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  • Writer's pictureMike and Glenn

For the Assist



We spent years self-treating, self-medicating and self-loathing.  We were careless and carefree at times and critical and crass at others. We sometimes overthought but mostly underthought as the reality uncovered was too much to bear, so we buried.  Staying one step ahead of the truth was our modus operandus.  Chaos was our companion.  We thought, and then we acted on that thinking.  It didn’t seem right to us, but it didn’t seem wrong.  Remember, we were self-made and grew comfortable in our creation.  The perfect camouflage for society, so we thought.


Then, on a snap, everything changed.  We were unmasked.  We were outed as problem drinkers.  Ya know, alcoholics.  And there we were, raw to the world to see our scars and stains.  As nasty as the curtain coming down was on our pride, we found a balanced uptick in our determination to make it another day on the sober side of society.


Desperation drove motivation.  We listened.  We learned.  We did what was suggested, and as painful as that was at times, we began to develop a new persona.  The real us ascended closer to the surface.  We were getting awkwardly comfortable in our new skin.  There was, to be honest, considerable discomfort that played out simultaneously as rehashing the past and dealing with the damage done was still omnipresent. 


We sought relief from the conflicts, confusion, and the core-changes.  We needed answers to questions that were deeply embedded within us.  Like an infant navigating its first steps, we sought stability in what was in front of us.  We had to grab onto something steady.  We needed help beyond what Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) had to offer.  We recognized that we needed professional help to augment our recovery if we were to achieve the peace we so deeply pursued. 


Combining professional treatment with the principles and practices of AA, was the game-changer for us.


There are several choices when seeking the right mental health professional:


  • Psychologists - Trained in theory and practice of chronic and serious mental health conditions that result in extreme distress and mental illness that undermine quality of life.  

  • Therapists - Professionals trained for behavioral, emotional, social, or relationship issues, treating mental health conditions on an ongoing basis

  • Counselors - Trained in shorter-term treatment of immediate concerns, tending to treat life challenges on a more right-now basis.


Our conditions and challenges shaped our path – but we took the most important first step.


Next, we established our approach would be built on complete honesty.  Our end of the relationship demanded vigerous honesty and intense mental stretching.  The professional's end, which we spelled out specifically, was to guide us to uncover and repair ANYTHING that might cause us to backslide into relapse.  Terms set and rules defined, we began the hard work of dissecting the decades that brought us to the present while addressing new challenges as they unfolded.


If this all sounds exhausting, it was (is).  Did we pay a physical and financial price? - We did.  Was the pain and price worth the prize? -it is! 


We spent a small fortune and lost decades of opportunity chasing peace.  We proved that we were incapable of acquiring contentment from a container.  The old ways failed us, so we are attempting something new.  And, it's working.


We got intentional about our recovery and surrounded ourselves with the best team available – because we deserve that!


We have come to an understanding of many of the “whys” that once baffled us.  We have come to embrace and accept what used to devastate us.  We see width and depth clearer with each passing session.  We have come to a place of peace. 


Self-seeking has been replaced with self-love.  Calm has replaced chaos.  Professional treatment has taken over self-treatment.  Right-thinking is our go-to as critical and grandiose mindsets have been retired.  Positive attitudes and approaches have bumped negative thoughts and actions to the curb.  Today raw and honest is the skin that most suits us – and those around us.


There is still work to do, but for us, professional mental care therapy works – if it is worked properly. 


Asking for help is a superpower - GH



 

 

Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from sober.coffee podcast #151  titled "Living Sorry - the importance of self-forgiveness”  The session dropped on 2/14/2024….Click here to hear the podcast. 


Photo by Joe Pearson on Unsplash 


BLOG DISCLAIMER:

Alcoholics Anonymous and AA are registered trademarks of Alcoholics World Service. Inc. References to AA, the 12 steps, and 12 traditions does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. This publication is intended to support personal growth and should not be considered a substitute for healthcare professionals' advice. The author’s advice and viewpoints are their own.

 

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