I’ve had a pretty busy social week including a couple of special birthday gatherings, so I’ve not had time to upload content to the website. I’m also going to be a little busy with a planned surprise, so during this week I will focus on uploading some of my favourite content from WITR rather than write new material.
We’ll start with a past blog from a close friend of mine, Wynford Ellis Owen.
‘I’ve been asked how I recovered from drug and alcohol and other addictive behaviours. Well, one way I did it is captured in the acronym, RKRTS:
R – is for Recognising our need of help.
That’s where suffering comes in – possibly the greatest creative force in nature. Quite often, it’s the only thing that will get us to change our ways. Although targeted, specific counselling interventions can also augment and help gently unveil the truth to us about our need for help.
This R also stands for Realising that we can’t do it on our own. We need the ongoing help and support of others if we are to recover. Additionally, R means that we take Responsibility for the consequences of our actions and for Repairing the damage resulting from our behaviour.
K – is for Knowledge – in particular Self-Knowledge.
We discover how we became psychologically and physically dependent once we’d found, through our alcohol, drug or behaviour of choice, a short cut to feeling good. A short cut that bypassed the normal cognitive process of thinking ourselves into a good mood.
Addiction is an illness of ignorance, one of a few that tells us there’s nothing wrong with us. This Knowledge helps reveal the truth to us about how we’ve used denial, delusion and compulsion to try to preserve some kind of equilibrium in our lives and within our families.
R – is for Risk.
The juiciest, ripest fruits are always to be had on the highest, most difficult branches to reach. In order to get to them we have to Risk. Recovery from drug and alcohol and other harmful behaviours is the same; in order to recover we have to Risk. And the biggest Risk for people in recovery is to become vulnerable – to be authentic, to be real, to be true to nature.
To lower the mask and remove the facade we’ve been hiding behind for so many years – to accept our humanness. And being human is acknowledging that we don’t always know the answers to questions; sometimes we don’t even understand the questions.
Sometimes we feel lonely; sometimes we feel shy; sometimes we fall flat on my faces and make fools of ourselves. And it’s OK to be all these things. It’s OK to be human. It’s OK to be perfectly imperfect! We don’t have to pretend to be something we’re not any longer.
T – is for Toughening Up. On the one hand we have to become vulnerable but, paradoxically, we also have to toughen up. And Toughening Up means accepting that we’re survivors and not victims – that we have the wherewithal, the ability, the guts, the wisdom, and the stick-to-itiveness to overcome our problems and emerge victorious.
It’s like throwing a switch from the ‘can’t do’ to the ‘can do’. We can recover. There’s hope for us – we need never drink, take drugs, or engage in harmful behaviours ever again. This Toughening Up places the responsibility on us to train ourselves to adopt a positive attitude towards life.
No matter how dark, bleak or hopeless a situation or condition is there’s always something positive lurking underneath. If you look for the positive you’ll always find it. And once you’ve found it you’ve discovered the solution to your problem. Thenceforth, you’re living in the solution. This T also gives us Time to consider whether we want to remain ‘bitter’ or get ‘better’.
S – is for Sharing with others.
It’s about becoming ‘givers’ instead if ‘takers’. It’s about putting a face and a voice to recovery and being attractive advocates for the reality of recovery. It’s about engaging in the Recovery Movement and playing whatever parts we’re meant to play. Now that the genius in us has been unleashed we get to contribute our uniqueness to life’s rich tapestry. S also stands for Staying Connected – to like-minded people and to our support networks.
Many will no doubt ask, where’s the spiritual component of recovery in all this?
It inevitably follows, as night follows day, the first R (Realising our need of help) and the K (Self-Knowledge). By recognising our need of help we’re basically saying I can’t do this on my own. Please help me. Unwittingly, therefore, we’re accessing the spiritual realm, irrespective of whether we’re agnostic or atheistic.
And the prerequisite to forming healthy relationships with ourselves, our fellow men and with the source, is a knowledge and acceptance of ourselves (warts and all). Thus spiritual progress is achieved, and without our being aware of it almost, as we engage in the K stage of recovery.