Stumbling Blocks in Recovery.
Updated: Jan 6
At the beginning of my recovery journey, when I finally found the willingness to attempt to get sober, I was scared to death. After all, addiction had become my so-called “coping mechanism.” It was my way of trying to numb my feelings, numb my emotions, and after time, it was my way of trying to ignore the guilt, shame and cycle of self-destruction I was in. I also did not want to face the reality of the pain I was causing my family.
Despite the fact addiction was robbing me of everything, I would drink or use almost anytime I felt sadness, fear, stress, anxiety, depression, anger or loneliness. Over time, addiction had crushed my hopes, stole my dreams, peace, family, health, self-esteem and if it would have continued, it would have killed me.
For years I wanted to be free. Time and time again I tried to quit the vicious cycle of using, in my own strength, only to find myself moving backwards instead of forward. I finally had to admit to myself that I had no ability, on my own, to stop using drugs and alcohol other than for a few days, weeks or months at time. I always went back. I was also unable to successfully manage my emotions or life in any way.
Step one of the twelve biblical principles of recovery states: "We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and dependencies and our lives had become unmanageable"
I was experiencing that in my life to the fullest.
Paul put it this way "I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature for I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out." - Romans 7:18
Although addiction had beaten and humiliated me at every turn, early in my recovery journey, every time I was given suggestions about the process of recovery I would try and do things my own way. Counselors, pastors, sponsors and others who had lasting sobriety would try and guide me into making good decisions in my recovery, but my pride would rise up and I would want to try an "easier softer way. “ Despite the fact my life was a train wreck, my relationships were in shambles, and I had no idea how to manage my life, I pridefully assumed I could manage my own recovery. I had a ton of excuses of why I was only willing work the steps I wanted to work. I only went to the meetings I was comfortable going to.
I was told not to get into a relationship in early recovery, but I did anyhow. If my sponsor told me to call him every day, I only called when I felt I needed to.
"Half measures, avail us nothing!“ From the AA Big Book.
As a result I struggled early on to find lasting sobriety, and I experienced relapse after relapse due to the fact that I was leaning far too much on my own self sufficiency and self- will. I was too prideful to follow direction from others. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be sober, I just lacked surrender and humility. False pride and ego were stumbling blocks in my recovery.
The definition of surrender is to “submit to authority” or “to hand over possession of something.” One definition of humility is to “become manageable.” Surrender and humility would be the catalyst that would finally lead me to God, freedom and hope. I had to surrender control and turn my will and my life over to the care of God. I also had to get humble and allow those that had found lasting sobriety to help manage and direct my recovery.
When I got humble and finally surrendered, it was like a weight was lifted off of me. Without reservation, I started following direction and did the same things others who were staying sober had done..
I admitted my own personal powerlessness over my addictions, people, places and things.
I started trusting God more with my circumstances and I turned my whole life and will over to Him.
I started looking honestly at myself and my responsibility in life’s difficulties.
I got honest about my personal defects of character and asked God to help me with them.
I learned to forgive others and asked God to forgive MY wrongs.
I made amends to those I had hurt.
I learned to pray, and serve others.
Ultimately, I developed a real and powerful relationship with my higher power Jesus Christ.
After my surrender, EVERYTHING changed for me. Today, I have seven-plus years of sobriety, and I wake up every day grateful for that. I do not take it for granted. I do my best on a daily basis, to use the recovery tools I have learned from others, practice the principles of the biblical recovery steps in my life, and I wake up every morning and ask God to manage my day.
If you are in early recovery, be careful not to fall into the same trap I did. It was a snare that cost me and my loved ones, continued pain and suffering for years. Surrender, and submit to the process that will bring you into the fullness of recovery. You will discover how to be happy, joyous and free and and in time your life will be more amazing than you could even imagine.
Please feel free to each out to us at Life Recovery Uhrichsville on our website www.liferecovery.info with any general questions or if you have any questions about how to get started in your recovery.
Contact us for help: firstname.lastname@example.org