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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:31 pm 
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I realize that we cannot persuade anyone to think or believe a certain way...about anything, including something as personal as recovery from addiction.
All we can do is offer our own experiences and solutions....and for the most part I believe everyone on the forum who posts does just that. Respecting each other and their way of choosing recovery is part of growing in recovery, I believe. Having a forum where we can discuss this, educate each other, help each other is invaluable.

It's difficult when it appears as though things are getting in the way of why we are here...But I do believe we should question what we hear...either get a reality check on how we've interpreted something (either by pm or on the forum) and respectfully ask for clarification if something does not seem right.

That's what many of us are doing, I think, in response to the article written by Dr. J. That's all. We're asking for clarification...and if the statement that we've read is true, where are the studies to back it up?
If it is a personal opinion, that's fine. But there is a difference.

Obviously I've shared my own experiences and I've put my story out there...I've also shared my solutions...which are ongoing. I'm not done or fixed or recovered. I am in remission...but its a work in progress and probably always will be. For me.
I do not think everyone has to do what I believe in. Not at all. My only real "deal breaker" if you will, about recovery, or an absolute that I will just put out there is that we can't do this alone. My belief. This addict, in her head by herself, causes damage. To myself, to others. Recovery, to me, means growth. Growing up, and growing out if you will..meaning reaching out, taking my world from a very myopic view and broadening it to include a community. Addicts are isolaters. There is nothing really wrong with that except if we isolate ourselves into relapse. I love to be alone a lot of the time. But I also know when it is dangerous. So growing "out" for me means sometimes getting out when I really don't want to...especially when I don't want to.
So, I just want to say a few things about why I think counseling and other tools are helpful.

Because some of us have a genetic predisposition to addiction does not alone account for our disease.
Taking advantage of counseling helps us learn all we can about what makes us tick and what ticks us off. I develop strategies with my clients for handling the inevitable stresses of life. Recovery groups call this “learning to live life on life’s terms”. This is a necessary skill for all human beings.

People with addictions quickly train themselves to be short-term thinkers. We take our needs one day at a time – where to get the drugs, where to get the money for the drugs, and how to prevent withdrawal. Counseling will helps us learn to be long-term thinkers again. If substance misuse began as a teenager or younger, long-term thinking and planning may be a skill that has never fully developed. Thinking in terms of short-term, medium- term and long-term goals is incredibly rewarding. Counseling is about rebuilding our lives. It helps give us the tools and strategies needed to remain happy and healthy. When most of us finally seek treatment we feel defeated, the addiction has defeated us emotionally, physically, economically, spiritually and socially. Counseling helps restore and rebuild.

Meetings can do the same thing. And they’re free. I have learned probably more in AA meetings than I have in therapy because people around me understand me. As they say, they share their experience, strength and hope and once I got to the point I was able to listen and be teachable, I began to rebuild with the help of a sponsor and other people who had what I wanted. I use meetings still and yet sometimes I fall out from wanting to use them. Some times I feel I have enough tools…even though after years of learning and acquiring life skills and tools to help me learn how to be a fully functioning, useful adult with integrity I find myself slipping back to old ways if I am not careful. It happens so quickly and insidiously and denial is so tricky that I have had several moments where I’ve woken up wondering “how the hell did I get here?”…how did my life get so off track…..again?

Recovery is complex. I think we can get all these kinds of tools in various places. The only place I don’t think we can get them, however, is in our own heads. My opinion.


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 Post subject: I second that
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:18 pm 
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I strongly second what you said about not getting help from inside our own heads. And help can certainly come from many other areas, meetings and counseling being two of them. The people who have also helped me tremendously are also the friends I made at meetings. Another place to get help is from your Sub doctor. My Sub doctor helps me, but he's also not enough. I'm lucky if I get a full ten minutes out of him. I know Dr. J prides himself on how long he spends with each patient. If only all our doctors were like that....I might now feel as strongly about having additional help from meetings, counselor, etc.

laddertipper

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First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:53 pm 
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I am going to respectfully disagree with the idea that we can't get help from inside our own heads. Meditation and contemplation/reflection have been a large part of my recovery process; both of these tools have allowed me to access and use my own inner wisdom to gain insight and make good decisions for myself.

I know there is a part of me that is unwell - certain patterns of thinking that are related to my addiction and to my depression. But I also recognize that I have innate intelligence as well as a certain level of wisdom that I've developed while living my life. Many of the tools that I developed to deal with my triggers and cravings came directly out of my own mind and my systematically developed self-knowledge.

I've got to leave for work now so that's all I can say for the moment, but I'll try to check in later and elaborate my thoughts on this.

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You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.

-Jack Kornfield


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