By: Marilyn L. Davis
“Little by little, the old world crumbled, and not once did the king imagine that some of the pieces might fall on him.” ― Jennifer Donnelly, Revolution
Are You Behaving Like a King or Queen in Early Recovery?
Many addicts and alcoholics create the false belief that the world revolves around them in their use. They believe that they are entitled to rule, govern, and control situations and others, even while their life is spiraling out of control from their use.
Now, you’re in early recovery and realize that others will control a lot of the choices in your life. There will be counselors, peers, family, courts, agencies, and friends who have opinions about how you need to govern your life now.
For some of you, there will be agencies, either the judicial field or those who watch your children. Probation, Parole, and Family and Children’s Service organizations will all have a say in what changes or modifications they need to see to make sure that you are staying in recovery.
Before you get a resentment or are dismissive of all these suggestion and directions, think about your attitudes and see if they might not be showing your entitlement.
How Was the World When You Ruled It?
When we begin to look at our lives objectively, we see that things did not run smoothly.
- We had strained or non-existent relationships due to our use.
- We struggled to meet necessary financial obligations.
- We manipulated and tried to rule the actions of others.
- We stole from loved ones to facilitate our use.
- We were not reliable, responsible, or dependable.
If those descriptors sound like your life in your use, then maybe it is time to let go of the reins of power.
Step down from the throne for a while and let others decide what is in your best interest.
Entitled Attitudes Prevent You From Recovering
Check to see if you falsely believe any of these statements. They’re a clue that you feel the right to dismiss suggestions and directions given by others about your progress in recovery.
Trusting in a Process
Rarely does someone give incorrect directions to promote change. Why would they bother giving you inaccurate suggestions so you could come back and tell them they were wrong?
Treatment providers, sponsors/accountability partners and other people in recovery give you directions to change and improve the circumstances of your life.
- They may tell you what educators in recovery find helpful.
- Often they will tell you about their life examples that correspond to your situation.
- They may quote a reference from recovery-oriented workbooks.
- They will give you assignments designed to help you become introspective and look at your shortcomings, strengths or limitations.
You have nothing to lose by following the directions.
In fact, you might find solutions for your substance abuse problem, as well as improving your relationships, money management skills or learning to be accountable and responsible.
Vacation from Ruling
Even the king and queen take a vacation. They let others rule in their place. Thinking of treatment or early recovery as a vacation might sound far-fetched, but it can be a relief to let others be in charge for a while and see what outcomes you get. Let someone else be the driver for a change. Sit back, enjoy the ride and know that those trying to help you understand the road ahead – they’ve traveled it themselves.
Either way, when you relinquish your entitled attitudes and stop trying to rule the world, you’ll learn from others, and when you do get back in control of your life, you can rule it better.
Writing, and recovery heals the heart
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