Recovery From Addiction – Why an Entire Psychic Change is Required
If you are struggling with an addiction or have recently gotten on the path of recovery take a couple of minutes to recall the incidents associated with despair, discouragement, and disillusionment that this addiction has caused in your life.
The lives of those living addictively turn out to be filled with lies, half-truths, deceit, plus manipulation. As a result of a lifestyle lived this way, there are also increasing emotions of guilt, shame, anger, frustration, defeat, despair, and remorse. Every addict, and even loved ones of an addict, knows the desperate plus hopeless reality of life resided in active addiction.
Over period, and often quite quickly, this lifestyle takes the addict to that location Bill Wilson and Dr, Bob Smith, the co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, describe as restless, irritable, and discontent. Bill and Bob clearly understood that a complete modification of an addict’s mind, entire body, and spirit was an complete requirement if “full” recovery had been to be possible. They also recognized recovery is far more than simply “putting the plug in the jug” – stopping drinking or making use of is only the first step associated with transformation.
In the book Alcoholics Anonymous (the basic text associated with AA – often referred to as the Big Book – written between 1936 & 1939) in the chapter “A Doctors Opinion,” Dr. Silkworth, a prominent doctor in the addictions field, wrote: “Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable, and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks – drinks which they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many people do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change, there is very little hope of his recovery.”
Dr. Silkworth had come to see that recuperation, by what would become known as 12 Step Recovery, offered hope earlier unknown for addicts, as well as for their own families. Because of his years dealing with addiction prior to the founding of AA, and then for years afterwards, he expected that unless the addict encountered an entire psychic change there was clearly very little hope of lasting recuperation.
I believe that when Dr. Silkworth used the word “change” he had been referring to “transformational change,” not just something a person change for the short term and get back to later. Transformational change is life-altering and permanent. It is regarding moving away from that place of living stressed, irritable, and discontent to getting happy, joyous, and free. It is about moving from selfishness to selflessness; from neediness in order to being in service to others; through demanding love to being loving plus kind. Thus it is the spiritual journey which is much deeper than simply quitting drinking or even using.
An entire psychic modification is possible when addicts give up their egos to a Higher Power, and at the same time are willing to acknowledge this is something that it is essential.
You often hear in recuperation circles newcomers asking others along with longer recovery: “So what is it about me that I need to change?” The response is “Everything.” That is exactly what Dr. Silkworth is emphasizing whenever he uses the words “entire psychic change.” This transformation, one in which all that 1 is currently to what someone may potentially be, is created through the energetic undertaking of the 12 Steps. Dr. Silkworth observed and understood this particular truth.
I believe that doing the work of the 12 Step program is the building blocks for transformation. In addition, I suggest clients also work a program of using spiritual principles to their life, through this I mean consciously acting along with honesty and integrity, being even more accepting and compassionate, practicing forgiveness, being in service to others, plus having an attitude of appreciation, to name just a few. While there are many, a variety of spiritual principles we have identified 52 different ones for which we’ve created a group of contemplative cards. I have found that simply by actively working on spiritual principles, we are able to heal our character defects. This is what “full” recovery is all about.
Full recovery from dependancy is a lifelong process that needs ongoing work. It is not only about participating in a fellowship associated with recovery; it requires developing and deepening a relationship with one’s Higher Power, and a letting go associated with denial, fear, and mistrust with the ongoing application of spiritual principles. Transformation is recognizable when a person resides life from a place of being joyful, joyous, and free.