How can resistance affect your recovery?
Many people in early recovery are resistant to the concept of powerlessness and turning over their life to a Higher Power. Imagining a lifetime of living clean and sober and working a Twelve Step program may be beyond what you can fathom right now. Admitting powerlessness is hard because you are giving up the hope that you can ever drink or use drugs again. This is why you keep fighting instead of surrendering.
It’s not easy to accept that you are powerless. But it’s the first step to recovery. Once you accept the disease, you can then get down to the work of recovery.
If you resist turning your life over to a Higher Power it may be because as an addict you have often put your “faith” in the wrong things (drugs, alcohol, using friends, your self-will) because of your illness. You may have tried to “play God,” believing you had the ultimate plan for yourself and for others. Your quest for power and control may have temporarily crushed your spiritual nature.
If you hold on to resistance, you may remain as spiritually bankrupt as you were in your using days. You could return to your old behaviors and, ultimately, chemical use.
Members of Alcoholics Anonymous often describe the Twelve Steps of AA as a spiritual path. If you let go of resistance and embrace the Steps, they will take you on a lifelong journey of recovery. Each Step leads you to the next. Steps One through Three prepare you, Steps Four through Nine transform you, and Steps Ten through Twelve sustain you.
People can also be resistant to the idea that recovery involves relationships with others and active membership in a Twelve Step group. Many of us drank and used other drugs in isolation. The way of healing from addiction is in reaching out to others for help and support. We were not meant to work a recovery program alone.
Resistance to attending meetings, getting a sponsor, and making friends in recovery can be a big setup for failure. You need to push yourself through the resistance and do it anyway. “Fake it till you make it!”
Others too may resist your recovery, particularly those you’ve used with in the past. When you start working an active recovery program, you will find yourself changing, and not everyone will like those changes. Making hard decisions about the people you allow in your life can be one of the greatest challenges in early recovery, but it is crucial to your success.
In early recovery, it’s best to stay away from those who are resisting the positive changes you are making. If they are people you can’t distance yourself from (such as a spouse or significant other), lean heavily on your sponsor and friends in recovery for support.