Early Stages of Recovery

Early recovery is really interesting. We are ready to take on the world. Nothing seems impossible. Everything seems within our reach. Some folks call this the "pink cloud" of recovery. That's when it hits. Or, rather, we hit it….the wall of reality. For instance, the same people who were so adamant that we stop using or stop drinking and get involved in a recovery program are now complaining that we spend too much time involved with "that group down there."

Suddenly, we stop trusting in the principles of recovery. The path that seemed so clear, so easy, if we just stayed clean and sober, and worked the steps, is now confusing. We start having doubts about ourselves and our recovery. Sometimes we wonder if we didn't make a mistake. Sometimes we decide that if we just tried a little harder, all the problems would go away.

News flash: We are not only powerless over the addiction, we are also powerless over a whole host of other people, places, and things. When we changed those people, places, and things, we sometimes forget that we are not in control of them any more than we were of the addiction. Our plans for a trouble free life have been thwarted.

Life doesn't go away just because we decided to get well. It is easy to take back, or try to take back the control of our lives. We may even pray for the Higher Power to intervene, while we secretly harbor the idea that the Higher Power is a tool for us to use to fix the problem. In other words, we are still trying to be in control.

Letting go of control does not mean there is nothing for me to do. There's a lot to do in recovery….we are just not in charge of the outcome. And, there's the rub. We want what we want, when we want it. The same attitude that fed the addiction is now feeding our frustration, anger, doubt, and worry.

It may be time to increase our meeting attendance or work step 1-3 again. If you have been struggling with the above, why not give your counselor and/or your sponsor a call and talk it over?

--Rick B.

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Dr. Candace McDaniel
8021 East Thornton Fwy, Suite A
Dallas, Texas 75228

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