I wasn’t prepared to write a part 3 of this post, but as I read back on what I’d come up with so far, I felt it wasn’t done with the Real Recovery Relationship.
Addiction Recovery Equation Relationship = Awareness + Honesty + Sobriety + Recovery Actions…
(I’ve updated the name to the Real Recovery Relationship: it just sounds better.)
Here are some of the details of what I’ve discovered in my initial study of the real recovery relationship:
“…addiction is 10% not acting out and the other 90% dealing with negative emotions.”awareness and surrender change perspective and direction – right now, in this very moment.
Once I had that awareness, I had to get sober and stay that way. But sobriety is NOT recovery.
Recovery requires both a “life style change and a change of heart.
“[recovery] includes recognizing and admitting to being an addict, setting appropriate boundaries to protect against future acting out, learning to cope with life in healthy and appropriate ways, being willing to work on recovery daily, and changing the underlying behaviors that cause the individual to see out pornography.”
With sobriety has to come action – recovery actions. What are those?
- Attending 12-Step Meetings
- Going to a professional therapist who specializes in sexual addiction
- Working the steps on a daily basis
- Reading about recovery
- Working with a sponsor – accountability
- Writing about recovery
- Surrendering on a moment to moment basis
Here are more details about the real recovery relationship from part 2:
As I think about the equation I’ve made thus far, I may be skipping one: Recovery Behaviors.
Actions are a state of doing, where behaviors are a state of being.
I think that concept is important – doing vs being. I feel I have to BE before I DO and not the other way around. It’s like the scripture that says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
What I think is who I am; who I am leads to what I DO.
I know that A, addictive behaviors lead to B, addictive actions.
According to Rhyll Croshaw, addictive behaviors include the following:
- being dishonest
- acting like a victim
- being emotionally disconnected
- being easily angered
- showing a lack of empathy
Addictive actions include:
- acting out sexually by viewing pornography
- engaging in any other sexual relationship outside of the marital relationship
This is clear to me now – the behaviors must proceed the actions. So a revision in my relationship:
Real Recovery Relationship = Awareness > Honesty > Sobriety > Recovery Behaviors > Recovery Actions…
I think I can simplify this relationship at some point. I also think SURRENDER has to be in there somewhere.
My sponsee ask me last night about positive ways to cope with negative emotions. We’ve talked about surrender quite a bit: on my knees, on the phone, write it down. This is essential to dealing positively with negative emotions.
What else did I tell him?
Make a list of the things you can do next and take it to God. This is part of “writing things down” and “on your knees,” but it’s breaking it down more.
I referred to the brother of Jared and Nephi as examples of doing this.
First, the brother of Jared in Ether 3 went to the mount and “cmolten out of a rock sixteen small stones; and they were white and clear, even as transparent dglass; and he did carry them in his hands upon the top of the mount, and cried again unto the Lord.”
Then he said:
4 And I know, O Lord, that thou hast all apower, and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man; therefore touch these stones, O Lord, with thy bfinger, and prepare them that they may shine forth in darkness; and they shall shine forth unto us in the vessels which we have prepared, that we may have clight while we shall cross the sea.
The brother of Jared had thought about solutions, he’d practiced “recovery behaviors.” He then took a solution to the Lord and ask for His help – “recovery actions.”
Nephi did the same thing a couple different times: the broken bow story, the brass plates story and the building of the boat story.
The one that seems to make the most sense in this situation is the broken bow story: all the bows had broken, his family was upset, even doubting God and how they were going to “cope” with the trials they were facing.
18 And it came to pass that as I, Nephi, went forth to slay food, behold, I did break my bow, which was made of fine asteel; and after I did break my bow, behold, my brethren were angry with me because of the loss of my bow, for we did obtain no food.
19 And it came to pass that we did return without food to our families, and being much fatigued, because of their journeying, they did suffer much for the want of food.
20 And it came to pass that Laman and Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael did begin to murmur exceedingly, because of their sufferings and afflictions in the wilderness; and also my father began to murmur against the Lord his God; yea, and they were all exceedingly sorrowful, even that they did amurmur against the Lord.
22 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did speak much unto my brethren, because they had hardened their hearts again, even unto acomplaining against the Lord their God.
Here Nephi talks with his brothers. This is reaching out to others. He tries to understand them, he tries to help them see that complaining against the Lord their God isn’t going to work. Then he takes action:
23 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did amake out of wood a bow, and out of a straight stick, an arrow; wherefore, I did arm myself with a bow and an arrow, with a sling and with stones. And I said unto my bfather: Whither shall I go to obtain food?
Instead of getting down and wallowing in self-pity, Nephi practiced recovery by going out, finding a solution, bringing it to his father, and asking, “Where should I go to get food?”
30 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did go forth up into the top of the mountain, according to the adirections which were given upon the ball.
31 And it came to pass that I did slay wild abeasts, insomuch that I did obtain food for our families.
This is such a great example of surrender and recovery behaviors and recovery actions. I don’t think that Nephi was “in recovery” from addiction, but we are all faced with negative emotions and trials in life. Nephi practiced surrender by staying calm, talking with God and with others, and then, in this case, “writing it down,” thinking over solutions, taking action based on what he’d thought about, and then taking his action back to his father and ultimately God for confirmation.
The Real Recovery Relationship, then, would be Honesty/Awareness > Recovery Behaviors > Recovery Actions/Surrender
When someone is in true recovery, the behaviors, and thus, the actions, don’t exist – they disappear.
If the behaviors are still present, true recovery is still absent.
- being honest
- being respectful
- showing kindness
- being accountable
- emotionally available
- attending 12-Step meetings
- going to therapy
- working the steps
- reading about recovery
- ongoing daily inventory & writing
- helping others (Step 12)
And I would add to the Recovery Actions – SURRENDER!
I feel this is accurate.
I feel this is clear.
The Real Recovery Relationship: Awareness leads to Recovery Behaviors which lead to Recovery Actions.
One of the primary keys is to be aware of what recovery behaviors and recovery actions are and practice them continually.
I just made a document and printed it out as a reminder of where I am and where I want to be today in recovery.
I’m grateful for this study today and feel connected to God.
I look forward to a day in recovery and healing.