Sunday, 12 February 2012

Getting Better Can Be Dangerous Too

by 7Up, Dov, Kanesher (See all authors)

Dov writes:

"The only thing worse for an addict than bad fortune, is good fortune."
- Chuck C.

"Nobody ever got sober over profundity... it's a program of love and action."

Hey, you know I love the profundity at least as much as the next guy does. But to really succeed, we need to focus on taking concrete steps together.

Get a toothpick or some floss. This one is pithy:

It seems that two things consistently make it harder for me and other addicts to simply keep on doing exactly what worked for us at our very start: (1) seeing a little failure, and (2) seeing a little success.

... and in my experience, the realization that we are getting better is by far the more common trap for addicts. As soon as we start to actually get better we figure we no longer really need those desperate, childlike and simple measures we once took that got us out of our worst state in the very beginning. We need to remain wet behind the ears, it seems.

I hope and pray that I never get too sophisticated to be Hashem's little baby any more. Really.

Sorry if it's a little profound. You'll get over it.


"Kanesher" wrote:

I finally figured out something - and this I believe is based on "Dovian Metaphysics"(see what Dov wrote above :-) that after two days I always get overconfident. Go figure. I realize I've been switching between "I'm so addicted there's nothing I can do" and "foo.... now it's just a matter of time". The 12 steps place, that we realize that we are always vulnerable is a bit of a challenge for me. Hence, like Dov said - a little success is dangerous, as is a little failure.

So I have to change my attitude. I'm addicted and I always will be. It doesn't mean I will always act out. But it means that if I let go of the simple things that help me - like meditating, listening to an ipod full of inspiring songs and keeping it with me, or giving a shout out on the forum - like an epi pen - like the manic depressive who drops his meds because he's better, duh, because of his meds.

And I've spoken about watching all this unfold in slow motion, and now I realize that as an addict, my bechirah isn't after I get depressed and watch things hit the wall - my bechirah is the very instant I feel that depression and that need for comfort, the slightest bit of unbalance, the "poor-poor-me-I-deserve-to-escape" ness - even if I'm not near acting out. Because if I leave it alone, then I will - I can't stop it later. I need to stop it then. I need to start realizing where I'm going and take out the epi pen.

I can't live by halves anymore.


"7Up" wrote a beautiful post in response to Kansher who is seeing a therapist:

The hardest part of therapy, is the pain which the digging exposes. Remember, most addicts are using the addiction as a band-aid over the pain within us. The escape and comfort may literally have saved our lives at times. Not to mention our sanity.

A festering, infected wound will not heal simply because we cover it with a plaster. The infection digs deeper and deeper, while the band-aids get bigger and bigger. Therapy entails removing that band-aid, and healing the wound once and for all. AND THAT HURTS. Not only is it hard to look at all it, but healing it entails painful procedures after such neglect. Dead tissue needs to be cut away, strident antibiotic medications need to be applied.

And you wonder why you didn't just stick with the band-aid. Sure, it still hurt underneath, but nothing like the surgery hurts!

And worst is yet to come: All you want to do is get a nice white bandage and cover up the hole so at least you don't have to see it 24/7. But the doctor says 'nope'; I want you to leave this open to the air, because this way it will heal quicker.

So many buried, festering wounds are currently being dealt with in therapy. Of-course you want to re-cover it with the band-aid called addiction. Davka when the pain is worst we want to avoid it the most.

But stay strong and "Bite the bullet", because eventually the wound WILL heal,b'ezras Hashem, and the pain will disappear.

And the scar which remains will always remind you of the war you won.