This was a major lesson for me:
Don’t try to fix an inside problem, on the outside.
Taking a honest look and thorough analysis of where alcohol has brought you to, and the practical impact and negative consequences in your life, is important.
Let’s not deny that.
The negative outside influences like social circle, “friends”, and sometimes even family, can all unknowingly be enabling a pattern of addiction, and making it ok, or rational.
Taking stock of the negative consequences of alcoholism in your life, the events, illnesses, family issues, communication, and sometimes emergency situations or hospital admissions, can be an effective negative deterrent or negative motivator which keeps us on track.
But, without addressing the inside issue of addiction – we’ll always be fighting to keep the practical elements of recovery on-track – against a bigger internal force that hasn’t fully resolved the reasons behind the addiction, psychologically.
The real question is – what is addiction doing for you?
Not the day-to-day of using or abusing alcohol – but the bigger benefit?
What is, some part of you, getting out of it?
For me, alcohol was a way to avoid expectations – whether my own or my perceived expectations of others.
I had to do a lot (like, a LOT) of internal work on my own beliefs and perceptions about what others expect of me (are those expectations really there, in the outside world? Where?) and challenge myself to see that the triggers I thought were there – really weren’t.
Once I realised this, I had to keep a watchful eye on my own conclusions, in all sorts of daily situations, and make sure I wasn’t jumping to any conclusions that weren’t helpful for my recovery.
This takes a lot of energy and work, but nowadays I rarely get triggered in this way – and when I do, I’m much calmer, as I know what to do, and that it’s going to be ok.
Whilst I deal with the day-to-day events relatively calmly these days, I’m reminded of my sponsor’s mantra –
*Addiction is an inside job*