When your values trump your addiction, there is no addiction - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information
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Old 02-27-2019, 10:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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When your values trump your addiction, there is no addiction


I don't know where I got this line, I even googled it to see and can't find its source. But it's something that I've been thinking about lately both as I spend time on SR and just generally in my life. And it's something that I came to understand in my path to sobriety, something that I focused on and something that I return to these days should there even be the slightest peep from my AV back in the dungeon where he is chained.

For anyone who hasn't read Viktor Frankl's book Man's Search for Meaning - I can't recommend it more. Frankl was an Austrian neurologist/psychologist/holocaust survivor and his book, in my opinion, should be required reading for all, especially those suffering from addictions. Anyhow, a quote of his that I return to relevant to this topic is: "Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom."

To me that's everything that sobriety is based on - at the end of the day, regardless of the means by which you find sobriety, it's your hand, your mouth, your mind, your body that either chooses to pick up a bottle of alcohol and pour it down your throat or not. The space between the hardcore cravings, the AV lies regarding relaxation/pleasure/escape - that space is where we can choose.

For me it was finally accepting that I was betraying the values I held by continuing to drink. The only way I could stop drinking was by elevating those values above my desire for the bottle. There is pain in this work - and it truly is work - you have to suffer physically, you have to change long term patterns and habits - but, regardless of what they might tell us, the best things, the things of true value in life, are not free. They are earned. They are protected. They are elevated in stature over the selfish desire for oblivion and intoxication.

I wish I came to this place earlier in life. But I am so grateful and thankful that I am here now.
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Old 02-27-2019, 11:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It resonates with me also. Well said.
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Old 02-27-2019, 03:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Love the Frankl quote.
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Old 02-28-2019, 04:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 02-28-2019, 06:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Couldn’t agree more, LG!

We can’t achieve true happiness, balance, health and wellness until the way we live our life is consistent with our values.

I love love love Viktor Frankl and this book. Read it when I was going through a very hard time. So deep and meaningful. This quote is at the bottom of my signature
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Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom - Viktor E. Frankl

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Old 02-28-2019, 09:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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A big part of my battle over addiction is a focus on my value system. It requires me to revamp my desires for immediate gratification in many areas, whether that is to evade my problems or opportunities by thinking about drinking or to strive to strengthen that which I hold dear. I lose when I turn away from my values every time, and I have lost too much to continue in my old behaviors. This provides me clarity of thought and true emotional gratification in a measured way. Thank you for your share.
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Old 03-01-2019, 02:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Lovely thread . Thank you. And I will get my hands on that book asap.
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:15 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't believe this is true as it relates to my sobriety.

The one thing above all else that kept me drinking for so many years was fear. I didn't love myself. I thought the people who had hurt me were right and that I didn't deserve love or happiness or to be treated with a modicum of decency and respect. The idea of navigating through life without my crutch was terrifying to me.

Then when I hit late stage alcoholism the fear of withdrawal exceeded my fear of living life unmedicated. It wasn't until my fear of dying a horrible death exceeded my other fears that I made the commitment to stop.

Embracing your values and becoming a good steward of the community and all that jazz are great. I was a scared boy trapped in a man's body. When I learned to love myself is when my addiction went away.
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by WeThinkNot View Post
I don't believe this is true as it relates to my sobriety.

The one thing above all else that kept me drinking for so many years was fear. I didn't love myself. I thought the people who had hurt me were right and that I didn't deserve love or happiness or to be treated with a modicum of decency and respect. The idea of navigating through life without my crutch was terrifying to me.

Then when I hit late stage alcoholism the fear of withdrawal exceeded my fear of living life unmedicated. It wasn't until my fear of dying a horrible death exceeded my other fears that I made the commitment to stop.

Embracing your values and becoming a good steward of the community and all that jazz are great. I was a scared boy trapped in a man's body. When I learned to love myself is when my addiction went away.
Self-respect and self-love are values as well, ones that pay dividends to the community and all that jazz as you say. Different sides of the same coin, if you ask me.
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Old 03-01-2019, 09:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
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This Book had a profound effect on me when I first read it 30 or so years ago. Definitely a must read!
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Old 03-01-2019, 12:12 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I don't agree but I am glad it works for you.
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Old 03-01-2019, 03:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I don't agree but I am glad it works for you.
Thanks for the input.
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Old 03-01-2019, 04:44 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I like your post and I agree with it completely lessgravity. Living a meaningful existence is often central to filling a void left by drugs and/or alcohol . I believe that the void is often at the very center of the desire to drink and/or use in the first place and that a persons using and/or drinking only gives the illusion of fulfillment.

I saw Victor Frankel speak at an "Evolution of Psychotherapy" conference many years ago. He said that he is sometimes asked if he hates the German people as a result of his experience in Auschwitz. He said no, I can't hate a whole race of people based on what some individuals in that race did. He said that if he did this he would be doing exactly what the Nazi's did.
There was a very brief silence ... and then a thunderous applause, like I have never heard before of since. It was incredibly moving. That man knew how to find meaning. That's the key. It's how he survived.
May you all find it.
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