Break the Acting Out Pattern

getting started progress Nov 17, 2020

Recovery is a process not an "event." Growth doesn't happen, it is happening. We have gotten so used to the acting out cycle of thrill then disappointment, creativity then shame that the new paradigm of recovery is difficult to adapt to.

We want sobriety and recovery to be a quick fix: get in, find the magic cure, and then get out. We crave fast food and not a healthy, slow-cooked meal. But it's time to put away the thrill-seeking and false comfort and instead seek for clarity, understanding, and wisdom. These are the things that last and bring growth and healing.

The good things come slowly and deliberately. We have to actively seek them with the same energy that we sought our drug. We can't expect instant gratification because there are years of negative patterns and chemical connections that have to be transformed. Renewing of the mind takes time but it will happen. "The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day."

Sobriety and active recovery will bring good things in due time. Unlike our addictive behaviors, these good things don't leave behind disappointment, regret, and shame. "The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it."

Early in recovery, we begin to get pieces of clarity, awareness, acceptance, sorrow, understanding, pain, etc. It is tough to see how these are beneficial and work together for good. They are like David collecting the raw materials for the temple: you couldn't see the finished product until Solomon built it into a glorious place. God is the architect of our recoveries and He knows what He is building in us. We trust that the result will be much more beautiful and glorious than we can imagine.

Don't treat your recovery like graffiti, see it like a precious work of art that takes time to compose. Your life is too valuable to be fearful and haphazard in your approach. When you are in a meeting, give others your full attention when they share. I usually share early in a meeting so I can stop thinking about what I want to say and can focus on what others say. Be present and pull yourself out of your head. Let your mental guard down and don't judge or compare.

Listen for God's voice in others—"speak, LORD, thy servant heareth." Even if 95% of what you are hearing is nonsense, there may be medicine for you in the 5%. The prospector looks for specs of gold among the rocks and debris. Slow and steady. Progress, not perfection.


Thoughts on

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