This page will carry interesting links or articles on addiction. They are not SMART specific but ones our members found helpful
Sobriety birthdays are an opportunity to reflect, preferably with humility and gratitude upon the consequence of one fundamental decision, to change!! Its a chance to be thankful to those who supported you throughout the trails and tribulations of change, to congratulate oneself for finding the courage to change, the courage to ask for help.
ASK FOR HELP, PLEASE…..
For some, a request for help may seem no different to holding out your hand for the bus to stop.
For those, locked in the addictive cycle, is much more, it is to suggest everything we believed in, every coping tool we had developed and nurtured was faulty, that we are weak, that we are failures. Our fragile ego, hanging on a thread of narcissism, with a twist of bitter, Self worth that says, "I am the most important piece of shit in my life" To then ask for help is to say YOU WERE RIGHT!! I AM WRONG!!! I AM USELESS!! It is to accept, I can’t do this on my own, defiance erupts.
This "offensive and defensive" world, the self indulgent, destructive, negative, isolated, anxiety riddled, miserable path being walked, however unpleasant is at least familiar, it becomes a comfort blanket. The surrounding chaos can be explained as other peoples problems, a result of their behaviour, in this world the addicted is the heroic survivor, not the cause.
To face a future without addictive behaviour is to face the nitty gritty irritating emotions that come with life… it’s painful.. the continuation of the chosen substance becomes a powerful draw, the consequences, we believe, could always be faced… tomorrow…
In the process of change, reflection on the past, can fill the addicted with guilt and shame, his/her behaviour is unlikely to have been worthy of pride, contemplating a future can also paralyse the addicted with fear..… These extreme emotions, triggering the desire to use
So how? How can change begin? Change is possible, sufficient numbers within the recovery community bare witness to this, there is no panacea, it requires commitment, persistence and learning to emotionally engage in the day, today, this hour, this moment, not to perfection, the present can be surprisingly difficult to grasp, to sit still, with our feelings. To understand, lt is OK, often appropriate to be unhappy, to be uncomfortable, the absence of continual happiness is not the presence of a thief.
Locked in the cycle of addiction, happiness can be a delusion, an alcohol-drug induced high, oblivion, air punching fantastic bender, it seems impossible to consider swapping this for feeling at ease in our own skin, to learn to be more aware of those we love, to pursue kindness, to practise authenticity, to hold the hand of visiting emotions, to learn ways to guide them, to listen and reason with them, to let them leave, they will return in due course. Locked in the cycle of addiction, it is hard to imagine, joy!
In recovery, we do not have too subscribe to labels, alcoholic, addict, it doesn’t seem fair or slightly helpful, we are not defined by our past behaviour, we chose it, and we can choose to change it. We learn to accept fate for our past decisions, to accept the fate of our present circumstances, we do not have to accept the fate for our future. Today, choices will be made that will impact tomorrows fate, we can practise making better choices, we may not be able to dictate the outcome, better choices however, give us a chance of a better fate than our addictions had planned for us.
We learn, today, tomorrow or any time in the future, We are not victims!
Alcohol and Drugs can make great slaves, but always shocking masters, in recovery, with time, we learn the monkey leaves our shoulder, they may return again, life throws unexpected challenges, we may chat with them, politely but firmly we ask them to leave.
This sobriety birthday is an opportunity to say thank you to Hong Kong’s addiction support community, for those who give their time, to help others in recovery
The author is a member of SMART Recovery in HK, Asia’s leading science based recovery program for those seeking support in facing addictive disorders
An interesting resource for sleep guidance, specifically, a very helpful article on the relationship between sleep and addiction.
Happy Zzzzzzz’s in recovery
The Times (subscription) - Jul 24, 2016
After a long career as a neuroscience professor, Marc Lewis feared his lectures were sounding "stodgy and dull, even to myself".
Click Here. My Addiction was a Habit, Not a Disease
A powerful article from THE BOSTON GLOBE
Dr. Joe Gerstein, founding president of SMART Recovery, talks about SMART, motivation, and the hierarchy of values.
Well worth watching for those that want a deeper understanding of SMART and for facilitators
Everything You Think You Know About Addiction Is Wrong | Johann Hari | TED Talks
A thought provoking TED talk in which Johann Hari argues "the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, the opposite of addiction is connection"
Johann Hari's book CLICK HERE