Willingness to be abstinent

Breakthrough, photo by Stefanie L., Meppen, GermanyPeople who are torn apart by their addiction can lose years struggling to find happiness. Having unhealthy behaviour, whether it is substance or process excesses, keeps us from finding fulfilment and serenity. Nevertheless, only when we become willing to go to any lengths to gain recovery are we able to achieve this freedom. The willingness to be abstinent is not so easy as it sounds. That is why it can be achieved with help from professionals and from self help groups where people have the experience to share about how they did it. Such groups are primarily the 12 Steps fellowship and/or SMART Recovery. The important thing to remember is NOT TO STOP SEARCHING FOR A SOLUTION TO YOUR PROBLEM.

he had so much knowledge about recovery
yet he kept relapsing and was miserable
sometimes he felt that his life was hopeless
and that he should end it
nevertheless he did not give up
33 detox attempts still did not help
then one day like a bolt of lightening
he came out of the tunnel and the
light was not an oncoming train
instead he saw the sun and the trees
his only regret was the years he had wasted
until he found the willingness to be abstinent
at least it was ‘better late than never’!

Breakthrough, photo by Stefanie L., Meppen, Germany,

Know your limitations

Shadow of a friend, photo by Marco Caliulo, Salerno, ItalyI cannot stress enough that people who are not experienced or qualified need to know their limitations when it comes to providing guidance or therapy to those who are afflicted with dysfunctional or addictive behaviours. I am being approached by so many visitors to this website who think that they can help by accommodating or enabling an addiction otherwise the person depending on them will die. Such people at times have risked their own and their children’s happiness and wellbeing in the belief that their partner is more important. The best action is to refer the afflicted person to a therapist and to also get help themselves to process the trauma they have experienced. Here is the answer I gave to one such comment.

Christy, your life is not only miserable but you have the responsibility of providing a safe upbringing for your children. Your husband is obviously in the clutches of addiction and so it is up to you to rescue yourself and your children. You have several options. You can leave him and set yourself up (and your children) in a new life free of his addiction. You can get help from a therapist specialising in this field and/or others who have had the same experiences and have succeeded in changing their lifestyles, like members of a 12 Step fellowship. Staying in the same situation and not doing anything about it, or just griping about it is not an option, particularly because you have the children to protect. So tell me what your decision is.

Shadow of a friend, photo by Marco Caliulo, Salerno, Italy

Happy New Year

Look at the futur 1, Martin BOULANGER, Lyon, FranceI wish you all a Happy New Year with happiness and love in your lives.? The festivities found me recuperating from a shoulder injury, as you know,? but now I am feeling more agile. My mind has turned to new year resolutions that we often make, some do-able and some unrealistic. Far better to set realistic goals so as to have a better chance of achieving them and less chance of failure with the outcome of guilt.

I am fascinated at the passion with which
we make new year resolutions
as though with the new year comes
a magic drive to achieve the unachievable
of the past year!
then after a few days we find ourselves
slipping back to old unacceptable behaviours
bummer! we blame the gods
better to not become intoxicated by the
passion of the promise of the new year
and rationally make a plan to get things done
things which we believe are best for us
and are more likely to succeed with

Recovery from injury

Arm in sling, photo by Jacque Stengel, United StatesWhen we are injured physically or emotionally (burnout) the recovery process takes some time and we need to give ourselves permission to veg out and rest in order to heal. Sitting around doing nothing can cause us guilt but the recovery from injury takes time. We need to follow doctor’s orders and not push ourselves to do things that might throw us backwards. Patience is important and logic helps us to be patient till we are again well enough.

as I mentioned before I became injured
resulting in a dislocated shoulder
I took it easy with my arm in a sling
but I miscalculated the recovery time from injury
thinking that after few days I’d be able to be over the pain
it is now 5 weeks since the event and although
I have vegged out and rested and all that
I am still not altogether well and am still in pain
how wrong could I be?
nevertheless I am prepared to rest some more

Arm in sling, photo by Jacque Stengel, United States, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/618476