5 Questions You May Want To Ask Before Your Next Meeting
I’ve been addicted to so many different things in my life that I’ve lost count. In our society we tend to identify addiction with the substances and behaviors that cause the greatest harm to the greatest amount of people but, in my experience we can become addicted to anything.
Even a recovery program.
Before you old-timers in certain recovery rooms raise your swords and start defending your castle, hear me out. I’m not saying that one should abstain from any type of recovery like they should abstain from shooting heroin into their veins. I’m sure over-eaters would agree that abstinence isn’t always the best model of recovery. Personally, I still work a solid recovery program which includes attending meetings regularly.
In fact, most of the things I became addicted to are things that I need in my life to grow and thrive as my best version of me and a solid recovery program is one of them.
Just like food, sex, exercise, love, and just about anything else I can think of, however, recovery programs can be just another way of self-medicating and stagnating your growth if you use them in the same way as your pet drug. Most people I know (myself included) get into recovery for one reason…they don’t want to continue feeling the way they do right now. The common phrase heard in the rooms is I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.
There’s nothing like intense pain to get my ass moving and, in hindsight, I’m grateful for that pain because it saved my life. The thing is though, I’m an addict which means whenever I find something that takes my pain away and puts me in my comfort zone, I like to stay there long after I’ve warn out my welcome. Before long, every other area of my life starts deteriorating from neglect and I’m back in that comfortable state of denial and telling myself it’s all good because I’m not shooting dope any more.
I remember the insane things I used to share in the rooms. Things like, “my marriage is on the rocks, I hate my job, my health is in the crapper from all these donuts and coffee but HALLELUJAH, it’s all good because I’m not using my previous drug of choice. All the time, never realizing that all I’d accomplished was substituting one addiction for another.
Spending your life running from pain will only lead you to the next feel good. Sustained recovery, continuing growth, and long term joy requires much more than short term pleasure seeking. It demands that we have a vision and a purpose to our lives. One where we can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning tomorrow, next week, and next year.
Be honest, how does it feel to say to yourself, “I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow so I can get through another day without using”?
Is that really all you came here to do?
If you’ve been in recovery for at least a year and you find yourself lacking that enthusiasm you had when you first started noticing a better way of life, maybe you want to have a look at that and ask yourself a few questions like:
- Do I feel like I’m in withdrawal when I miss a meeting?
- Whenever I’m feeling like shit, do I always look backwards at the mess rather than forward at my dreams?
- Has the obsession to use been lifted from me and, if so, am I still putting extra meetings before my family, my career, and my health because of fear?
- Am I staying small and avoiding taking chances on my dreams for fear that I might relapse?
- Am I creating long term joy in my life or short term pleasure between meetings?
I remember how answering a few questions honestly, helped provide the awareness I needed to take a leap of faith and discover a better way of life through the 12 steps. As we grow we must continue asking new questions and answering them honestly to ourselves to see if it’s time for the next leap.
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