Recovery means accepting your true, flawed self.
By Allen Berger
Resistance is the force that blocks us from moving toward what we need. If we get out of our way, we will naturally move toward what we need to do to recover. We are hardwired to move in this direction but only if we don’t interfere with ourselves. When we surrender, we recover our true self. We recover our ability to grow and evolve.
I refer to this growth force as an organismic wisdom. It’s innate to move toward the resolution of our needs and desires and to complete what is incomplete. Abraham Maslow referred to this as a basic human need. This need is incredibly powerful. But it can be interrupted.
Our current understanding is that addiction hijacks our brain and uses other psychological forces to interrupt and interfere with our basic need to grow, resolve and evolve. Resistance to recovery, therefore, is to be expected.
Resistance originates from several sources:
1. The disease of addiction, which doesn’t want us to get well
2. Feeling unworthy of recovery
3. Self-hate and a corresponding desire to punish ourselves
These three forces cause us to do stupid things that sabotage our recovery. In my book 12 Stupid Things that Mess Up Recovery, I discussed 12 of the most common ways that these forces manifest themselves in our recovery and how they sabotage recovery in the first two years.
1. Believing addiction to one substance is the problem
2. Believing sobriety will fix everything
3. Pursuing recovery with less energy than pursuing addiction
4. Being selectively honest
5. Feeling special and unique
6. Not making amends
7. Using the program to try to become perfect
8. Confusing self-concern with selfishness
9. Playing futile self-improvement games
10. Not getting help for relationship problems
11. Using the program to handle everything
12. Believing that life should be easy
How do you avoid this recovery pitfalls?