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…