The following was written by Mart Meyer, Recovery Coach at PRC Recovery Centre, Sabie.
Becoming more aware of past and current sources of loss and grief, and developing skills to successfully tolerate and manage the emotions associated with them will help negotiate these emotional obstacles and build pathways to sustaining recovery.
A recurring theme we approach in recovery is our inability or unwillingness to experience certain feelings. For addicts, this often results in the excessive use and/or abuse of addictive substances to cope, however, everyone is addicted to something that takes the pain away.
This tests our insecurity about life, situations and events in our life that leave us feeling lost with despair and remorse that follows these cycles of grief. Hope is our retreat as we remind ourselves to “Hold On – Pain Ends”.
Recovery emphasises the unity that is created with We, “We made a decision”, a mind-set that allows us to feel and talk about our emotions rather than avoiding or suppressing those feelings, dealing with them constructively rather than destructively.
The first two questions in step 3, “We decided to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand Him”, invite us to explore two fundamental convictions.
“Why is making a decision central to working this step?”, and “Can I make this decision just for today?”
While not everyone goes through every stage and/or do these stages follow a predictable pattern we all inevitably reach the stage of accepting our problem and guided intuitively we become capable of finding ways to rediscover ourselves.
Hope and grace aren’t incremental once-off attainments. We continue to hold on appreciating that the pain we’re going through will fade away if we continue to nurture our spiritual foundation and build on the trust we develop in Step 3.
The 12 steps are so much more than a program of recovery. It presents us with a new way of living that promises freedom from active addiction, unhealthy behaviours and situational depression.
Do we become insecure about our beliefs or we choose to be secure in our faith that God can and will path the way for us? Surrendering our will and our lives to Him and accepting that God will do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.