We admitted we were powerless over our addiction, that our life had become unmanageable.
If you think you know it all, you're a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others. Proverbs 28:26 The Message
“When we have accepted the worst, we have nothing more to lose. And that automatically means – we have everything to gain.”
Everything that we do in a worthwhile recovery effort begins with “we.” We cannot allow ourselves to be alone if we hope to have a worthwhile recovery experience, because no one recovers from their addictions alone. We have to have help. While each of us will have a different story to tell, all of our stories end up pretty much the same way; addicted.
In our addictions, we become isolated by our secrets and by our shame. We feel guilty about the things we’ve done and we feel shameful about the secrets we’ve kept. We often feel like we are little more than a huge mistake that must be kept hidden from others at all costs.
In our efforts to combat our sense of aloneness, many of us have participated in various groups that were based on commitments of religion, social service, virtue, promise keeping, and faithfulness. We participated in these groups with full sincerity, always working with great diligence so we would not fail. We thought that if we could make ourselves to be of great importance we could solve our own internal pain. But we could not. Our best efforts were never good enough for us. No matter how much we excelled in our good works, our own sense of failure continued to grow. Whatever we did, no matter how good or worthwhile it was, it was never good enough. We thought we had to be perfect. It seemed to us that if we could get it right, whatever it was, then we could get ourselves right too. We always worked harder. To us, things were never good enough. We became perfectionists. Then, we would even find failure in our greatest achievements. Strange as it sounds, no matter what the successes we achieved, or the failures we experienced our addictions seemed to become ever more attractive. And, paradoxically, the harder we worked to overcome our addictions on our own the more our addictions ruled our lives.
Left with few, if any, viable opportunities for change we admitted we needed help. And, we took the first step in getting help by seeking out a recovery fellowship, a place where it was safe to admit that we were not in complete control of lives. Desperate, we admitted that we had been unable to overcome some very serious problems with our behavior and that our life was beyond our ability to manage. In making our admission we began to set aside our own ego-centered independence in order to seek out a connectedness and fellowship that could do for us what we had not been able to do for ourselves.
Alone we are dying, but together we can recover and live.
Insights and Inspirations for Christian Twelve Step Recovery
By David Zailer and The Men and Women of Operation Integrity
Chapter One Segment Three
Copyright David Zailer, 2008
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