Though some in recovery might practice “old behavior” for a while, patterns and consequences of the past return until they find their capacity to change. Those who help others recover can forget that they too are vulnerable to the complexities and subtleties of this disease. The media is full of practitioners of recovery caught in contradictory behavior. The pursuit of pleasure and relief of discomfort may have come in the form of money, power, property, prestige or sex, temporarily substituting for the drink and drug.
The means to recover from alcoholism and addiction may be varied; the capacity to change needs consistency. Any time we place a person, place or object over our overriding desire for and ability to change, we become entangled and bound. What we want is freedom from discomfort and pain, and the experience of pleasure. When we use others to get “our fix” of money, power, property, prestige or sex, this is “old behavior”. Rather than using drugs or alcohol, we use people, places and things.
To break the habits and patterns of alcoholism and addiction, people talk a lot about “recovery”. What is “recovery” if not “change”? Rather being stuck in old behavior, we begin to choose new directions and routes to pleasure and relief. We become concerned in longer term goals and solutions, and we care about others. Recovery includes the ability to change attitude, direction, behavior, perception, habits, goals, motivators, etc. In recovery, we not only change in the moment, but we build “resilience”- a capacity to change over time.
The irony about choice and change is that it usually comes from “willingness” rather than “willfulness”. Change is acquired and learned. If we could access and then manage what we need and desire, change may be less urgent. A problem with alcoholism and addiction stems from the inability to manage and control the object of desire. Sober solutions need to be learned and the alcoholic addict needs to become teachable.
When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Readiness for change can be described and aided. To encourage change, the teacher or counselor must be trustworthy, respectful and must collaborate with the person needing help. A teacher or counselor’s coercive, disrespectful or deceptive behavior will obstruct change.
It’s now time for change and recovery.
Twin Town Treatment Centers is immediately accessible to all Los Angeles and Orange County residents, is accredited by The Joint Commission, and is certified by the California DHCS. All network HMO/PPO/EPO insurance plans and Medi-Cal contract with Twin Town Treatment Centers to provide drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Our phone is answered by real people. We see people on the same they you call. (866) 594-8844