Month: October 2020

Why Doesn’t Self-Knowledge Fix My Problems?

self knowledge

A fair amount of self-knowledge and introspection is necessary for recovery. We must know who we are, what we value, what we want, and how we can best serve others. Self-knowledge helps us discover these things, but self-knowledge on its own won’t fix our problems — it is a piece of the puzzle. It is a useful part of our recovery journey, but taken on its own and out of context it can do more harm than good. Self-Knowledge Is Not Enough We must remember that we are alcoholics and addicts. Our disease has warped our minds, and that’s where our problems are centered. So the knowledge we acquire in our minds won’t be of much, if any, help on its own. We often need the spiritual toolkit found by working the 12-Steps to help that knowledge travel from our mind to our heart. Being alcoholics and addicts, we have…

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Feeling Safe in Meetings

safe in recovery meetings

When we enter recovery, we soon learn about the “triangle” — Unity, Service, Recovery. In general terms, these three words represent the pillars of successful recovery from alcoholism and addiction. In essence, they are the main ingredients of our new lives freed from the disease.  Unity represents fellowship and meetings. Service is straightforward — we are to be of service to all others in whatever ways we are able, as often as possible. Recovery means working the 12-Steps on a continual basis with our sponsor, beginning the work of healing, and enlarging our spiritual lives. For now, we are going to talk about a specific element of unity, and a pretty significant part of long-term recovery — meetings. Why Meetings Are Essential Meetings aren’t necessarily the most exciting thing that we are asked to be willing to engage in, but it’s also challenging to find an alcoholic or addict who…

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The Differences and Similarities Between Alcoholism and Addiction

alcoholism and addiction

Alcoholism and addiction are often mentioned in the same breath. They are often even experienced simultaneously. In the modern age, many who abuse alcohol also abuse drugs or other addictive substances, yet many stick to one or the other. All of this combines to create a great deal of confusion and misunderstanding surrounding alcoholism and addiction, and the differences and similarities between them.  Alcoholism vs. Addiction Some hold the belief that alcoholism is simply an addiction to alcohol. This theory says that alcoholism and addiction are simply both” addiction.” There are also those who classify addiction as a type of alcoholism, thereby making both addiction and alcoholism just types of alcoholism with different manifestations. For some it is an issue of semantics, and academic and medical opinions may vary. However, for the purposes of recovery using the 12-Steps, there are some points that can be cleared up from a non-medical…

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A “Much More Important Demonstration of Our Principles” Lies Ahead

sponsor

For those of us alcoholics and addicts who have been blessed enough to find ourselves in recovery, we most likely already know that working the 12-Steps on a daily basis can provide us with a daily reprieve from our alcoholism and addiction. Maybe we just wanted recovery to get sober, but now there’s all this talk of spiritual principles and growth. Yet, we don’t want to go back to our old way of life. We want to stay sober — but it seems like the only way to do that is to get involved with the work of recovery.  It might be an extremely good idea to work the 12-Steps. As we do this work and engage in all the elements of a recovery lifestyle, we may notice that each one of the 12-Steps teaches us about important spiritual principles as we practice them. These may be concepts we are…

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How Do I Deal With My Grief?

grief recovery

Grief is a natural part of life. At some point in our lives, all of us will have cause to grieve. It is healthy to experience grief at certain times. Yet, we often do not talk about unpleasant things, even when it might be helpful to discuss them — so here we are. Grief will wash over us all eventually, and we should not run from it when it does. The act of grieving is a necessary part of the healing process. All people grieve in their own ways, though there are common stages we all pass through. For some, grieving and healing take longer than others, but it can be helpful to understand grief so we can stop the emotions that come with it from overtaking us or overstaying their welcome. I Feel Good Now, So Why Worry About Grief? You shouldn’t worry, just like you don’t worry if…

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Attitude Isn’t Everything, But It’s a Lot

positive attitude

Most alcoholics and addicts aren’t known for our winning attitudes. The disease can rob us of all momentum, positivity, and energy. It can darken how we see the world, in addition to our pain, the hurt we’ve caused, and the trauma we’ve suffered. In recovery, we are given the means, support, and guidance to address these wounds. We can begin healing from our traumas, and we can build healthy skills across the spectrum of our lives. Even with all this, it can sometimes be difficult for us to shake our old ways of thinking and seeing the world. There’s a lot of truly boring advice, and meaningless platitudes about how much having a positive attitude can do for you. Most of us alcoholics and addicts are far too jaded to fall for such trivial nonsense. The problem is that most of that stuff about a positive attitude is totally true….

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Why Whole-Person Healing Is Vital to Recovery

whole person healing

Alcoholism and addiction are diseases of a three-fold nature, affecting a person physically, mentally, and spiritually. This is true whether or not mental or emotional health issues are simultaneously present. However, mental or emotional health issues are prevalent amongst alcoholics and addicts, as is trauma. These additional conditions only add layers to the already triple-layered disease. Therefore, it is imperative that the entire person be treated as a whole, so holistic healing can begin.  Body, Mind, and Spirit Alcoholism and addiction affect the body, mind, and spirit of the person who suffers from it. The disease is an allergy of the body which requires abstinence, as it cannot be eradicated. The mental obsession requires an effective psychic change in order to be managed. The 12-Steps are designed to produce this psychic change, and in beginning the 12-Steps, the change and the healing can begin simultaneously. However, the alcoholic or addict…

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The Importance of Commitment(s)

commitment

A lot of people have issues and fears surrounding the word “commitment,” whether they are in or out of recovery. People can struggle with committing to long-term relationships, new jobs, or even lengthy cell-phone contracts. Commitment can be a challenge in our modern world, as we race our way through hectic days and change our minds at rapid speed. But for alcoholics and addicts, we can look back and see that we spent a great deal of time very committed to our disease. Feeding our alcoholism was typically the one thing we didn’t miss for anything. We rarely, if ever, skipped a day or missed an appointment with our drug of choice if we could help it. So maybe we don’t really have commitment issues — maybe we just need to look at things the right way and focus our energy on other endeavors. Committing to Recovery If we can…

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Why Do I Need a 12-Step Program?

12 step program

People have been struggling with alcoholism and addiction for as long as alcohol and addictive substances have existed. Over the years, many treatments were devised and attempted. The remedies available to alcoholics just a few decades ago would seem barbaric by today’s standards. In this era of quick fixes, there may be less horrific approaches to solving alcoholism and addiction — but not all of them are for real. While different methods may work for different people and 12-Step programs do not have a monopoly on solutions or spiritual programs of action, what 12-Step programs do have is a pretty long history of helping others. The 12-Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous have been around for a long time, roughly 85 years. Way back then, most alcoholics were given intense sedatives and locked up in asylums or prisons. Addicts were mostly sent to jail or left to go it alone. There may…

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Don’t Try To Do Everything at Once

one step at a time

For anyone struggling with drugs and alcohol, finding recovery can often be an incredibly powerful and energizing experience. Once we’ve gotten over the initial culture shock and embraced a recovery lifestyle, we will likely find ourselves incredibly excited by the possibilities our new life holds. We no longer hurt all the time, we’ve stopped making messes of everything, and we’ve begun to rebuild ourselves and our lives. Hopefully, we’ve worked the 12-Steps thoroughly and continue to do so as we attend meetings and find ways to be of service. This is all wonderful — simply wonderful. We have every reason to be excited, happy, and overflowing with gratitude. We’ve been set free from the prison of our disease and returned to a life of happiness, usefulness, and wholeness. And there’s truly nothing bad about that! However, we should still be mindful. For most alcoholics and addicts like us, excitement and…

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