You can go through the best rehab program in the world and still relapse. There are no guarantees that you won’t. Why? Because the “X” factor in your recovery, in part, is what you choose to believe. In the end, what you choose to believe will either enable you to keep walking in your freedom from addiction, or it will sabotage your recovery. In this two-part post we will be looking at the 10 lies that that most commonly sabotage our recovery and rob us of our newfound freedom from the demon of addiction.
Lie #1: “I Will Be Able To Drink/Use Again Someday”
Our best chance for recovery lies in total abstinence from all mind-altering substances.The reason we buy into this lie is because we want to be like everyone else…”normal”. So we convince ourselves that we will get to the place where we can control our addictive behaviors. We desperately want to believe that we can still drink or smoke a joint with our friends and be able to handle it like they can. Nothing will sabotage our recovery any faster than this lie of denial. The truth is that we are powerless over mind-altering substances. Alcoholics may fool themselves into thinking that they can no longer drink whiskey but can have a beer every now and again. This is a growing problem in AA as members will say that they are “sober” while still occasionally smoking marijuana.What we are doing in our self-deception is compartmentalizing our alcohol or drug abuse so that we can keep an “ace up our sleeve” in case the going gets tough. Drinking or using remains an option for us. When we keep this kind of secret, we are sabotaging our recovery. What we need to do is share this secret – tell the truth.
Lie #2: “Now That I Am Clean and Sober, I’m Good To Go!”
Another lie that sabotages our recovery is believing the lie that “Now that I haven’t had a drink or used in the past 30 days, I’ve got this think licked!” Breaking the bonds of your addiction is just the first step of your recovery process. Recovery is ultimately about recovering our spiritual self and identity. While overcoming the physical bond of our addiction is a great first step, we can’t be deceived in believing the lie that it’s no longer a problem. Much more than just putting the cork in the bottle needs to be done to ensure full recovery. We need to understand and admit that our addiction began as a solution to some deep-rooted emotional problem or issue in our lives. Then one day we find that our addiction has become as much or more of a problem than our original problem. To experience a full and complete recovery, we must face both the physical addiction and our underlying deep-rooted issues. This lie will sabotage our recovery very quickly if we fail to address the other side of our addiction issue…our emotional hurts and pains.
Lie #3: “Now I Can Help My Friends Overcome Their Addiction”
We have to pursue our recovery with the same enthusiasm and energy that we had when we were drinking or using drugs! Sometimes in our sobriety, we convince ourselves that “I am strong enough to go to my old addict friends and help them overcome their addiction.” This is a dangerous lie that sabotages our recovery. Proverbs 6:27 warns, “Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned?” In other words, by going back to the very addictive environment and friends from which you came, chances are real good that you will get burned. We need to understand that addiction overrides our best thinking and even our basic instinct for self-preservation. We have to get into the habit of asking ourselves, “What’s best for my recovery” and then acting upon the answer to that question. More than likely, what’s best for your recovery is to avoid those people and places of your addictive past. We must be willing to do things 180 degrees different from what we have been doing. We need to have nothing short of total commitment to recovery. If we are not 110 percent committed to our recovery, our efforts will most likely sabotage our recovery.
Lie #4: “I Don’t Have To Share All My Secrets”
There’s an old saying in recovery, “We’re only as sick as our secrets.” Secrets live in darkness and in the shadows. As they live in these shadows, they spit out lies of shame and guilt in our minds…and they are very loud voices. Honesty exposes these lies, along with its shame and guilt, to the light and power of TRUTH. This is when shame and guilt begin to loose its power and influence over us.Honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness are essential for recovery. Addictions feed on deceit, distrust, and dishonesty. We are driven to go to any lengths to drink or get high. As a result, we often violate our own personal values – no matter how strong or good they are – but not without consequences. To guard against this lie from sabotaging our recovery, we need to be able to discuss all the things that we don’t want to talk about, especially our secrets…the things that we believe we would never share with anyone. At the heart of recovery lies the notion that we must challenge our old ideas, which are rooted in a faulty pride system. Neutralizing the power of false pride and loosening its control over our life is critical. The more open we are, the more we are able to communicate. The more we share what we are ashamed of, the less power and control our false pride has in our life and the more serenity we experience.
Lie #5: “But I’m The Exception”
Humility is the spiritual foundation of recovery. People who do best in recovery are those who surrender and follow suggestion. One of the most common lies that sabotage our recovery is to negotiate…to pick and choose what we think what will be helpful. One person might say, “I don’t need to go to a meeting every day for the first 90 days of recovery. Two meetings a week are plenty enough for me.” Or, “I don’t need a sponsor. I can do this by myself.” Or, “I don’t have to work all the Steps. One and Twelve are enough for me.”This kind of thinking is based on the mistaken belief that we are special and unique and that we don’t have to do what everyone else has done to develop a solid, robust recovery. This dangerous attitude has led many new-comers, and even some old-timers, back into the depths of despair and relapse. We are special and unique, but not in the sense of our addiction.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with addiction or in the midst of a relapse, we at New Life Spirit Recovery are here for you to help you overcome your struggle. Shame, guilt and feelings of failure can often times be a factor as to why we don’t seek out help with our addiction or relapse, especially if we have already been through other rehab programs before. We understand the powerful control that these feelings have, but we also know how that love and grace has the power to swallow up your shame and guilt and put in its place hope and life. Don’t wait any longer and contact us today at 866-543-3361 and let us help you be an overcomer!