Is picking up the first drink or drug of relapse a “conscious decision?” Those who resist the idea of being “powerless” often seem to argue this point. But a decision can only be as valid as the information on which it is based. In “wishful thinking,” the alcoholic/addict has forgotten his or her own suffering, the reason for quitting in the first place. Not only that, the person seems consistently unable to perceive the real consequences of the act. Add to this a blindness to the internal pain for which the pain killer may be sought, and an equal unawareness of just how strong a desire is clamoring for “just one.” What you have is a decision being made in the absence of all of the most critical information! The generally more emotional “expletive” relapse seems to lack a sufficient grasp of two things. The infinite number of alternative ways to deal with almost any upset. And the specific values that are ultimately more important to the person than the immediate frustration, things which will cause far more suffering when they are lost due to the relapse. Conscious, I don’t think so.