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"Crystallization of Discontent"

Old 08-30-2014, 02:27 PM
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"Crystallization of Discontent"

There is term used in Smart Recovery known as "Crystallization of Discontent" and it describes a motivational moment when a person cognitively tunes in to the reality of their own addiction. In other recovery groups you might call it a moment of clarity. The best way I can describe it from my own experience its kind of like "holy sh€%#" moment where the idea that continuing on the path I was on would have me dead within a few short years. Many people would like to imagine it as being a freeing moment, a fresh wind or enlightenment however for me it was way more Clumsy than that, I didn't feel inspired or energized at all, it was more of a slumped shoulders resignation than a "I can do this" motivation.

When I first got engaged to be married 24 years ago, there came an unavoidable time when I had to admit to my future partner that the money I promised to save for our wedding was not there, that I had gambling problem, (it was frightening moment) because I didn't know what her reaction would be, and part of me had resigned to the idea she would leave me then and there. She didn't leave me and through an hour or so of cathartic release (tears that feel like they come from years of shame and pain) we came up with a plan to hand over my money and go to GA. It felt like a huge burden had been lifted from me a new dawn you could call it. I had developed a new strategy, that if you commit to another person and create enough expectation of an ideal relationship then you would not need gambling. I continued to gamble for another 13 years, following the same pattern through marriage and the birth of my 5 children. Quietly taking another bet again, slow decline into lies and debt then the big Confession (tears and all) a big promise then A week later the cycle starting again. This pattern really wears you down and tests your relationships to the max. My wife later told me as much as she hated my gambling, the biggest knot she got in her stomach was after about the 10th time following this pattern.

Almost 10 years ago now, with not much trust or respect left in my life, certainly from others but also within me. I was ready to die, I actually had made a plan to abandon my family and Gamble myself to death (I know that sounds weird). Then came a fear that I was going to die, pathetically and selfishly, I would leave way more unanswered questions and pain especially with my kids that may affect their quality of life, it was a clumsy affection but is was staring right at me. This was my moment "Crystallization of Discontent", My fantastic wife saw something in me that day, and said I don't care what it costs, or where you go Find a place you can get help. I looked up the first Rehab I could find no thought or care of what it was, it didn't matter. I called and had an over the phone interview, No fear no courage, no real expectations just me being the most honest I had ever been, I never even gave my answers to his questions much thought, I just blurted out the raw truth. There has been many strange twists and turns in my life since that day, some blissful moments and some desperate anxiety and depression. However I have not gambled since that day.

This is not about what rehab I went to or the benefits of Rehabs themselves, on that day it could of been a monastery, salvation army or living with the Australian Indigenous people in the Outback it would not have mattered.
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Old 08-31-2014, 02:33 AM
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After reading your post, I realize this happened to me, also. I remember the day very clearly, I spent most of it in tears. The next day, I woke up and knew I was finished with alcohol. Thanks for the post, it helps me understand a little more about why things have evolved the way they have.

Congrats on your success.
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Old 10-09-2014, 10:04 AM
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It seems this is the thing I keep trying to force upon myself... I desperately want a "Crystallization of Discontent" to happen for me. I'm so afraid that I have to wait ten or twenty years for it to happen naturally... because I'm trying to force it, and it's just not happening. I'm jealous of people who just had that moment, where they just KNEW. They just had to change.

I had that when I gave up wheat, which was the hardest thing I'd done (don't laugh!! It messes with the opioid receptors in my brain and I was about as addicted as heroin or cocaine....and a horrible binge eating problem partly because of that)
But the point is, I just had this moment. Something snapped. And I literally jumped up from my seat and was like "that's it - no more excuses - I quit it now!" and then I got rid of everything with wheat (and sugar) and just...have not had any since. There was no going back, even though it was the hardest thing ever because the cravings were so bad...

I want to have that with alcohol. It's like, I feel I'm getting too much out of it. Even though my life is actually nowhere near where I want it to be. Alcohol allows me to feel so good that I don't care. Ugh..... I want to have this moment. I want to just be done!
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