An old friend often said, "It's heartbreaking when addiction masquerades as recovery. When I'm coasting in recovery, not truly connected, watch out. I can't even see myself slipping." It's the façade of recovery without the actual benefits. As a mentor once said, "It's not recovery that hurts. It's the lack of recovery that hurts. It's what happens when we forget how essential authenticity is and take it for granted, getting lost in life's many distractions." That was the first version of the "deep fake" for me...showing up with a "representative self" instead of our actual self.
I can remember times, days, weeks, months, and years attending recovery meetings yet suffering and in pain, knowing how to share without getting caught because the uneasy, dis-eased mind was influencing me not to be open and vulnerable. It was decoration void of substance. Surface level, lacking depth into the reality of the moment. All talk and no action cause the truth was, negativity mind blocked my ability to see a way forward. It's possible to look the part without actually being the part. We can focus so much time and energy on appearances and accessories, not realizing we're plastic mannequins pretending to be human. That is definitely not "fully whole and wholly free, as a result of goodwill and creative action of the spirit." For me, it was settling on a desolate Plateau for far less than what was possible.
Usually, what shakes me out of that way of showing up, the ritualized habit of recovery?:
A) The pain is too great to continue with the decorative performance art, remembering "social acceptability does not equal recovery or healing." Sometimes my head and thoughts have the ability to dull or distract me so much that I can miss noticing that I've become complacent, whether it's intentional or accidental.
B) I remember the part of the NA Basic Text that says, "You can't save your face and your ass at the same time." We can choose to be happy through the unfolding of our healing or miserable by sticking with negativity mind. As my clean time continues to expand, I've come to realize the deeper importance of having "Intentionality" as an active value in my day-to-day life.
C) Doing something outside my routine that shifted my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual gaze long enough to break the trance of the default mindset. My name for this is "Discovery Channel mind," rather than the everyday routine mind. Sometimes I literally will pause and ask myself... "Instead of doing it this routine habitual way, how can I do this differently and give myself permission to discover something new?"
D) The therapeutic value of one addict helping another, reaching out to wake me from my dreaming self because they know me well enough to see when I'm muddling through. That said, what "Living in surrender" looks like for me is not fighting the help, support, and care of others. Having a "Don't-know-mind," instead of "I-got-this-and-I-don't-need-you-mind," can be like being gifted a new set of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual ears that can be pretty soulful.
E) All of the above.
Healing and recovery require rigorous self-honesty, authenticity, and willingness to face ourselves as we truly are - perfectly imperfect, complex beings on a journey of growth and betterment, that can forget how to breathe. When we lose sight of that and settle for decoration rather than genuine substance, we could offer ourselves the courage to break the trance and return to the center of authenticity, integrity, and Love with L.O.V.E. (Lots of Voluntary Effort). In This Way, we could re-notice and re-engage True compassion for ourselves and others, deepen connections, and have the freedom to unfold into our Original Nature... Original Sanity... Which is Love.
一Dignity and Grace