How Can I Find Freedom From Addiction?
Welcome back to Detox to Rehab’s Recovery Reflections. Bianka, Corey, and Connor will be sharing about how they are taking responsibility for their actions. Also, how they are thinking before they take action and how it is helping their recovery.
Hey there, my name is Bianka. I would like to give you another warm welcome to Detox to Rehab’s Recovery Reflections. Please join us each Monday at noon on our Facebook page to listen to the experience, strength, and hope shared by Connor, Corey, and myself.
We will live stream a reading from Alcoholics Anonymous: Daily Reflections and Narcotic Anonymous: Just for Today. We express how this reading has helped our recovery or how it has impacted us. Please join us, engage in the audience, post questions, and or leave feedback for us at noon. We thank you and hope we can inspire your recovery journey!
October 10, 2016: Fixing Me Not You
If somebody hurts us and we are sore, we are in the wrong also.
— Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 90
What a freedom I felt when this passage was pointed out to me! Suddenly I saw that I could do something about my anger, I could fix me, instead of trying to fix them. I believe that there are no exceptions to the axiom. When I am angry, my anger is always self-centered. I must keep reminding myself that I am human, that I am doing the best I can, even when that best is sometimes poor. So I ask God to remove my anger and truly set me free.
Daily Reflection: http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/daily-reflection?y=2016&m=10&d=10
Having reasonable expectations of others, or no expectations at all will allow you to freely accept the flaws others have and be okay with it. As addicts and alcoholics, we need to learn how to take accountability for our own actions, wrong or right, before we can expect other people to do the same. One of the biggest obstacles I have faced in life is learning to accept people for who they truly are, the good and the bad. When I realized my expectations would not change people, the better off I was.
Corey agreed with me, he also used to have high expectations of people and was hurt because of it.
“Most of the reasons I got angry with these people was whether I realized it or not, I have leveled some expectations on these people,” Corey said.
When I had impractical expectations of people, I ended up placing myself at a higher risk or getting hurt or upset just like Corey. I have had a lot of people let me down, but it was totally unfair of me to put them on a pedestal. I have learned through my recovery that I needed to preserve a precise consciousness of my own realities. This allowed me to determine what I truly needed to expect from others, nothing.
“What I was angry about was they weren’t living up to these expectations and really that’s more of my problem than theirs,” Corey said.
Expectations lead to disappointment. I used to be obsessed with finding the perfect friend or significant other. When things didn’t go the way I expected them to with finding a new friend or significant other I would become frustrated, making things more difficult for me in the long run just like Corey’s experience.
When I read this reading, I saw things a little differently.
“If I am getting angry at someone for something it is probably something I see in myself that I want to change,” I said.
When I read the AA: Daily Reflection, I automatically thought of how I tend to view myself in others. Instead of trying to fix the negative I see in others I now take a step back, meditate on what I am seeing in them that I dislike and try to learn and grow from it.
Connor got a different perspective from this reading. He believes no one can make an addict or alcoholic feel worse than themselves.
“No one is harder on me than myself. I think that is pretty common as far as alcoholics and drug addicts go, like, nobody can make us feel worse than we can,” Connor said. “We have to watch ourselves destroy the life’s we have, basically.”
I completely agree. Even though I was out there using and abusing drugs and alcohol, it doesn’t mean I wanted to be there. Sometimes it hurt so bad because I want to get out but I couldn’t. It is like I was in a prison where the keys were inside myself and it was not a time to reach them. The time finally came a little over 14 months ago where I got those keys and I broke free.
A.A vs N.A
The AA: Daily Reflection focuses on fixing myself and not trying to fix others while the NA: Just for Today puts attention on accepting the consequences of your actions. While each reading is very different, they share the same importance. They give me hope and guide me in the right direction. Also, it reminds me of how blessed I am to be living a life clean and sober.
October 10, 2016: Consequences
“Before we got clean, most of our actions were guided by impulse. Today, we are not locked into this type of thinking.”
Ever been tempted to do something even when you knew the results would be disastrous? Ever thought about how much it was going to hurt to do what you were tempted to do, then proceed to do it anyway?
It is said that there are consequences for every action. Before we got clean, many of us simply didn’t believe this. But now we know exactly what it means. When we act, we know there will be consequences to pay. No longer can we decide to do something in ignorance when we know full well that we won’t like the price we’ll have to pay.
Just for Today: http://www.jftna.org/pages/10-10.htm
I used to think there was no such thing as consequences for my actions. At the time I thought, “I am getting high every day and doing terrible things. I’m not in prison yet, I got out of jail multiple times, so why stop.” But today I know when I was in active addiction, I suffered from my consequences every day. Things were just so bad for so long, it got normal, I didn’t realize it. For this exact reason, I am thinking of my decisions because I may not pay the consequences now but it will come back around one day.
Taking Positive Action
“Getting sober and staying sober helps me to take positive action in my life and all these good things start to happen,” Connor said.” Family talks to me, I can hold a job, I can pay my bills, I can do normal things that people do.”
Connor is so right – I have so many things to be grateful for today. By making one good choice and getting sober, I’ve gotten one million things in return. My family also talks to me; I go on vacations with them. I have a job and pay my bills. I am a productive member of society and I love it.
Corey believes in his addiction he was unaware of some of the actions he took and didn’t understand why he would have consequences for them. But now knows there are consequences for everything.
“Ignorance of the consequences of my actions doesn’t excuse me from those consequences,” Corey said.
I feel the same as Corey does. No matter what I do or how it affects someone, I am going to experience consequences for my actions, good or bad. I am okay with that today because I am becoming a better me each and every day and will learn from my mistakes.
I was on the same wavelength as Connor and Corey when we read this reading.
“I think about the consequences of my actions before I take them, I can do that today,” I said.
I am able to do so many different things because of my clean time and sobriety. I can actually take a step back, pause when agitated and breath before I make a decision I am unsure of. This is why I love working a 12-step program. It teaches me nothing but love and tolerance. The 12-steps truly work, if you work them.
There is Hope
Before I came to a 12-step fellowship, I was that junkie you see on the side of the road begging for money. I had one pair of shorts, one pair of shoes, and one shirt. Don’t forget the backpack I could hold my drugs in. I literally thought there was no hope for someone like me. I was destined to die lonely and afraid.
A few years into my addiction I was introduced into a 12-step fellowship by the man I chose to call my father. The day he took me to the meeting, something was planted in me. I knew there was hope. At that moment I wasn’t ready to accept the help but that time came a few years down the road.
When that day came, the day I realized I was ready to change my life, I found hope in myself. That person who was once homeless with one outfit, begging for money on the side of the road has a little over 14 months clean and couldn’t have done it without the help from a higher power and a 12-step program. It is possible, you just have to believe.