October 9

DISCIPLINE MONTH: DAY 9: “When circumstances demand that we do something that is not natural to our temperament or talents, we must sometimes intentionally choose by discipline what we inherently lack by nature.”― Jamie Arpin-Ricci

Addiction is a disease we can recover from. It is a consistent effort for us to remain not only abstinent from drugs and alcohol, but from other addictive behaviors besides. The reason we need to refrain from all addictive behaviors is their inherent ability to destroy us, incrementally.

It is unnatural for us to do this recovery thing. Many will not be able to maintain it over the long term. Most will be able to abstain from one or another behavior but continue to practice addictions in other ways. And will switch from one to another over and over again. That is a painful way of life.

I know it is not in my nature to stop the self-destructive tendencies I have in me. I can feel it when I allow the thoughts to run free and they return to addictive thought patterns over and over again. The old ideas and ways of being are deep-rooted in my brain. I am hard-wired for a lot of dysfunctional thinking and ways of being. To sit still with this thinking when it runs on, usually after I get triggered by something in the world around me, has taken years of discipline and practice.

I have learned to refrain from response most times and just go quiet. Then I find a space for myself where I can just sit and breathe and let the brain play it all out. Then I work through the process I have learned since early recovery in order to shift my thinking back onto the track I wish to follow. The one where I don’t end up in deeper trouble or destroying my life in stupid ways.

This discipline is (thank God!) more and more comfortable for me to perform as years go by. The practice is important. I am blessed to have learned it and done it for so long. Any time I have just allowed myself to react to things, it has been a big mess. Then I get to work steps to clean THAT up. I don’t want to keep doing that, so I have had to learn this way.

There is less trouble, and I don’t feel like such a shit when I do what is right from the beginning. I feel a bit (sometimes a lot!) of inner turmoil and the crazy brain shit, but it doesn’t spill out onto the world around me. It gets contained and I can work it out with myself. WAY better system! Way better…

It is progress, I seek only progress. And it heals my life.

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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