To grow in recovery, we must grow up emotionally. This means getting honest with ourselves and facing up to the self-defeating thoughts and actions that put our sobriety at risk. Although there are as many ways to mess up recovery as there are alcoholics and addicts, some general themes exist, which include confusing self-concern with selfishness not making amends using the program to try to become perfect not getting help for relationship troubles believing that life should be easy
In simple, down-to-earth language, Allen Berger explores the twelve most commonly confronted beliefs and attitudes that can sabotage recovery. He then provides tools for working through these problems in daily life. This useful guide offers fresh perspectives on how the process of change begins with basic self-awareness and a commitment to working a daily program.
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Addiction is not the only problem, best relapse prevention book I've read.
By Barbara S. Reeves on July 18, 2011
In research supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, tests using PET scans of addict's brains demonstrate that once addiction has been established, the addict's brain physically changes, possibly forever. These changes make it difficult for an addict to learn from their experiences. Psychological processes, such as denial, and neuro-psychological processes, such as state-dependent learning, interfere with the addict's ability to retain the needed information necessary to break the bonds of addiction. This is one key trait that all addicts share - they don't "learn their lesson." This is why it's also said in twelve step groups that there is no mental defense against addiction; a fit spiritual condition is our only hope. Allen Berger has written "12 Stupid Things That Mess Up Recovery" to help us stay in fit spiritual condition.
The 12 stupid things are:
1) Believing addiction to one substance is the only problem.
2) Believing sobriety will fix everything.
3) Pursuing recovery with less energy than pursuing addiction.
4) Being selectively honest.
5) Feeling special and unique.
6) Not making amends.
7) Using the program to become perfect.
8) Confusing self-concern with selfishness.
9) Playing futile self-improvement games.
10) Not getting help for relationship troubles.
11) Believing that life should be easy.
12) Using the program to handle everything.
Once we get the monkey off our backs, emotional sobriety is the next step in recovery. Because drugs and alcohol suppress emotions, addicts don't develop the emotional maturity necessary to learn from life experiences. Once the drugs and alcohol are removed, we still have to face the problems we've been running from: severe and incapacitating depression or anxiety, chronic relationship problems, underachievement, unprocessed traumas, insomnia, anger and rage, self-hate, fear of social interactions, inability to pursue dreams, thoughts of suicide, feeling lost and alone, and constantly thinking about using. Many of these problems are what caused us to become addicted in the first place, so if we don't learn how to deal with them, just simply not using is not going to work. These problems are not going to go away on their own.
"12 Stupid Things That Mess Up Recovery" is one of the best relapse prevention books I've read. As every addict will tell you, quitting is easy, it's staying quit that is hard. If you are serious about recovery, and really want to quit, but just can't seem to, you may be making one or more of these mistakes, so read this book and give it another try.
David Allan Reeves
Author of "Running Away From Me"
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