When we come into sobriety most of us are used to doing things in our own ways, in our own timing, and find that we need to have complete control of everything. Little do we realize what little control we actually do have. Our addiction has the keys to the car, and we are merely passengers in an inevitable crash that will lead us to being jailed, institutionalized, or dead. Those are the 3 options we are given when we can’t see beyond the masks our addictions have us blinded by. If the first step in recovery is admitting we are powerless, then the next thing we must find is something bigger than us.
Insanity – Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
If we think about our patterns of past behavior, reflect upon them, and realize that most of the things we have consciously or unconsciously choose are the very things that are keeping us in the insanity loop, then the way out is to come to believe that something bigger than us can restore us to sanity. It has to be this way. No longer can we rely on our own best thinking and acting to set us free. In becoming willing to believe in something greater than ourselves we can be set free of our own madness. The answers can be found in a newfound relationship with a higher power. The beauty of recovery is you get to choose what this higher power is.
Pick your higher power, and rely upon it.
A lot of newcomers believe that any 12 step program or treatment is based on religion. The fact is that this absolutely is NOT true. The only thing that is suggested, and I need to reiterate SUGGESTED is to find something that you can relate to in some capacity that is outside of yourself. I’ve heard of people picking a doorknob as their higher power; some will chuckle at this, but for someone that’s been locked away a doorknob is a symbol of freedom. Pick what works for YOU. You do not have to justify it to anyone. You’ll find that with time it becomes fun to curate something that is meaningful and made just for you. On the same token, if religion is something you identify with and want to strengthen your faith in then do it! The point is for you to start getting outside of yourself daily and making this a habit. When we come to any sort of crossroads, flex your higher power’s muscle for help and direction. With time this becomes second nature, and the insanity begins to be replaced with a sane, logical reason.
Selfish, Self-Centered & Dishonest
The hallmark characteristics of any good addict will be an incredible existence of selfish, self-centered, and dishonest thinking and acting. It’s painful to hear at first because no one wants to think of themselves in this light. But the truth is that our addiction has provided us with these character defects as our go-to ways of showing up in our world. When we begin to shed these behaviors, we may feel like a fish out of water. And in many ways we are. This is why it’s strongly suggested to begin to build a relationship with a power greater than yourself. Even though you’ve put the drink & drug down, you’re still left with the insane thinking and acting. True recovery begins by getting out of self and into a fellowship of people and connecting with a higher power.