What is your plan?
It is important to me that you survive addiction and thrive in recovery.
Why? I am a lover of people. I hate when people suffer.
I particularly hate it when people suffer unnecessarily.
I know it is possible to overcome addiction.
I have been there in the darkness and found a way to the light.
I am 23 years into recovery now and things are making more and more sense.
I share this with anyone who can hear it.
There are specific ways, skillful means, to get out of addiction’s formidable grasp.
It is not a mystery how or why people become addicted to things. We understand how addiction develops in the brain, how it messes with our nervous and endocrine systems and how it turns our thinking against us.
Thankfully, we also understand how to get out of its grasp. So, for those of you who are suffering in it or have a loved one who is, please take note and then take action...
One thing you will need for certain is a plan. Floating through life as an addict will not cut it.
Addiction doesn’t work that way. If you think you can handle it on your own then you totally misunderstand this cunning dis-ease.
Addiction is there to teach you some things.
First, it is there to teach you humility.
That’s right. To get out of it you are actually going to have to rely on other people.
This is great because up until a person gets clean and sober, they are trapped in a manner of living that is characterized by isolation.
They may be around other people, but typically they are not really sharing what is going on so they might as well be alone.
People who live in shame behind a private life of secrets, do not excel forward in life.
This is one of the side effects of addiction though people stuck in it cannot see it until they hit their bottom. Hitting bottom simply means the moment when you are ready to tell the truth.
So, once this happens, part of that truth will always be, “I do not know what to do and I need help.”
This is an amazingly powerful and humble statement, which opens the door to the possibility of healing and much more.
Addiction also teaches us that we need some form of structured program which consistently achieves two things for us: first, it puts us in regular contact with a person or people who understand what we are facing and who can offer support and guidance with our self-inquiry.
Second, it gives us a design, a code of some sort that we can use as a basis for the new consciousness we are seeking. The 12 Steps and fellowships offer both these key elements.
The 12 Step program is effective. Don’t believe the negative hype.
It gives you freedom, but I will admit that some of the people involved in the 12 Step universe have a dogmatic approach... BUT SO MANY OF THEM DO NOT.
Give the program a try as soon as possible and see what happens.
At the beginning especially, please seek out a 12-Step sponsor to take you through the 12 Steps and a fellowship for support. Whoever you seek out will have to be the right group of people or you will not want to go.
What’s the right group of people for you? Well, anyone who is having success with the 12 Steps and who seems to take an honest interest in helping you to heal from addiction is a good place to start.
At first you will feel uncomfortable because you are entering a foreign world. This is where humility and open-mindedness come in. There is a great saying, “Don’t quit before the miracle happens.” Sage words.
In addition to finding a code and a supportive community, also find and develop a one-on-one relationship with a mentor.
It’s great to have a spiritual guide, a therapist, a yoga teacher, a meditation teacher, a nutritionist, a personal trainer or a life coach. Anyone who you can work with to consciously work toward bettering yourself is an asset to you.
Consciousness is contagious. You will catch it from other people who you hang around. When you find a person who makes you feel better just by being around them, make it your business to be around them as much as possible.
At first, place all your focus on your chosen recovery path. Seriously, make it the most important thing in your life. This is not forever, but for a time. I believe this will bring about the transformation you are seeking which is simply to be free of addictive thinking and behaviors altogether and to experience the inner peace that is your true birthright.
All these suggestions lead a person out of chronic addiction into the light of recovery.
This is Recovery 1.0.
Once you have had a transformation, meaning your thinking has changed and you feel better and are able to stay clean one day at a time, your work has only just begun.
Now, you turn it up a notch by bringing in spirituality and meditation, looking at your relationships and learning what you are here to do.
All these ideas are Recovery 2.0 and in my opinion you have to do this work in order to establish a pattern of long-term recovery and most of all to be fulfilled in this life.
This lesson plan has been chosen for you. There is no getting around it.
I know it is hard to believe if you have not yet experienced it, but the path of recovery is just so awesome.
Ask for help, get a plan and go after it. No matter how many times you may have tried before, go after it again.
Surrender your doubt. Surrender your suffering. Surrender your judgments and put your plan into place.
With Love and Gratitude.