Dear Stymied: As with many other progressive, chronic illnesses, relapse is unfortunately part of the recovery process. It reminds me of going off a diet to eat a cookie and then thinking “the damage is done, might as well eat the whole box.” In treatment we teach that the tools to address the relapse are just as important as the tools to prevent it. So not only do you learn how to prevent yourself from giving into that craving, you learn how to address the situation when you’ve given in and are two boxes of thin mints deep. The way to move forward is to work through the shame and guilt. Reach out for help. Rely on your support systems (that are hopefully already put in place). For more insight about relapse check out the blog post 10 Triggers to Relapse/10 Practical Sober Solutions and 7 Ways to Stop Fearing Relapse.