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Did your "best efforts" get you to the depths of your addiction?

Old 07-23-2013, 08:02 AM
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Did your "best efforts" get you to the depths of your addiction?

I always hear that term in certain conventional, non-secular recovery circles that-will-not-be-named.

Do you feel that was the case for you? For me, I don't feel like my "best efforts" got me addicted and nearly ruining my life. I feel like my "best efforts" have gotten me, to date, 52 days of sobriety.
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:09 AM
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Is that similar to "half measures availed us nothing"?

While half measures were never the ultimate solution, I never thought they availed me nothing. Half measures saved me from quite a few drinks over the years.

I suppose it's all in the interpretation.
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:17 AM
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For many years, I knew that I should quit drinking but I made no effort. When I really tried to quit, my efforts were successful.
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:38 AM
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my efforts were about controlling it/myself around it.
this failed repeatedly for three decades. or: i failed repeatedly at this.

my best efforts (failed all-out-efforts-to-control) got me eventually to the place where i understood i'm an alcoholic.

so yeah, i can say my best efforts got me to depth of it.
i'd never thought about it in terms of that saying you quote, which i'd never heard before.
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:14 AM
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In my case I'd say yes, my best efforts got me to my bottom.

I chose to drink, use, and a bunch of other stuff to escape my anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed by life. I actually thought they were a valid option that would allow me to keep functioning...going to work, taking care of family etc in spite of my other issues.

hey, everyone talked about going home from work, unwinding with a drink etc....smoking a joint to relax. If it worked for them, maybe I should give it a try, right?

A little didn't work so I took more. More didn't work so I took a LOT more. That didn't work so I overdosed. But all the while thinking that it WAS the answer to my troubles.

At some point I realized I had to change direction and then my best thinking was aimed at the new direction, my efforts going towards something purposeful.

There were niggling doubts along the way that booze and drugs probably weren't the answer, but I didn't let that derail my train of self destruction.
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:14 PM
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No, those would have been my worser efforts. The gooder ones got me sober.
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:19 PM
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Not at all. I don't relate to that saying. My best efforts saved my azz. My addiction is what dragged me through the dirt. Any effort on my part helped me.

But I'm thinking the interpretation of this slogan has a lot to do with our loci of control and perspective, so while I don't personally relate to it, I understand how and why others do.
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:58 PM
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I did put "my best effort" forth in maintaining my active addiction. Getting high was priority one. Then into recovery failing to discover the cause and remedy of my druggie affliction, seems like a half measure (or no measure) approach to the problem.
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:36 PM
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Personally, there are a few self loathing and self denigrating things that I find less than helpful in some recovery circles.

That is one, as is, your best thinking got you here, and take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth.

My alcoholism wasnt caused by my ego, an inability to listen, or some innate character flaw.
I also do not think being spoken to like a child or condescended to helps my recovery.

The fact is, I decided to stop drinking.
I quit.
And I continue to do the "next right thing".
No magic power has done that. I have.

I am all about whatever works for people, but sometimes I believe that taking people in a weak vulnerable state and seeking to perpetuate that is counterproductive.

I do, in all sincerity, take what works for me, and leave the rest.
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Nonsensical View Post
Is that similar to "half measures availed us nothing"?

While half measures were never the ultimate solution, I never thought they availed me nothing. Half measures saved me from quite a few drinks over the years.

I suppose it's all in the interpretation.
Half measure, THAT resonates with me.

In my mind, the difference there, is that trying to cut down, change places, switching from vodka to beer, THOSE are half measures.

And availing nothing? Yeah, that is true in my reality.
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:59 PM
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No.
I never have understood that saying in addiction. Maybe it is for when people say they'll "try"?
My truly best efforts had to do with more than trying.
As Yoda said: There is no try.
My truly best efforts included total absolute commitment that failure was not an option.
And that has got me 531 days sober and a new life!
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:25 PM
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I truly dislike those cliché sayings and derogatory terms, i.e. white knuckles, dry drunk, blah blah blah, oh take the cotton out of your ears, put it in your mouth. We are NOT little children, we are adults that are taking control of our addictions...(I do not use the word disease either. I reserve that one for my brother's cancer that has a less than 25% survival rate)

my best efforts have gotten me sober and not drinking...this is my reality. My best thinking has gotten me sober.
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:37 PM
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I think the full sentence you are referring to is “My best efforts got me here”.

The people I typically hear this from (in that conventional, non-secular recovery circle that-will-not-be-named) are typically those with a fair amount of time. The point that I take from this rather humble admission is that they were unable to achieve their goal solely through their own best efforts.

It’s no different than a person who has failed to achieve lasting sobriety asking for support and advice in this forum. I would venture a guess that most people who found SR did so because they had some form of trouble doing it on their own. I have never heard it used to denigrate an individuals efforts.

Whether a person who is comfortably sober for a period of time credits anything in addition to than their own will is up to them.
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:17 PM
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When drinking I did my best to get lost and wasted. Now sober I do my best to be simply myself in any given moment. Either way, I did for myself as best I could for what I wanted when I wanted it. I suppose I could blame my past addiction for my past troubles, but that would require me to justify I wasn't responsible for my choices and behaviors of taking that next drink. In my sobriety I'm responsible, and same with my past drinking.

So yeah, for me, both my best and my worst efforts got me both drunk and now sober.
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:10 PM
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I have always heard it phrased "My best thinking got me here".

I'm thinking the confusion comes from a vowel being left out and over the years the message just got confused, you know, like the telephone game. Anyway I think the original phrase should read "My beast thinking got me here."

Like others, my best thinking is when I turned it all around to the good.
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Old 07-24-2013, 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by DoubleBarrel View Post
Half measure, THAT resonates with me.

In my mind, the difference there, is that trying to cut down, change places, switching from vodka to beer, THOSE are half measures.
That is what I meant by half measures. I would come up with a new one and for a few days or weeks I would drink less. Not the ultimate solution, but better than continuing with no interruption at all. I would also learn from them that my problem was greater than I had believed. From my perspective, that availed me something.

Cheers!
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Old 07-24-2013, 05:37 AM
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Buddha's last 3 words on this earth were "Do Your Best"

I know so what,,,,just that i'd share this...
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Old 07-24-2013, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Fandy View Post
I truly dislike those cliché sayings and derogatory terms, i.e. white knuckles, dry drunk, blah blah blah, oh take the cotton out of your ears, put it in your mouth. We are NOT little children, we are adults that are taking control of our addictions...(I do not use the word disease either. I reserve that one for my brother's cancer that has a less than 25% survival rate)

my best efforts have gotten me sober and not drinking...this is my reality. My best thinking has gotten me sober.
That's kind of where I am. I sort of feel like the "best efforts got us here" saying is somehow framing seeking support for sobriety as some kind of personal defeat. I refuse to look at it that way. I see my pursuit of support for sobriety as a celebration of life and a 53-day-and-counting personal victory for me. My "best efforts" have gotten me sober and changing my life, not addicted and defeated.

Also, I agree with what Nonsensical said about the "half measures" saying - I also disagree there too - half measures often availed me plenty, the problem was those half measures just weren't enough, so my approach in the end needed to be optimized into its current form, e.g., I need to be pursuing sobriety as opposed to just pursuing moderation, or cutting out just particular substances, behaviors, or etc. as opposed to others. That just didn't work in the end, but it availed me "nothing"? Nope.

Such is the value of clichés.
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:08 AM
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i think that some people find comfort in the cliches, and that is fine. if they need to follow this(thatnotbenamed) to remain sober, it is their choice and may be thinking differently isn't their focus.
i know that i was not my most logical, intelligent self when i got to the point of no return in drinking...i'm quite sure that i behaved like a selfish self- pitying fool....
i still remember some circumstances and shake my head.
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:03 AM
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With both drink and depression the obsessive part was me trying to make sence of things and bring about happiness . i think the thoughts were the words and ideas i'd learned by being part of a family and society.
These days i'm not terribly convinced that the idea of i , that the concept of i is flawed as compaired to how the world is as i percieve it , and that thinking isn't therefore an abstraction based upon a flawed concept .

It seems to be the best we've got available untill we can learn how not to think

I kinda just stopped worrying about anything much then ..

Bestwishes, m
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