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Old 11-03-2007, 04:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Clean time -vs- Recovery

Why is being clean not enough? I often pose this question to some of my sponsees and I wondered what kind of answers others here would have.
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Old 11-03-2007, 05:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The one thing that immediately comes to my mind is how if all I do is stay clean, without working any kind of program, I become the meanest, most miserable, ugly, unhappy SOB walking. And everyday brings thoughts of tasting a bullet.

To meet me, you wouldn't know I was clean, as all my actions, words, and attitude are that of a practicing addict, or worse.

For me, that's why it's not enough. Being a living, walking definition of misery is no way to live.
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Old 11-03-2007, 06:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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personally, what i think of is, you can't have recovery without cleantime.

and i feel like a person who's found na and is clean has SOME recovery, maybe not the type recovery i want for myself, but if they didn't use that day, they're doing better that i did before i found NA. if all they did was went to a meeting, at least that's something.
most of us know that it does take more than just not using, or even going to meetings, but its something.

we dont get better over night. it takes years in some areas of our lives. where do we draw the line of you're better enough to be considered in 'recovery'?
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Old 11-03-2007, 07:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I guess my answer to that question when, I first sobered up, would have been "I don't know". After being sober a year or more I knew the difference. I was working my program to the best of my ability and was feeling good about being sober even when I still had problems with depression.

I was getting kudos from other members of my Home Group for being able to share and give them ideas on working their program of recovery.

Being sober or clean without a program to work is the same as not taking my meds for my depression because I am feeling better. Soon all would go to ****!!!

Many people use other methods than AA to get and stay clean and sober. Some go back to church; Some join a meditation/Yoga Group; Some do volunteer work in a Half-Way House; Some will be on a board of directors for a Rehab Center; I was successful with the AA Program and still use it in all aspects of my life in one way or another. I have sober friends. I don't go to slippery places. I do meditation and pray for another day of sobriety. I do have a HP that helps guide my thoughts and actions. Most of all, I use the Serenity Prayer to help keep me balanced each day.

kelsh
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Old 11-03-2007, 08:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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One of the reasons I ask my sponsees this question is because most newer members want to do their step work from the NA step working guide, and although I've done both the old-school worksheets and the SWG, that question was on the 1st step of the worksheets but isn't written the same in the SWG.

For me, just being abstinent (clean) was never enough because I always returned to what I knew best...using. It took me a long time to learn that being clean alone could never keep me clean. Sure...I could get clean plenty of times on sheer willpower, and swear I was okay. Yet, I'd eventually return to the same mindset and resulting behaviors (even after promising I wouldn't). I needed something more.

When I came to NA: meetings, home group, sponsor and got involved in step work, I found that drugs were only a symptom of my disease and since my disease involved more than the use of drugs, my recovery required more than abstinence. In order to recover I had to do more than just stay clean.

Quote:
where do we draw the line of you're better enough to be considered in 'recovery'?
Actually, "we" don't. No one can gauge another's recovery or spiritual growth, from what I know. That's something that is done by each individual, for themselves. Yet, I don't believe recovery is something we get automatically or without continuous effort. Staying clean must come first, but there's more to do (like stepwork). NA says the steps are the solution and the principles that make recovery possible.
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"We are powerless not only over drugs, but over our addiction as well. We need to admit this fact in order to recover." NA Basic Text, pg.20, 5th Ed
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Old 11-03-2007, 11:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Clean/abstinent. The substance is gone, but the insanity remains.

A Recovery program, in this case, Step work; insanity is replaced with sanity.

Abstinence + Sanity = Serenity.
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Old 11-04-2007, 01:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Well said, Doug.
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"We are powerless not only over drugs, but over our addiction as well. We need to admit this fact in order to recover." NA Basic Text, pg.20, 5th Ed
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Old 11-04-2007, 01:04 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Sometimes, it is enough. Other times it's not.
Hopefully , i don't confuse anyone.lol

Of couse the obviouse reasons most of us wanted to get clean
was to get out of a jam.lol or have a better life.

Just have to put things in proper perspective, i guess.
Becuase sometimes in recovery life happens and I don't
get what i want and that life's on life's term...shiet happens.

I use to think...F#@K !! when i go through crap...
not in a million years did i ever thought things can get
as bad as they did when I'm clean and sober.
When i arss is falling off ...the only thing i can
hold on to is my recovery...that's it...it has to be enough.
Becuase if I wasn't clean and sober i wouldn't be writing this
and be in a world of trouble and lost, lost.
Becuase if I get into...i use have been like this by now,
or things should be like this or like that....
or that's shouldn't happened to me.
typically, I'll start beating up on myself first. Once that negative
energy starts, it's a bit hard to stop.
I have to remember..i'm not numb anymore, i feel everything.lol

Other times when i revert back to some of my old behaviors,
yes, just being clean and sober is not enough, I have to try
to change that or work on it.

Sometimes , doing my best is sitting on my hands and just
draging my ass to a meeting...on a bad day, that's about
as best as i can do is not pick up no matter what.
I don't know..I'm an addict. This is some of the crap I go through,
not so much that life throws anything different at me then other peaple.
My mind, body, emotions, process it all wierd.

I guess that's what i get out of working the 12steps. i learned
more about myself and learn some living tools and coping skills,
so I don't have to use. During good times and bad times.
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Old 11-04-2007, 05:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelsh View Post
Many people use other methods than AA to get and stay clean and sober. Some go back to church; Some join a meditation/Yoga Group; Some do volunteer work in a Half-Way House; Some will be on a board of directors for a Rehab Center; I was successful with the AA Program and still use it in all aspects of my life in one way or another. I have sober friends. I don't go to slippery places. I do meditation and pray for another day of sobriety. I do have a HP that helps guide my thoughts and actions. Most of all, I use the Serenity Prayer to help keep me balanced each day.

kelsh
and some get clean the NA way
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Old 11-04-2007, 09:58 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Great thread!!!!


Quote:
The one thing that immediately comes to my mind is how if all I do is stay clean, without working any kind of program, I become the meanest, most miserable, ugly, unhappy SOB walking. And everyday brings thoughts of tasting a bullet.

To meet me, you wouldn't know I was clean, as all my actions, words, and attitude are that of a practicing addict, or worse.

For me, that's why it's not enough. Being a living, walking definition of misery is no way to live.
That has been me a few times since I have been clean. That is me when I get complacent!!!!!

Quote:
Sometimes , doing my best is sitting on my hands and just
draging my ass to a meeting...on a bad day, that's about
as best as i can do is not pick up no matter what.
I don't know..I'm an addict. This is some of the crap I go through,
not so much that life throws anything different at me then other peaple.
My mind, body, emotions, process it all wierd.

I guess that's what i get out of working the 12steps. i learned
more about myself and learn some living tools and coping skills,
so I don't have to use. During good times and bad times.
YEP been there too. And well said.
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Old 11-04-2007, 10:23 AM   #11 (permalink)
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The NA Basic Text chapter "Recovery and Relapse" has an excellent perspective on this topic. It is one of my favorite chapters in the NA book.
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:51 AM   #12 (permalink)
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what about you?
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"We are powerless not only over drugs, but over our addiction as well. We need to admit this fact in order to recover." NA Basic Text, pg.20, 5th Ed
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:59 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I thought that clean time equaled recovery. Today, I understand completely that recovery cannot exist without abstinence. However, it took a relapse after being abstinent for twelve years, and 3 years of active addiction for me to understand that before my relapse I was not in recovery simply because I was no longer doing drugs.

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Old 02-22-2011, 02:55 PM   #14 (permalink)
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clean is simply physical

I need recovery from a disease that is mental, physical and spiritual.

If Im simply clean (not putting drugs into my body) I have addressed only one aspect, the physical one, a syptom of my disease. Using is a symptom. I needed to address the mental obsession as well as the nature of my disease, my self-centeredness which had damaged my spirituality.
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Old 02-27-2011, 10:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Clean = no drugs or alcohol, (still insane) Recovery is the healing of the mind ,body and soul (no longer insane)
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