Phases of Recovery
Obsessive-compulsive cravings and attachments, which result in a distorted view of reality, hindering rational decision-making and avolition. If continued, this can become fatal. Addictions of physical and psychological dependence include love & sex, drugs, alcohol, gambling, eating and tobacco. All are addictions of progression involving an intense desire for more of the same regardless of consequences. The mind has become preoccupied with complicated scenarios beginning with what is perceived to be a high ending in hopelessness and despair, paralyzing the spirit, mind, and body of the host. Conscious awareness is severely restricted beyond the means to attain that which has preoccupied the mind?
Obsessive compulsive thoughts and behaviors temporarily interfere with neurotransmitters, altering the chemical reaction and balance of the brain’s natural activities. The search for pleasure seeking vices eventually develops into habitual rituals and are depended on to feel normal. If they are denied; one will become irritable and discontent. Over time, a tolerance develops and an increase in dosage and frequency are needed to achieve the desired effect. Time and energy are used to secure funds, contacts, cover up the ongoing, going up, coming down. Disguising the image of unmanageability becomes an exhausting task. Ambitions, dreams, goals, material possessions and relationships become a secondary purpose in life and continue to deteriorate. The intensity and frequency combined with prolonged usage increases the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
Be conscious of: A spirit which has lost it’s animation, a mind plagued with distorted thinking – mind, body and soul have become fragmented. Hopelessness and despair have long been part of this person’s life. Every addict must reach a bottom.
“Unmanageability is when the quality of life is sinking quicker than you can lower your standards.” -Robin Williams
The beginning of the recovery process involves separating the mind, body and soul from the possessions of addiction. Abstinence is refraining from that which one craves compulsively and obsessively, self abnegation. The body generally recovers at a more rapid pace than the mind and spirit. Throughout this dualistic phase physical healing can create a FALSE sense of security which entices the addict to return to their former state. Seeking highs through other venues while maintaining abstinence from the primary addiction usually entails a difficult struggle both consciously and subconsciously. Like the breaking of a fever, it will pass. Many experience dreams of active addiction in this phase, upon wakening they feel threatened and notice an increase in breathing and heart rate, they panic and are met with feelings of shame and guilt. Although the physical symptoms are real, as well as the emotional attachments, not to worry, this is the unconscious (the soul and spirit within) bringing to the conscious, the value of that which has been undertaken. The fear is not in the content of the dream, but in the loss of what has become vitally important to the newly recovering addict. Fear of the loss of abstinence, a transition of unification is occurring to the once fragmented mind, body and soul. Embrace it, it will serve you well.
Be conscious of: Highly emotionally charged or the reverse – phlegmatic or dysphoric. After years of diluting the sensations of feelings with addictive rituals one has significantly underdeveloped social graces. Coping skills resulting in blaming others, resentments, self-loathing, pity, anger, shame, guilt and jealousy are all fear-based representations.
“It is not in struggling that process proceeds but in surrendering that victory is won.” -Neale Donald Welsch
Recovery is a stage of development where, willingness is abundant and growth can be rapid. Some will recover slowly but consistently, others will struggle in adopting terminologies, principles, and guide lines: There are those who will become complacent and regress to the point of abstinence or perhaps active addiction. The maladjusted and delusional thoughts and behaviors once entertained are now recognized as residual damage, self-defeating scripts that have lead to guilt, shame and other indignities. Surrendering to resistance has lead to acceptance, dysfunctional concepts no longer govern the Psyche. Practicing recovery reveals the disguise of a false, distorted self- image. Accepting and surrendering to its cunning, is the beginning of dis-identifying with addictive thinking, after regaining balance, a realistic self-image appears.
One who has surrendered to defiance and resistance will quickly become solution oriented, rarely finding themselves frustrated or confused. These individuals are able to multitask and solve problems with little difficulty. Those who have created a clear and conscious definition of the terms of recovery while implementing analogies based on personal experiences tend to have a renewed view and perspective on life. A positive change in attitude has developed, structure was sought and stability appeared.
A large percentage of addicts, after defining and surrendering to their primary addictions find themselves to be dually addicted. Substitutions are common; the drug addict may take on gambling. The sex addict may become a compulsive shopper or even a compulsive eater. The alcoholic may become excessively involved in the stock market, chasing money, property, and prestige. Provided one does not return to a state of denial, in time it will become evident that the disease is not limited to the act but more directly to the thought and attachments associated with the act. Recovery is an ongoing process with no boundaries, deliverance or expectations.
Be conscious of: The desire to use addiction as a solution has been resolved. A realistic attitude towards placing the proper value on thoughts and emotions; integrity is within reach.
Forgiveness is the fragrance that a violet sheds on the heel that crushed it.” -Mark Twain
Sobriety is a place where one is no longer allured by the seduction of fear and insecurities, nor are they in need of the validation of others. Life has become experiential, the human condition is no longer dependent on emotional attachments. One has developed a keen sense of coping skills, abilities that do not require a struggle. Peace has become appealing and energy valuable. Fear, anger, pity and jealously are felt by this individual, although infrequently and with less intensity. Emotions and challenges that once plagued the mind, resulting in confusion, conflict, and strife for what seemed to be an eternity become resolved in a relatively short period of time, conserving energy for more meaningful purposes. Worry, stress, panic and anxiety have been replaced with acceptance, understanding and knowledge. The attainment of sobriety has brought with it peace and calmness. One appears more confident and reassured. Achievement of the material world may be desired, but is not a necessary measure of success. The simplicity of life has become meaningful, knowing that things are as they should be.
Be conscious of: Comprehensive, peace and calm.
“High on a throne be the enduring soul Nye as a skeptic, critic or cynic rather a vision of expansion, perception and knowledge.” -RJG