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Reflections on those on the struggle bus of recovery from addiction, relapse and "Recreational use."

What is recovery about for us? This could be a challenging discussion.

--Dignity and Grace

Supplemental readings referred to during the video:

• “The ultimate weapon for recovery is the recovering addict. We concentrate on recovery and feelings not what we have done in the past. Old friends, places and ideas are often a threat to our recovery. We need to change our playmates, playgrounds and playthings.

When we realize that we are not able to manage without drugs, some of us immediately begin experiencing depression, anxiety, hostility and resentment. Petty frustrations, minor setbacks and loneliness often make us feel that we are not getting any better. We find that we suffer from a disease, not a moral dilemma. We were critically ill, not hopelessly bad.”

• “ Complete and continuous abstinence, however, in close association and identification with others in recovery groups, is still the best ground for growth. Although all addicts are basically the same in kind, we do, as individuals, differ in degree of sickness and rate of recovery.”

“There may be times when a relapse lays the groundwork for complete freedom. At other times that freedom can only be achieved by a grim and obstinate willfulness to hang on to abstinence come hell or high water until a crisis passes. An addict, who by any means can lose, even for a time, the need or desire to use, and has free choice over impulsive thinking and compulsive action, has reached a turning point that may be the decisive factor in his recovery. The feeling of true independence and freedom hangs here at times in the balance.” NA BASIC-TEXT

• “Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.” AA BIG BOOK

• “There is a small percentage of former addicts who, after a period of abstinence and recovery, seem to be able to return to drinking or drugs without losing control, but this is a rare exception. The vast majority of addicts will return to active addiction if they participate in the behaviors or substances that they became addicted to in the past.

Accepting that we are addicts is also accepting that we can no longer drink or use drugs. When we bring awareness to the addiction and all the suffering it has caused, we begin a process of recovery that will always include abstinence. Initially, it can be hard to imagine our lives without the drugs or behaviors that bring us temporary relief from the difficulties in our lives.

But later, after we have firmly established the recovery practices, it will be hard to imagine a life that included addiction. The meditation, ethical behavior, and community involvement that accompany the Buddhist path to recovery will lead to an experience of such contentment and well-being that there will no longer even be an attraction to escaping or creating a false temporary intoxication.” REFUGE RECOVERY

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