5 Beliefs That Cultivate Complacency in Early Recovery

Written by on February 28, 2019 in Healing & Natural Remedies, Health with 0 Comments

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Addiction has recently been acknowledged as “disease of the brain.” Whether we have been sober 3 years or 30 days, most would agree our sickness is propelled by negative thinking. Studies prove addiction hijacks the brain. The common connection between all addicts is our fundamental inability to deal with emotions. Many addicts turn to drugs/alcohol in order to escape reality and shift our thinking. Once we escape the grips of addiction, for a brief moment, we experience a relief unlike any other.

The misconception, or pink cloud, is that the individual is cured of their ailments. The disease of addiction is fatally progressive in nature. If an individual is suffering from a seemingly hopeless state of mind, it would be ignorant to assume the embedded thought process would escape overnight. In fact, many come to learn that chaotic emotions, old traumas, and delusional thinking have become survival methods and almost effortless. Many of us find ourselves back on the merry-go-round…until one day the pain surpasses the fear of change.

Once we begin trudging down the road to recovery, we are forced to face the traumatic memories of our pains or remain enslaved to our old thoughts. I spent the first year of my sobriety priding myself on reaching the next monthly milestone without a drink or a drug. I continued to avoid any unwelcoming thought or feeling and ultimately the cycle continued. I propelled myself into allowing my past to dictate my future. I sought out chaos, because it was all I had ever known. I continued to accept less than I deserved, because I felt less than. In other words, I was completely sober from all substances but a prisoner to the critic in my head.

Most of us have been shackled to our unhealthy thinking and our actions continue to follow suit. So here we are – sober – and still absolutely miserable. The truth is, once our solution (drugs and alcohol) are removed we are left to our old devices. So what keeps us stuck in the relentless self-induced misery? What thoughts, fears, and beliefs cultivate our complacency?

I’ve Got This

How long have we been disillusioned with the idea that we have everything under control? We have refused help for our addiction, time and time again. The truth is, our inability to ask for help never served us. In fact, the delusion that we could handle everything on our own placed us in the position to be the victim. Thus, the cycle continues. Balance is an important factor in regards to this subject. There is no shame in asking for help but rather an extensive practice of utter humility and courage.

Less Than Complex

Many addicts have spent most of their lives playing the judge, jury, and executioner. Imposing life sentences, for unwarranted traumas, many continue to carry the cross of shame to their death. Undeserving thoughts prove to cause more harm than help. When we get sober, it is important to remember that we are all equal. After all, we are sick. Though our stories may be different, we are all suffering from the same spiritual malady.

Fear of Missing Out

Addict or not, almost all humans (especially of our generation) experience anxiety-ridden FOMO. With the world at our fingertips, it’s no surprise we spend our lives watching the successes and experiences of others and wishing we were there. Sobriety is not a death sentence. In fact, without sobriety, I never experienced many other things outside of the rituals of my next fix. There’s a magical release of opportunities that arise when we continue to do the right thing.

Vulnerability = Weakness

At one time or another, many addicts have experienced rejection and/or abandonment. These experiences have led a lot of us the belief that vulnerability is our kryptonite. Contrarily, vulnerability is the key to unlocking our healing and ultimately our recovery. Without the shared trials, of another alcoholic, AA would cease to exist. According to AA literature, the one thing that insures us immunity from the next drink, is working with another alcoholic. The intimacy and vulnerability that is exchanged, within the fellowship and sponsorship, is unlike any other.


“Progress not perfection.” Perfectionism is a fertile ground upon which addiction, conflict, stress, anxiety, and failure are readily cultivated. Perfectionism is an unrealistic demand for any imperfect human. We create unrealistic expectations, but only to our own demise. “Expectations are premeditated resentments.” When we continue to seek perfectionism, we are setting ourselves up for conflict with ourselves and others. Self-sabotaging at its finest, we must let go of the idea that we can achieve anything like perfection. Shifting the focus to progress rather than perfection, will make room for error, correction, and ultimately growth.

When we refuse to walk through the painful memories of our past, we neglect the opportunity to grow and heal. Holding onto our own ideas has guaranteed us further chaos. Left to our own devices, we are sure to drink again. “We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.” Rome wasn’t built in a day and similarly recovery is a process. In order to reap the promises of recovery, we must be entirely willing to let go of our old ideas and grab onto a new way of life.

 About the Author

Tricia Moceo is an Outreach Specialist for Recovery Local, a local addiction/recovery based marketing company. She advocates long-term sobriety by providing resources to recovering addicts and shedding light on the disease of addiction. Tricia is a mother of two, actively involved in her local recovery community, and is passionate about helping other women find hope in seemingly hopeless situations.




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