"I relapsed again," she told me. "I could barely bring myself to tell you."
"Unfortunately, it happens. But what's the plan now?" I try not to show any discernible emotion when hearing the news so that she doesn't feel judged.
"Well, I haven't used in two days. I feel like shit, though." She wrings her hands as they rest in her lap.
"Two days? That's great! every day is a new chance to make a new choice. What do you think?"
"Yeah, today's a new day, but that doesn't help me feel less like shit."
"I know, but you'll feel physically better sooner if you can just forgive yourself and let go of what happened. You can learn from your mistakes without beating yourself up about it."
"That's true. I just hope I can do it."
"You have choices every day. You made a good choice to come in today and talk to us. Let's plan on some good decisions tomorrow, too, OK?"
"OK. I'll be back next week. I think I'll get some exercise." We both stand up and shake hands.
As the door closes, I take a deep breath. Addiction must be such a weight to carry. I give thanks that it doesn't have a hold on me, and feel a swelling of compassion for those for whom it is a daily---or even an hourly---struggle.