Watching sober friends relapse can be heartbreaking or challenging as well as enlightening and motivating. Personally, I have seen a handful of friends go back to drinking after six months or more of sobriety (Attitudes That Can Lead to a Drug or Alcohol Relapse ). In some cases, they convinced themselves they were not alcoholics and that they could manage their drinking. In other cases, they had always had some doubt as to the severity of their powerlessness over alcohol. And in a few other cases, the relapse seemed to come from nowhere. In reality, a relapse starts long before the first drink but it’s not always easy to spot. Here are the lessons I have learned from watching sober friends relapse.