you drink with the intention of continuing. You may or may not find recovery ever again.

Slips you can bounce back from. Relapses not so easy.

What's important for me though is : either way there IS a solution and there IS hope!
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Old 11-28-2008, 04:47 AM   #19 (permalink)
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A slip for me is one day of drinking.


Sometimes that leads to a relapse--a continued pattern...whether that be every other day, once a week, every day, etc.
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Old 11-28-2008, 06:37 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Hi all

For me the term slip sounds like an innocent mishap with no real consequences. In reality a slip as regards 'drinking' is akin to a slip as regards 'into a coma', I don't know how long it will last before I come too - what mental shape I will be in when I do come too - if I will survive it at all.

This is because I am a alcoholic. A grateful alcoholic.

All the best Gerry.
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