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|02-18-2011, 09:44 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New York State
The Mask of Recovery
I wrote this, a few years back, for an NA Newsletter. Figured I'd post it as a different topic:
The Mask of Recovery
Becoming employed, socially acceptable and reunited with our families does not make our lives manageable. Social acceptability does not equal recovery.” -Basic Text, page 21
Many of us come to NA beaten. We think that drugs were the cause of all of our problems, and we figure that if we could just stop using drugs everything would be all right.
We start going to meetings and change people, places and things. Before long, we’ve acquired some clean time and get “locked and loaded” on making up for all those years we used and getting back all those things we gave away because of our addiction.
For many of us, we get the jewelry, we get the apartment, we go back to school and get degrees, we become employed, we get the new relationship, we get the car, we get the new clothes and we get into a routine of doing what we believe “normal” people do. We have reached a point of social acceptability and many of us view these changes in our lives as recovery (especially if we‘ve acquired extensive clean time). Many of us don’t have time for Step work (if we ever did) – we’re too busy. Too busy to recover!!
“We start to look normal – just by removing the drugs. Acceptability in the eyes of the world is a benefit of recovery: it is not the same thing as recovery.” -Just For Today, page 204
Many of us can put on the mask of recovery by staying clean and by imitating the things that we think will make us be seen as acceptable. We may fail to see that we are still trying to fit in with false images, false personalities and false status symbols. The phony images we used to hide our low self-esteem during active addiction are often substituted for new phony images when we get clean. It‘s too bad we fool ourselves more than anyone else. NA tells us, “Sometimes we think that these images, built to protect us while using, might also protect us in recovery.”
Recovery is an inside job and not always directly associated with clean time (drugs are just a symptom ), status, employment, jewelry, property or college degrees. Just as apples are just an ingredient of apple pie, staying clean and acquiring the symbols of social acceptability are just factors of recovery – not recovery itself. I’m sure there will be those of us who will read this article and immediately become defensive, or challenge what I’ve written. That’s okay too. Our literature doesn’t lie.
In Narcotics Anonymous, we deal with every aspect of our disease, not just the most obvious symptom –our uncontrollable drug use. Staying clean must come first, but recovery is about more than staying clean. So the next time you hear a member say that clean time “equals” recovery, ask them what program they are working? The Steps are the solution that makes recovery possible.
Taken from – “Inside The Rooms,” April 2004
"We are never forced into relapse. We are given a choice. Relapse is never an accident." - Basic Text, 5th Ed.
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|02-20-2011, 12:38 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2010
I just read your post. Appreciate your knowlege and longevity and your sharing of that. I also think your very correct. I've spent some clean time here and that's not just it. The degrees, back to school, social acceptability, normal living, what I'll call living a bit of a lie. These phony images to cover our low self esteem. I am doing this to the tee to some degree, I just agree with the aspect of going through the steps, that I've been too busy to do. There is that something underlying that working the steps helps you find, from reading your post. Keep posting because I am listening Sir.
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