Tuesday, 03 April 2012

Researching Recovery

Is it a good idea to research recovery techniques before we commit to being clean?

by Dov, London (See all authors)

Bruce posted on the forum:

OK folks, I have to shamefully announce yet again that I had a fall this weekend. Perhaps it is the final push of the Y'H before I start the 90 day challenge. He knows I'll make it, so he's trying to delay it. And he did a good job, too. But when I get Hell-bent on something I ALWAYS see it through to the end. I don't quit, I don't give up or let up until it's through.

But I realized something: I'm the kind of guy who likes to do a lot research before committing to something. For example, buying an expensive appliance. I like to educate myself about things before doing them. In this case, that meant reading through the handbooks before starting the 90 day thing. But that's a mistake.

The addiction is very costly. I'm studying for a big exam to get into grad school, but when I "act out" the whole day is shot. Quality of studying basically doesn't exist. Not good. But I need to stop this behavior for reasons that are bigger than this exam. I need to start the 90 day journey as soon as possible and read the books concurrently. Even if I fall along the way, it's better than waiting until I've read all that and then committing only once I feel I can do it all the way through. It's about taking the first step, not some quantum leap to the end.

I believe General Patton once said: "A good solution applied with vigor now, is better than a perfect solution applied ten minutes later".

 

Dov answers Bruce:

We all do a lot of research before committing to something big. This recovery thing is pretty big and requires a change in attitude. The attitudes I achieved through recovery, be they wise or otherwise, are among my most prized possessions.

There is nothing abnormal or stupid about what you are experiencing. We all need to reach a point at which any further research is just too costly and will need to be left to "more capable hands" to finish for us, as it were. Then we run, fall, or blunder our way into recovery...

 

"London" answers Bruce:

Dear Bruce,

In the UK I constantly see advertisements claiming: "100% satisfaction guaranteed or your money back!". I am sure you see them in the States too. Well, recovery does not offer 100% satisfaction, but it does offer you a life! Try it, if it does not work, we can refund you all your misery and suffering! What have you got to loose?

I too have this tendency to analyze, but look where my best thinking got me! Sometimes I have to admit defeat. I am beaten as far as this addiction goes, and I have to listen to the people who have gone before me and have been successful in overcoming this horrendous addiction. This is what AA's "12 & 12" - the guide to working the steps - says in Step 1 (replace "alcohol" with "lust"):

"Who wants to admit complete defeat? Practically no one, of course. Every natural instinct cries out against the idea of personal powerlessness. It is truly awful to admit that, glass in hand, we have warped our minds into such an obsession for destructive drinking that only an act of Providence can remove it from us. No other kind of bankruptcy is like this one. Alcohol, now become the rapacious creditor, bleeds us of all self-sufficiency and all will to resist its demands. Once this stark fact is accepted, our bankruptcy as going human concerns is complete. But upon entering A.A. we soon take quite another view of this absolute humiliation. We perceive that only through utter defeat are we able to take our first steps toward liberation and strength. Our admissions of personal powerlessness finally turn out to be firm bedrock upon which happy and purposeful lives may be built."

A few paragraphs later, the 12 & 12 says this:

"We had approached A.A. expecting to be taught self-confidence. Then we had been told that so far as alcohol is concerned, self-confidence was no good whatever; in fact, it was a total liability. Our sponsors declared that we were the victims of a mental obsession so subtly powerful that no amount of human willpower could break it."

Try working the program in bite sizes, hour by hour, day by day. Keep posting. Read the tools in the GYE Handbook and listen to the suggestions. You will be amazed by how much your life can change in a very short period of time.

In my first post on this forum approx 6 weeks ago, I was stuck in a rut and could not see any way out. But thank G-d I am now working hard on my program and getting sober again, one day at a time. And I can tell you that the mental fuzz - the foggy cloud - that was my constant companion, is slowly leaving. And the cravings and the obsession to act out are also slowly leaving me.

Keep coming back.

London