He said his gut was in knots for weeks after he returned. After all, a few days earlier he'd been managing the house and helping 100+ clients with their recovery. And then he returned to undergo the embarrassment of having relapsed and starting over.
However, he said everyone was supportive after his return. In fact no one said anything negative.
And this is an important lesson for those who go out and are afraid to return. Often clients say they didn't come back for a few years because they were embarrassed. Finally, however, things got so bad that they were forced to return. And when they did, no one treated them poorly. Everyone respected them for being willing to take another try.
One thing we learn in the recovery field is that relapse is part of the process of getting sober. After people relapse so many times and try to use drugs or alcohol in a controlled fashion they come to realize that there must be a better way.
And that's when true sobriety takes root.