Recovery and Relapse

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LearningSerenity
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Recovery and Relapse

NA's Basic Text spends a fair bit of time talking about relapse and how it relates to recovery. I read this portion of the book recently, and I thought it had a lot of good stuff, so I'm going to put some of my favorite parts here. The paragraphs that I reproduce here aren't in sequential order...I've skipped around a bit. Also, since it's not terribly uncommon for drug relapses to lead to death, so the language is occasionally stronger than might make us gamers comfortable, but I think the points are no less valid. As usual, the only thing I've changed is that I've replaced the word "drugs" with the word "games", and "NA" with "OLGA".

"We are never forced into relapse. We are given a choice. Relapse is never an accident. Relapse is a sign that we have a reservation in our program. We begin to slight our program and leave loopholes in our daily lives. Unaware of the pitfalls ahead, we stumble blindly in the belief that we can make it on our own. Sooner or later we fall into the illusions that drugs make life easier. We believe that [games] can change us, and we forget that these changes are lethal. When we believe that [games] will solve our problems and forget what they can do to us, we are in real trouble. Unless the illusions that we can continue to use or stop using on our own are shattered, we most certainly sign our own death warrant. For some reason, not taking care of our personal affairs lowers our self-esteem and establishes a pattern that repeats itself in all areas of our lives. If we begin to avoid our new responsibilities by missing meetings, neglecting Twelfth Step work, or not getting involved, our program stops. These are the kinds of things that lead to relapse. We may sense a change coming over us. Our ability to remain open-minded disappears. We may become angry and resentful toward anyone or anything. We may begin to reject those who were close to us. We isolate ourselves. We become sick of ourselves in a short time. We revert back to our sickest behavior patterns without even having to use [games]."

"There is something in our self-destructive personalities that cries for failure. Most of us feel that we do not deserve to succeed. This is a common theme with addicts. Self-pity is one of the most destructive of defects; it will drain us of all positive energy. We focus on anything that isn't going our way and ignore all the beauty in our lives. With no real desire to improve our lives, or even to live, we just keep going further and futher down. Some of us never make it back."

"When we forget the effort and the work that it took us to get a period of freedom in our lives, a lack of gratitude sinks in, and self-destruction begins again. Unless action is taken immediately, we run the risk of a relapse that threatens our very existence. Keeping our illusion of reality, rather than using the tools of the program, will return us to isolation. Loneliness will kill us inside and the [games] that almost always come next may do the job completely. The symptoms and the feelings that we experienced at the end of our using will come back even stronger than before. This impact is sure to destroy us if we don't surrender ourselves to the [OLGA] program."

There's other great stuff too, but I wanted to put these three paragraphs out there for further thought and reflection...

When you're going through hell...keep going. --Winston Churchill There is no pit so deep that God is not deeper still --Corrie ten Boom

LearningSerenity
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Relapsing because I have a

Relapsing because I have a reservation about working the program? Check. Leaving loopholes in my daily life? Check. Missing meetings and not getting involved? Check. Sensing a change coming over me? Check. Isolating myself? Check. Feeling that I don't deserve to succeed? Check. Sucking the life out of myself with self-pity? Check. Slowly sinking back into my own personal version of hell-on-earth because I just don't care enough to do what it takes to improve my own life? Check. Forgetfulness leading to a lack of gratitude leading to self-destruction? Check.

At various points, I've gone through all of those things, and sure enough, they led to relapse every time. I'm NOT doing those things right now (at least, that I'm aware of), and things are going well. This stuff just reminded me of the fact that I need to take my program seriously if I want to stay away from relapse. There are all kinds of warning signs that have led up to all but this most recent relapse, and this provides a bit of a checklist as it were just in case I forget where I'm headed when I decide to let something slide in my program...

When you're going through hell...keep going. --Winston Churchill There is no pit so deep that God is not deeper still --Corrie ten Boom

Patria
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NA wrote: There is something
NA wrote:

There is something in our self-destructive personalities that cries for failure. Most of us feel that we do not deserve to succeed. This is a common theme with addicts.

Yes. Me too.

NA wrote:

Self-pity is one of the most destructive of defects; it will drain us of all positive energy. We focus on anything that isn't going our way and ignore all the beauty in our lives. With no real desire to improve our lives, or even to live, we just keep going further and futher down. Some of us never make it back."

Yes. It is so important for me to focus on the beauty in my life, and not focus on the ugliness. Gratitude lists, etc., help me a lot.

Turning it all over to HP.

My main "Patria" is what is described in NA. My main theme is "depression". It takes a lot of work for me to not believe what I am thinking, and focus on the good.

Thank you for posting this; it helps.

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