The struggle is always towards.......

 One of the difficulties I face as an addiction therapist is managing and containing the fear experienced by an addicted person contemplating recovery. This fear is of course irrational on one level, yet quite logical and understandable on another. We need to always bear in mind that we are suggesting the person let go of the most important relationship in their world, their relationship with addictive substances and behaviours.

Most addicts facing recovery see it as a loss, a giving up, a losing out. They may believe that their lives will be somehow lessened and more difficult without the substance or behaviour that has become so darkly precious. They may feel that they are signing up for a life of suffering and struggle. If this were true, then no addict would ever recover!

I will always address this. Yes, recovery can be a struggle at times, but the struggle is not away from addiction. You cannot struggle away from something, the something will just follow you around, stalking you until in a moment of weakness you will be sorely tempted to return to the old ways of self-management. Anyone who has ever tried to “lose weight”, for example, will tell you that the weight simply lurked in the shadows waiting for the inevitable opportunity to come home!

Many people also believe that they must analyse their lives in great detail to get rid of underlying defects, triggers, fixations and repressions. This is fine as an occasional self-examination process, but one ought not to make a career out of it. Far better to develop strong new attitudes that are oriented towards growth, wholeness, happiness and integration than to poke into the manure heap of trivial states with a stick.

So the struggle is always towards. I will always ask a person “What do you want?” This question is the key. Helping someone to find what they truly want, who they truly want to be and what they truly believe is a powerful thing and then the creative struggle can really begin; the struggle towards what that person really wants.

This I believe is the essence of AA’s Step 2. “We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”


Francis Lickerish, 24/8/15 14:57


 "Give up to grace.

The ocean takes care of each wave 'til it gets to shore.

You need more help than you know."