Not “fixed”, but recoverING…

I fell into a trap that I feel like I should point out for anyone else who may be trying to overcome something.  That trap is “counting days”.

I started out in my recovery pretty strong.  I was sharing with people and making strides.  I was gaining great insight and seemed to have a pretty strong sense of resolve.  I started working toward starting a recovery program in my church.  But, then things started to get really weird and difficult.  A regional leader of the recovery program we were starting made mention that leaders should have six months clean from any relapses.  At that point, I had only had two so the co-leader became suspicious of my recovery.  All of a sudden her attitude toward me changed.  I was not longer a fellow-recoverer but more of a noob.  I became less in her eyes because of length of time.

So, I began counting days–almost subconsciously.  I was going to make it six months so that I could have that “title” under my belt.  I was going to earn my status of true-recoverer and that was that.  Unfortunately, my focus started to get mixed up as a result.

In a post I recently wrote, I described how this co-leader I’ve just mentioned and a leader from another group who I entrusted to be my sponsor became somewhat vindictive toward me.  I was deeply hurt by it.  I had made myself vulnerable to them only to be crushed by their snobbish attitude toward the newly recovering.

As a result, I became discouraged and relapsed for a day or so.  Now, in my mind I suddenly felt I had completely failed.  “It’s all over!!  Four months down the tubes!  Now I have to start all over for the six month goal!!  How discouraging…  I’ve ruined it!”

But, that’s the trap I think that was set for me.  That’s exactly the kind of thing that could destroy my full recovery.  I haven’t ruined anything.  I’ve simply allowed others to take control of my recovery.  Since when did I ever say I was “fixed”?  So, why was I trying to act like I was.  So, I’ve since left all those toxic people and decided to take back control of my own recovery future.  I’ve decided I was doing much better without them.  I’ve dropped the whole “I’m fixed” thing and gone back to “I’m recoverING”.  That makes more sense to me.  It seems that while I was recoverING I was doing well and there was no relapse.  But, as people pushed me into the “I’m fixed” and “I’m adding up my days” trap, it seems all I thought about was relapse.  And guess what happened as a result?!

So, I’m going back to the process.  Unfortunately, there is a key component missing now.  As I’ve mentioned many times before, it’s of supreme importance that you have a group of people you can share with.  That could be Celebrate Recovery, SA, even AA I suppose.  I’m not willing to be a part of our Celebrate Recovery because the leader has burned me.  I’m not willing to go to the other CR in town because their leader also burned me (he was my sponsor).  There’s just too much history there now.  I’m not really interested in going to AA because I’m not sure the whole anonymous God thing is for me.  Plus, I’m moving in three months and I’m not wanting to start a bunch of relationships and then move.  So, I’m kind of holding out until I get moved in June.

Will you guys please pray for me?  I’m a little concerned about not having a support group for three months.  But, I believe God knows my situation and can give me grace.  In the meantime, I’ll just continue where I had left off and do the best I can with what I’ve got.

Not “fixed”, but recoverING…

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12 Responses to Not “fixed”, but recoverING…

  1. We put so much on the line when we open up to others in recovery. There is a lot of trust involved and when we feel we have been crossed, walls instantly start going up around us to protect ourselves from more hurt. Being challenged and refined by others is hard enough, so when someone comes up to me and tries to correct me in an unloving manner, I can get so focus on how they wronged me I forget their intentions.
    Those who lead recovery groups aren’t out to hurt recovering addicts, they want to help. However, just because someone wants help doesn’t mean they’re always going to be doing the right things. Having been to anonymous groups and church recovery groups I can say from my experience that those who fight alongside me in my faith have a greater understanding of love and grace than those outside the church.
    Even these people, however, have wronged me. We all fall short of the glory of God. The temptation is to run away, burn bridges, and find someone else to lean onto. However, I believe, the more noble act is to try and mend, forgive, and correct one another. There’s a couple reasons I believe this: 1) If I do wrong to someone and don’t know it I would really want someone to come and tell me so that I can correct the behavior; 2) If there’s bad blood between me and another individual, I feel I must open I dialogue with that person, be honest with my feelings, and leave it up to them on how things progress. It doesn’t have to be a matter of right and wrong, but being open about how I feel towards that person or action will give them the opportunity to either repent or ignore me…either way the guilt is off my chest.
    I hope this helps, even just a little bit. I will be praying for you.

  2. torik89 says:

    Even if you have just one guy who you can befriend and is willing to love you and live life with you for the next 3 months that might be all you need to make it! I will definitely be praying for you! Jesus will provide.

  3. Justin says:

    Sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. -Romans 6:14 This verse brings me comfort after a relapse. I’ve counted the number of days before too and it’s a trap for sure. It’s a gateway to moving from relationship to religion and trying to earn your way into something. Jesus is not afraid of sin. Stay strong and believe what He says about you. John 15:3

  4. A2LSM says:

    Thank you for this post. I’m what they would have called a “noob” in the recovering process. Reading your posts are a blessing to me. I will keep you in my prayers.

  5. cathartique says:

    Wow, judging you or anyone else in recovery is about the most damaging thing any of the rehab leaders could possibly do…not to mention that judging people is against the whole Christian ethos! I’d happy to be one of your support people over the next few months if you’ll have me. I’ll keep you in my prayers. Check out the ‘Rule/Abstinence Violation Effect’ in this link http://www.psychology-lexicon.com/cms/glossary/glossary-a/90-abstinence-violation-effect.html
    Somehow you managed to get back on track before your lapse became a full-blown relapse! That’s truly amazing!!! Your intuitive thought processes served you well…it’s exactly how I would have encouraged you to think if you’d come to me for therapy, and it just came naturally to you 😀

    • I didn’t realize there was a definition (the Rule/Abstinence Violation Effect) although I’ve experienced it many times. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to getting to know you better. Thanks for the prayers–definitely need them!

      • cathartique says:

        My pleasure! There are probably heaps of cognitive and behavioural strategies you use because you’ve found they work for you. Some people have to be taught, and then there’s the ones that seem to have an intuitive sense of what will work to keep them on track…you seem to fall into the latter category 🙂 Thinking of you on your journey 😉

  6. I’m keeping you in my daily prayers, Lost, because I’ve felt from the moment I stumbled onto your blog that God is going to use you greatly in this work — you can’t get bogged down by ego into the “time game.” All of that really is pure ego drama.

    AA may actually help you if you’ll just substitute the word “porn” in place of the word “alcohol.” Read the twelve steps doing this and you’ll see what I mean. AA meetings are extremely powerful. They practice the beliefs of the bible without becoming denominational and that will work well for you right now. Go to church too, though, to keep a balance and keep up with the bible’s guidance from a minister whom you admire and feel as if you can trust.

    You haven’t written in a while here. Please keep writing, no matter what is going on. Be honest at all times while you’re doing so. You need this outlet and we need to know what’s happening to and with you. We are praying for you and concerned.. please don’t isolate. You have many prayers from this blogging realm coming your way, I suspect.

    Regards,
    Adrienne

    • I am seriously moved by your comment! I’ve been going through a really hard time. As you probably read, I had a falling out with the lady who was going to co-lead the Celebrate Recovery. So, I cut my ties with that. We’re moving in June so I can finish school. I stopped talking to people about recovery a while back because I started to feel like everyone was beginning to think of me as a pedophile or something. I felt like people genuinely were misunderstanding me. I even stopped talking to my wife about it because it just hurts her. I decided I would only talk about it in safe groups where people would understand. But, since I don’t currently have one, I found myself alone–isolated as you said. I just decided I would give up until June because I just can’t do it alone. But, I don’t want to destroy the next three months of my life–a lot can happen in three months. But, at the same time I just haven’t fully figured out yet how to function in new ways. I wasn’t ready to be left alone yet. Your comment came to me like a little lifeline in a big ocean of no hope. I didn’t expect it. I always enjoyed blogging but I wasn’t really sure anyone was genuinely interested in what I was posting. I want to thank you for this. It will make a difference! I’m going to take some time to pray because you’ve rekindled some hope for me.

  7. Can I suggest googling the closest Alcholics Anonymous meeting to your home or office residence and attending at your earliest convenience? Haha…well, I already did, didn’t I? I guarantee that you will find friends and no judgment there. You may be amazed. Many different kinds of addicts attend these meetings, no matter their addiction, because AA is very dedicated to actually working through those twelve steps. Those steps are from God Himself and they have changed many, many lives, including my own. They work for all addictions and struggles. God can do anything and AA is just one tool He uses. You’ll find immediate, understanding support and a family of friends who will support you, who understand.

    If you’re asked to share, simply state that you’re recovering from an addiction and that you recently relapsed and have discovered you need support through attending meetings and working the twelve steps with a sponsor. God will guide you from here, I promise. Being alone and trying to overcome something on your own is the worst thing you can do. I’m really glad you’re feeling hope and that God is providing it. I have watched you regularly with the sharing you do on this blog and feel it’s extremely important. I know you know how many people, men and women, are addicted to pornography. It’s a tremendous challenge to overcome and they need to watch this struggle you’re enduring. God will use you as a witness to show how He can change lives, if you’ll continue to allow Him to.

    Hang in there…

    If you don’t care for the AA meetings, maybe try Sex Addicts Anonymous, which works on the same premise as the AA meetings, I would assume. The key is to work those twelve steps on your addiction with a good, sober (no current active addiction) sponsor whom you can trust. You’re going to be fine; I know you are.

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