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Reload this page Recovery from Addictions

Here are various views about recovery from addictions, one of the controversies of societyanother page on this site. I welcome comments and corrections.

"There are no winners and there are no losers in life. There are only choosers." —Dr. Bonnie Wasmund

Music: “Be Strong” from the CD by Danny Gans


Topics this page:

  • Are You Addicted?
  • The Nature of Addictions
  • Courage
  • Misery
  • Personal Responsibility
  • Groups
  • Alternatives
  • Quotes
  • Convictions
  • Resources

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  • Attitudes
  • Prayers
  • Set screen Are You Addicted?

      It gave me the feeling of a job well done without having done a thing.
      When I used, I was committing suicide on the installment plan.
      I was a victim of my biggest character defect: self-pity.

    What Cancer Can't Do

    - Author unknown

    Cancer is so limited.
    It cannot cripple love.
    It cannot shatter hope.
    It cannot corrode faith.
    It cannot eat away peace.
    It cannot destroy confidence.
    It cannot shut out memories.
    It cannot silence courage.
    It cannot quench the spirit.

    An Important Job

    - Author unknown

    I woke up early today, excited over all I get to do before the clock strikes midnight. I have responsibilities to fulfill today. I am important. My job is to choose what kind of day I am going to have.
    Today I can complain because the weather is rainy or I can be thankful that the grass is getting watered for free.
    Today I can feel sad that I don't have more money or I can be glad that my finances encourage me to plan my purchases wisely and guide me away from waste.
    Today I can grumble about my health or I can rejoice that I am alive.
    Today I can lament over all that my parents didn't give me when I was growing up or I can feel grateful that they allowed me to be born.
    Today I can cry because roses have thorns or I can celebrate that thorns have roses.
    Today I can mourn my lack of friends or I can excitedly embark upon a quest to discover new relationships.
    Today I can whine because I have to go to work or I can shout for joy because I have a job to do.
    Today I can complain because I have to go to school or eagerly open my mind and fill it with rich new tidbits of knowledge.
    Today I can murmur dejectedly because I have to do housework or I can feel honored because I've been provided shelter for my mind and body.
    Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped.
    And here I am, the sculptor who gets to do the shaping.
    What today will be like is up to me.
    I get to choose what kind of day I will have!

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    Set screen Top 50 Signs You Have A Drinking Problem

    From Phil's Page of Top Ten Lists etc.

    • You lose arguments with inanimate objects
    • You have to hold onto the lawn to keep from falling off the earth
    • Job interfering with your drinking.
    • Your doctor finds traces of blood in your alcohol stream.
    • Career won't progress beyond Senator from Massachusetts.
    • The back of your head keeps getting hit by the toilet seat.
    • Sincerely believe alcohol to be the elusive 5th food group.
    • 24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case - coincidence??
    • Two hands and just one mouth...
    • "Norm!" is what they say when you enter the bar.
    • When you can focus better with one eye closed
    • The parking lot seems to have moved while you were in the bar
    • Every woman you see has an exact twin.
    • You wake up to find Windows 95 installed on your machine.
    • If you keep asking your wife "where are the kids?" but you don't really have a wife. She's really your couch. Plus you have nothing but beer
    • You fall off the floor...
    • Discover in morning liquid cleaning supplies have mysteriously disappeared
    • Your twin sons are named Barley and Hops.
    • Had "Spuds McKenzie" tattoo removed, replaced it with "Red Dog."
    • Hey, 5 beers has just as many calories as a burger, screw dinner!
    • Beer: it's not just for breakfast anymore.
    • The glass keeps missing your mouth!
    • Pat Buchanan starts to make sense
    • When you go to donate blood and they ask what proof??
    • Vampires catch a buzz after attacking you [also mosquitoes!]
    • Only drinking problem is not having a drink right now
    • At AA meeting you begin: "Hi, my name is... uh..."
    • Your idea of cutting back is less seltzer
    • When vomiting becomes a relief
    • Having a hard time staying on the side walk - left, right, stumble, fall
    • You wake up in the bedroom, your underwear is in the bathroom, and you fell asleep clothed.
    • The whole bar says 'Hi' when you come in...
    • You think the Four Basic Food Groups are Caffeine, Nicotine, Alcohol, and Women.
    • Every night you're beginning to find your roommate's cat more and more attractive.
    • Hi ocifer. I'm not under the affluence of incohol.
    • Waking up with a traffic cone between your legs
    • I'm not drunk... you're just sober...
    • Problem? I Drink, I get Drunk, I Fall down....No Problem
    • If you're on a diet, you cut back your food calories to allow for alcohol calories
    • Even Johnny stops doing jokes about your drinking.
    • The bourbon bottle's empty...that's the problem! - Hey...let's go get some more!
    • Find yourself as the captain for the Exxon Valdez.
    • When the bar owner actually carved your name onto your own barstool
    • Roseanne looks good.
    • Don't recognize wife unless seen through bottom of glass
    • Your LIKE to watch Barney because you're so drunk already!
    • That damned pink elephant followed me home again.
    • You find yourself actually enjoying the food at that all night greasy spoon!!!!
    • The Whisky Ainpit Working Anymoer
    • Senators Kennedy and Packwood shake their heads when they walk past you

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    Set screen The Nature of Addictions


    “For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.” —Galatians 5:16-17 (NIV)

    “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak“
    —Matthew 26:41 (NIV)

    Jesus said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified by it." —John 11:4

    “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
    —2nd Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)

    Drugs bring us to to the gates of paradise, then keep us from entering. —Mason Cooley

      "Addiction is learned inadequate responses to life's problems."

      From: Leo Tolstoy's The Brothers Karamazov
      “A man who lies to himself, and believes his own lies, becomes unable to recognize truth, either in himself or in anyone else, and he ends up losing respect for himself and for others. When he has no respect for anyone, he can no longer love, and, in order to divert himself, having no love in him, he yields to his impulses, indulges in the lowest forms of pleasure, and behaves in the end like an animal, in satisfying his vices. And it all comes from lying-lying to others and to yourself.”

      Rational Recovery Systems (RR) describes itself as “a viable and widely available alternative” to the 12 step foundations of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). RR contends that AA's disease concept of addiction is “without merit on scientific grounds” and “discourages individual initiative.” RR handles complaints about coercive addiction care to “put AA out of business.

      RR claims that “it is entirely possible for individuals to completely recover” from addictions by learning the skill of “Planned Abstinance” — observing thoughts and feelings, becoming “acutely aware of Beast activity and dissociate from it so it can no longer instigate action.” At their website and at locally owned and operated Rational Recovery Centers, addicts are trained to recognize "it" —the Addictive Voice (AV) tempting the addict to indulge in pleasure —any thinking or feeling that supports” using in any form -- EVER.

      Focus on the obvious.
      If you're doing something harmful to yourself,
      wouldn't it be good to stop it?
      But look what it's done to you so far,
      And think of what it still can do to you.
      How far will you let it go?

      Recognition defeats short-term desire, and abstinence soon becomes effortless. Complete separation of "you" from "it" leads to complete recovery and hope for a better life.”

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    Set screen Courage


    Flee from youthful lusts.”
    —2nd Timothy 2:22 (NIV)

    “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” —James 4:7 (NIV)

    Setting Captives offers a free email program to cure sexual addictions. They also have programs for spouses and mentors.

    Stand is a coalition of Christian websites such as Anti PMS (Pre Marital Sex)

      “It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.” —Roman Senator Seneca

      “Courage is Grace Under Pressure” —Ernest Hemingway

      “Paralyze resistence with persistence.” —Frank Tyger

    • "Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent."

    • "Courage is fear in action."
    • "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."

    • "Don't be afraid to try something for fear you will fail; if you have not the will to try you have already failed."
    • "Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently." - Henry Ford
    • "A fear faced is a fear erased."
    • "It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up." —Vince Lombardi

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    Set screen Misery


    looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.
    Hebrews 12:2-3 NKJ

    He can help those who are tempted, because he himself suffered and was tempted.
    Hebrews 2:18

    I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
    Romans 12:1-2 (NKJ)

    How Do Crazy People Go Through The Forest?
    They Take The Psycho Path!

      Sorrows of the King  (Tristesse du Roi) by Henri Matisse.  Get this print framed on your wall!
      Get this print framed for your wall!

      euphoria are happy thoughts/feelings
      dysphoria are bad thoughts/feelings.

    • Abstinence is about behavior, but recovery is about attitude.

    • "There is pain in recovery. Misery is optional.”
    • "You got a problem with drugs? Try our program for 90 days. If you're not satisfied, we'll refund your misery.”

    • "Life is like wrestling a gorilla. You don't stop when you get tired, you stop when the gorilla gets tired.”
    • "Today there's still a monkey on my back. He's just sleeping. He's real easy to wake up.”

    • "Change only happens when the pain of holding on is greater than the fear of letting go.”
    • "Change is mandatory, Progress is Optional.”

    • "A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor."
    • "Do you really need it to feel OK?"

    • "If you really want to stay sober, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse.”
    • "A winner makes commitments; a loser makes promises.”

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    Set screen Personal Responsibility


    See the arm reach out from within the drawing to repair the drawing? From Incredible Optical Illusions by Nigel Rodgers, 1998; Quarto, Inc

    “if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”
    Genesis 4:7b (NIV)

    “but my righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.”
    Hebrews 10:38-39

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. —1 John 1:9

    “For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
    Titus 3:3-7 (NIV)

      “Being an alcoholic does not give me the excuse to act alcoholically.”

      Those in Rational Recovery use different words than Alcoholics Anonymous. RR does not view addicts as victims of circumstances but as those who who practice “self-indulgent behavior.” RR says “Recovery from addictions is an individual's, and not society's, responsibility.”

      RR views "relapses" not as something that just happens to people, but as “reversals of intent.” They believe that anyone is “capable of defeating any appetite.”

    “Relapse is a normal part of addiction, not of recovery.
    If you aren't going to drink or use any more,
    what would your purpose be in
    attending recovery meetings?”
      RR asks addicts to make the “Big Plan”—an “all or nothing” commitment to complete permanent abstinance and “ never change your mind.”

      Don't look back. Don't Entertain the Thought.


      Submitted by Bud Manuel and Michael Frisoli

      1) I will have a cup of coffee in the morning and read my newspaper like I used to, before the Web.

      2) I will eat breakfast with a knife and fork and not with one hand typing.

      3) I will get dressed before noon.

      4) I will make an attempt to clean the house, wash clothes, and plan dinner before even thinking of the Web.

      5) I will sit down and write a letter to those unfortunate few friends and family that are Web-deprived.

      6) I will call someone on the phone who I cannot contact via the Web.

      7) I will read a book...if I still remember how.

      8) I will listen to those around me and their needs and stop telling them to turn the TV down so I can hear the music on the Web.

      9) I will not be tempted during TV commercials to check for email.

      10) I will try and get out of the house at least once a week, if it is necessary or not.

      11) I will remember that my bank is not forgiving if I forget to balance my checkbook because I was too busy on the Web.

      12) Last, but not least, I will remember that I must go to bed sometime ... and the Web will always be there tomorrow!

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    Set screen Groups


    Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results. — James 5:16

    • "Relationships will do to you what alcohol couldn't."
    • "Any chance I had of being the victim I took, because it was a lot easier to blame you than to look at my own life."

      RR calls recovery groups “a mutual procrastination society that diverts the attention of seriously addicted people away from the immediate task of becoming securely abstinent” —a place where people “excuse their decisions”.
      RR's founder, Jack Trimpey, author of the book The New Cure For Substance Addiction, quips that “One commitment to abstinence is worth a lifetime of meetings.”
      Believing that “groups don't keep you sober; you do.” RR Self-Help Network meetings, volunteer coordinators make “no effort to convince addicts to abstain”.

      RR recommends that addicts “form new relationships based on common interests (passions!) rather than common problems.”

      Don't just count the days. Make the days count.

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    Set screen Seeking Power from God/Spirit/Christ


    “live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”

    “anyone who has died has been freed from sin.”
    Romans 6:7 (NIV)

    “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.”
    Ephesians 5:18 (NIV)

    “Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.”
    Psalm 119:133

      The Serenity Prayer used by AA:
      Serenity Prayer by Thomas Simmons. Get this print framed on your wall!
      Get this print framed for your wall!

      God, grant me
      The serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
      Courage to change the things I can, and
      Wisdom to know the difference.

      RR does not subscribe to this because RR originated from “humanistic self-help” in that they do not look to a “Higher Power” (God) who can provide strength, even if only as a focus on something else which helps addicts maintain their dedication.

      RR does not acknowledge the spiritual dimension to addiction.

      RR does not rely on the efficacy of prayers to the creator of the universe who could grant supernatural deliverance from addictions.

      Chuck Colson (message in Real Audio) quotes statistics which show that faith-based programs have the best recovery rate.

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    Set screen Convictions


    “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”
    —Romans 3:23

    “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”
    —John 14:15

      I joined Gambler's Anonymous. They gave me two to one I don't make it. —Rodney Dangerfield

    These and other quotes in italics are from Humor Anonymous and Twisted Serpent, where Laughter Heals in 13 Steps:

    • Are you walking towards a drink or away from one?
    • All alcoholics stop drinking but it is nice to be alive when it happens.
    • For me, my worst day sober is not better than my best day drinking. But my worst day sober is better than my last day drunk.

    • Do what you did and you get what you got.
    • One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor.
    • The topic is "living in the now?" I used to live in the now when I was drinking--as in "let's go get drunk right now. "
    • Changing from alcohol to marijuana was like switching deck chairs on the Titanic.
    • Drinking has gotten me 2 things in life: Fat and Broke.
    • I had three sponsors: HBO, Cinemax and Showtime.
    • I didn't use drugs and alcohol; they used me.

    • I listened like only the dying can.
    • The position for the God job was filled a long time ago.
    • At the start of meetings we always ask, "Is there anybody new or coming back?" We should also ask, "Is there anybody old and going out?"
    • My brain said more, but my body said enough!
    • I thought I deserved to win the lottery because I stopped drinking.
    • I'm stark raving sober.

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    Set screen Dedication for Each Morning

      It's quiet. It's early. My coffee is hot. The sky is still black. The world is still asleep. The day is coming. In a few moments the day will arrive. It will roar down the track with the rising of the sun. The stillness of the dawn will be exchanged for the noise of the day. The calm of solitude will be replaced by the pounding pace of the human race. The refuge of the early morning will be invaded by decisions to be made and deadlines to be met.

      For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the day's demands. It is now that I must make a choice. Because of Calvary, I'm free to choose. And so I choose:

      I choose love ... No occasion justifies hatred; No injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves.

      I choose joy ... I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical ... the tool of the lazy thinker.

      I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problems anything less than an opportunity to see God.

      I choose peace ... I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.

      I choose patience ... I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I'll invite him to do so. Rather than complain that the wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment to pray. Instead of clenching my fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.

      I choose kindness ... I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. Kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.

      I choose goodness ... I will go without before I take dishonest gain. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I will accuse. I choose goodness.

      I choose faithfulness ... Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My wife will not question my love. And my children will never fear that father will not come home.

      I choose gentleness ... Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle.

      If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.

      I choose self-control ... I am a spiritual being. After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal. I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ. I choose self-control.

      Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. To these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek His grace.

      And then, when this day is done, I will place my head on my pillow and rest.

      William Moody on the Fruits of the Spirit

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    Set screen Resources


    “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” —Romans 12:12 (NIV)

    Prayersanother page on this site

    A resource I highly recommend!
    What is Letting Go?another page on this site

    A resource I highly recommend!
    When We Just Can't Stop: Overcoming Addiction

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    Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused his dentist's Novocain during root canal work?
    He wanted to transcend dental medication!


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