This is a post I really don’t want to write. I let things get to me and reverted back to my old addictive behavior. There is no real excuse for it and I take full responsibility. I know this makes me look bad, however, I want to share with you the steps I’m taking to get back on track.
First of all I’m changing my focus from perfection to progress. I easily fall into the trap of thinking I have to do things perfectly, that I have to be perfect. Thinking I have to do things perfectly makes me so afraid to mess up that I have no joy which in turn makes me more likely to fail.
In reference to the 12-steps, The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says,
Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.
I’m not going to use this as an excuse and say to myself I’m not perfect so oh well why bother. Sometimes that can be a fine line. I want to be able to say that I’m doing everything I can to stay sober. I truly understand how the apostle Paul felt when he wrote,
I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. ~Romans 7:15
This week I really know what it means to do what I hate. I have gotten to the point where I honestly don’t want to do the things associated with my addiction. I didn’t wake up one day and say I’m going to throw away my streak of not acting out.
It was more insidious. Small decisions over the last few weeks lead to it. I was having a rough time but the problems and circumstances didn’t cause me to fall. My reactions to them and the decisions I made about how to handle things, or not handle things, eventually caused me to fall. CORRECTION: led to my decision to act out.
Even when it doesn’t feel like it, a decision is made. Sometimes, it’s a decision made weeks ago.
I decided not to be more vigilant in prayer.
I decided not to listen to recovery podcasts. I decided to be lax with Bible reading.
What I am deciding to do now is to get back up and keep moving forward. When I have rough times I am going to draw closer to God. I’m going to reach out to others. I’m going to take time alone to clear my head. I’m going to do all the things I should have the past few weeks.
Just as important as deciding what to do during rough times is deciding what to do in good times. It is easy to get cocky when things are going good. Some of my worst temptations have occurred in good times. The temptation usually seems sudden during these times.
An important thing for me during any time is connecting with others. I tend to isolate myself which isn’t good. I can’t do recovery alone, let alone life. I shared with my group this week that lately my socializing has revolved around recovery. There is nothing wrong with that but if that’s all I do it can be depressing or discouraging.
So I am going to get back into my routine of spending time with God every day, reading the Bible every day and doing something recovery related daily. On top of that I am going to make a point of reaching out to friends to talk, not about recovery, but just to talk, a few times a week. I apologize in advance to those friends. I’m kidding of course.