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7 Signs You’re Becoming Complacent in Your Recovery

Getting a life worth living is the outcome of a successful and active recovery. It allows you to regain the inspiration, motivation, and confidence to seek and obtain the things in life that make you happiest. Peace and stability return as a fixture of your daily functions, and you find yourself in a position to achieve more. The problem most people in recovery face is letting that new found confidence become complacency. When you stop seeking and become stagnant, you can even leave room for a possible relapse to find its way into the equation. Here is a list of 7 Signs you’re becoming complacent in your recovery.

1.       You Stop Going to Meetings

Often one of the first things people in recovery start to take for granted is support groups and 12 Step Program Meetings. Most of us start to feel after a period of time that we have out-grown the need to be present at group meetings and therapeutic discussions focused on recovery. This is a definite mistake. Life does show up, and work and school for some can interfere with our regular schedule of meetings, but to write them off completely as un-necessary is a sign that we are beginning to take ourselves too seriously.

2.       You Stop Taking Suggestions

Once life has balanced out and our affairs begin to organize themselves we start to accomplish things like promotions or job opportunities, new relationships, and material successes. At this point we may start to see that this new independence gives us reason to cut ties with the ones who helped build us up to this point. We think we no longer need to take advice or suggestions. We are convinced we have our own lives now and don’t need to be told how to live them. But if you don’t stay accountable to the sponsor you chose to help work your recovery or the support group you developed in order to save your life, then can you honestly trust yourself to stay accountable to any other relationship? When we become unteachable is when we put ourselves in danger.

3.       You Don’t Help Others

This is a symptom of complacency I am personally familiar with. I had worked a 12 Step Program of action in order to build a spiritual foundation and clean up my own past. I was blessed with a life of sobriety and many material and personal achievements, but I did no work to help another afflicted person to find what I had found. If we revert to a selfish and arrogant state of mind, we cannot be useful to others. By losing focus on spiritual principles and thinking others don’t deserve our time is a clear sign we are not on the correct course of action. As well as outside the program of recovery, helping others is essential to maintaining a deeper appreciation.

4.       You Are Easily Irritated

We are told a great deal in sobriety that acceptance and humility is huge in recovery. In my experience we have to do our best to understand others and keep our motives and emotions in check (within reason) to benefit others. At any point in sobriety that we start getting less and less accepting of others, that we start criticizing and degrading others, or we simply lose control of our serenity and aggression dominates every conversation we are edging towards disaster. When we fail to stay as peaceful as possible in the present moment and accept others as variables we cannot control, we begin to regress to old behaviors and our humility and love is compromised by the old demons like vanity, pride, and self-righteous habits.

5.       You Don’t Appreciate Gifts of Sobriety

We talked about how sobriety can provide us the chance to acquire new personal relationships, financial means, and material possessions. Once we start changing our lives, the world offers new opportunities and achievements. When complacency takes hold, we begin to want more. We may feel we are now entitled to these gifts, and we can start to look at the blessings we have gotten until this point and think we deserve better. The things we have gained are not good enough. Again, we are being selfish and putting expectations on life that are products of pride. With this attitude people in recovery tend to stray from their program and pursue more than what they need to be truly happy.

6.       You Stop Seeking Spirituality

The spiritual evolution of recovering addicts and alcoholics is an incredible process. Many have to start from scratch to build a concept and relationship with a Higher Power and some strain to find ways to nurture that relationship. Once this awareness has been established, you may settle for the same prayers and practices without trying to find ways to grow spiritually, or you might run the risk and stop exercising your spiritual fitness altogether. If you fail to remember the indispensable role your Higher Power plays in your new life, you start to become reliant on your own desires and opinions, which can lead you one day to believe that your desire to relapse is justified.

7.       You Think You are Cured

Probably one of the biggest mistakes that results from being over confident and delusional in your recovery is believing you have come so far and changed so much that you have been cured. If you think it was God’s work or your own evolution, you may decide after overcoming so much in sobriety that you are not as sick as you once were. The desperation and despair is a fading memory and everything else is going your way, why wouldn’t this? Do not be fooled. If you suffer from the same disease as the majority of us do, there is always more work to be done.

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