Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Recovery can't mean just not acting out

by Dov (See all authors)

In the groups, we have learned that professing one has "finally really hit bottom" is silly. The only time it becomes clear to anyone that a person has hit bottom is after they find they have taken real steps to change the way they live. That is the closest thing to any proof to myself that I am taking my problem seriously. The day I start living life (in every department of my life) exactly as I did before - even without any shred of acting out - will be the day I sign my death certificate. It would mean that recovery for me means "not acting out". That lie was how I never recovered for decades.

The acting out is a symptom of living a sick life inside me and outside me, and I need to change my life, motivation, and behavior, besides the acting out, or else I'm doomed to the same slop. We simply cannot change our clothes while keeping the same exact body. That's why I instinctively slowly changed: including the way I spell my name, my nusach of t'fillah, and other things, to make a new life for myself from now on. Sounds like the Rambam's description of Teshuvah, but I don't care about that Teshuva business - it's not my affair. Whether I did Teshuvah or not is Hashem's business. You see, intentionally doing it for "Teshuvah" would mean that I have succeeded in proving something to myself or others, and that's a lie. I am still on the same exact road as before - nothing has changed. I have not "made it" and I do not consider myself as having done any shred of Teshuva. (How do you do Teshuvah for an illness, anyway?)