When the Sobriety and Recovery Program isn't working for you

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When the Sobriety and Recovery Program isn't working for you

Postby Dallas » Sat May 05, 2012 8:50 am

I'm sure that most of us -- who have sober for a while -- have gone through phases when we've felt: "This recovery program isn't working for me! I feel like I'm getting worse! When is the good stuff going to happen for me?"

I believe, that this is normal for us to go through these phases. I don't believe it's normal to stay stuck in them.

My experience has been, when I've gone through those phases is: I left something out -- or I was leaving something out. There was either something that I had failed to do -- entirely and thoroughly -- or, I had just not done it at all. And, then, there were those times that I got away from doing what I knew I should be doing -- and relaxed on my laurels calling for a "recovery time out!" :-)

I learned to get out of those phases by going back through the 12 Steps and asking myself serious questions like:

Have I really confessed all that I should have confessed? (Step 5)

What did I leave out of my Inventory? (Step 4)

What are the character defects that I've continued to hold on to, and refused to give them up? (Steps 6 & 7)

Who, where, and when -- did I not make the amends, that I should have made? (Steps 8 &9)

Have I been diligent and disciplined to at least take a daily inventory? (Step 10)

How has my prayer & meditation experience been going? have I been doing it? (Step 11)

Have I been calling my sponsor? Did I follow my sponsors suggestions -- or did I substitute it for a "good ideal of my own" because he "just didn't understand"? (Step 3, made a decision to go to any lengths -- and to follow direction).

When is the last time, and how often have I been reading the Big Book? (Yes. The Big Book -- our text book, and not the 12 & 12, or some other 'Daily Reflection' type book)? (Required for continued practice of Steps 1 & 2).

What meetings, and how often have I been attending them? (Step 12)

The meetings that I did attend: Did I just go to socialize? Or, to get something for me -- that I needed? Or, did I go there to serve and to be helpful to the meeting or to someone else? (Step 12)

When is the last time I offered my help, or let a "still drinking alcoholic" know -- that I had found a solution that has worked for me -- and it is available to them -- should they ever decide that they might like to try it, also? (Step 12).

As I look at the list above and answer the questions -- I can often discover a "pattern" where there has been one area of the Recovery Program, that I seem to continuously fail or do less than I should be doing -- to experience a healthy recovery with continued sobriety -- AND which will continue to keep me: Happy, joyous, free -- and comfortable -- while sober.

I hope that this may help you as much as it helps me.

Dallas B.

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Re: When the Sobriety and Recovery Program isn't working for

Postby Ranman99 » Sat May 05, 2012 7:34 pm

Yup all of these. I have to do some work. There is an expression one fellow I know uses "move a muscle change a thought".

I would recommend everyone goes through the steps with a sponsor in a timely fashion and then tries to do the work that is recommended to do every day.

One thing I can do if I'm afraid or feeling down in any way is sit down and choose to call 3 members that I know. I will ask them I just called to hear how they are doing and I will listen and not share my stuff. I play a little game that my HP will give me a message through this exercise and it never ever has failed me so far.

If I still need to chat after that I call my sponsor and before I chat I will ask him how he is doing. Then I will go to a meeting and see if there is anyone there to help.

Selfishness and unrealistic expectations get me every time;-)
:lol: :roll: :lol: :roll:

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Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:20 pm

Re: When the Sobriety and Recovery Program isn't working for

Postby sparklek » Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:04 am

Hi all. Good to be back on the forum here. I absolutely have had moments where I have felt this way but I always looked to gratitude. It really does save me from myself. No matter what I am going through in life or just in my head, remembering what I have been saved from gives me a boost. This usually helps as most of my feelings are moments. Thank God they don't last forever! "This too shall pass..."

In the periods where I have felt disconnected from God in a lingering way, I have clung to meetings, service and my sponsors until finally, I can see what the problem is. Usually it's an unmet expectation. Once I see it, I can apply the Steps to help let it go.

This program is not easy but it truly is better than the alternative. I'm glad this forum is here. It really helped me through some tough periods. Thank you all for being here.

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Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:41 pm

Re: When the Sobriety and Recovery Program isn't working for

Postby Camel » Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:57 am

I agree with you Dallas! I "have to" put forth the effort to achieve spiritual progress. I "have to" follow the directions, if I want to stay alive and sober. There was one very important obligation you mentioned, that I haven't taken the opportunity to perform, as of late, and that is informing practicing alcoholics and addicts, outside of the meetings, that there is a better way of life. That's gratitude in action. That's attraction rather than promotion.


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