How Committed Do I Have To Be In Recovery

How committed do I really have to be to my recovery in order to have the promises fulfilled in my life. Well let’s see…I know for me it’s all or nothing. As it says in “How It Works” …half measures availed us nothing.  And well they should. I found out when I slipped just how true the comment was. In the beginning of my recovery I listened to my sponsor and took his suggestions. I called every day and to at least three people in program. I journaled went to meetings and made it a point to change people, places and things. I did great and the promises of “The Promises” start to permeate into my life. Five months later I had a slip, I took control of my life back in my hands. What a brutal mistake. I stopped listening to my sponsors suggestions, I didn’t call regularly like I was supposed to, I began isolating really badly and I missed meetings. I thought that I had a better way and I was going to prove it to the world. My sponsor wanted to fire me and I deserved that. Two months of half measures and I hit my bottom. I came into a meeting and begged for God’s mercy. What I realized was my sponsor, with all his experience, knew better than I did. What I learned was that the program works. I turned my will over to my higher power and began living, 100% committed to my recovery. I’m an addict. Left to my own devices I will fall on my face over and over again. Putting my recovery first above everything keeps me in sobriety, one day at a time.

15 thoughts on “How Committed Do I Have To Be In Recovery

  1. Half-measures are one of my weaknesses, not necessarily with this program of recovery but in other aspects of my life. Whether it was my studies in college, my relationship with my ex-wife, my diet, my workouts, or several other aspects of my life – I have often tried to figure out how to get the biggest result with the least amount of effort.

    I realize in this program that the effort must be better, a slip is always a possibility without true commitment and without keeping the ‘eyes on the prize’. While we aim for ‘progress not perfection’, I realize I am capable of ‘full measures’ of effort on things I am passionate about: being a great father, excelling at my career, working on my new relationship, being a great friend, and in some other areas. I must continue to work on my commitment to recovery, at this point I feel better about it than at any other point in my life while remaining guarded about the potential traps and pitfalls always lurking around the corner.

  2. I have to be committed 100% using every tool at my disposal otherwise I know I will surely die. I have an ultimatum from my spouse that anything less than 100% and she’ll leave me. With these major boundaries in place I know I have to reach out to my sponsor and friends in the Fellowship as often as possible, use every tool at my disposal, attend meetings regularly and continue to develop my relationship with my Higher Power. I know in my heart this program works if you work it, sometimes quickly sometimes slowly, but it does work.

    Checking in:
    Last night that relationship took me to a new level, I finally forgave myself with my Higher Power’s help. I wrote a poem about my epiphany which I’d like to share. I know this wouldn’t have been possible without the level of commitment I have now.

    A Beautiful Life

    I’ve broken the law and now go on trial,
    This case has a huge and difficult file.
    It will take about 6 months, the argument’s grueling,
    As defendant I’m not sure what will be the ruling.

    My life is in the hands of the toughest jury,
    They have little mercy they’ve been through this fury.
    When the sentence is read I will look to the sky,
    I know this jury well it’s me, myself and I.

    The prosecutor he makes a very strong case,
    I’m ashamed of my sins and cry in disgrace.
    My lawyer hugs me and comfort he brings me,
    Says I know this Judge, don’t worry he’ll forgive thee.

    First you must show that you are sincerely repentant,
    It’s his laws you have broken, The 10 Commandments!
    G-d is my witness, lawyer and judge,
    His help I have sought through this muck and this drudge.

    Has the jury reached a verdict? He sternly asked,
    I prayed on my knees when He read it I gasped.
    I forgive you my son but am vigilant and wary,
    Lest you break them again life will be really scary.

    I had come through the fire and now must make amends,
    The heart I have broken will take time to mend.
    She showed me compassion even through all her pain,
    She was there at the trial when the epiphany came.

    G-d thank you for giving me more time on this earth,
    I won’t let us down I’ll show you my worth.
    Your blessings I thank you, for my kids and my wife,
    I love them so much, what a beautiful life.

  3. Half Measures availed us NOTHING!!!!!! Need I say anymore? If you are not committed you may never reach your goal, SOBRIETY. I am committed to my program and when I let my commitment slip I slipped. So with that understanding and new tool for my tool box, I now know that I have to be incredibly committed or else face the consequences!

  4. That’s easy 150%!!!! I have done the half measures. That is what got me into this fellowship. There is a saying that goes something like give it a shot and if you don’t like it we will be happy to refund you your misery. Well that is where I was after my first year and a half into my recovery for drugs and alcohol and I was miserable, isolated and acting out. I hit another bottom of emptiness and despair. But it was what needed to happen. Because since then I have been able to see the greatness of this program. I have been able to climb out of that pit and into the light of the fellowship. With the help of my Higher Power, my sponsor and others around me that know better than me, I have been able to make it almost 4 years without a drink or a drug and almost 6 months since my last slip. Why, because now I know that I need to works full measures and work my program 150% or I will be refunded that misery again and that is something that I just do not want, thank you very much!

  5. I tried the “half measures” approach to sobriety and failed. I rationalized to myself that since the new behavior was not in my inner circle that I could do it and still be committed to my program. I was so so wrong. I was sneaky and didn’t tell anyone else about what I was doing. Then things got out of control and I was caught. I am glad I got caught because I know my higher power wants me to recover and this was HIS way of saying “Get back in the program right now.” With the consequences befalling me, there is little I can do about them and so I turn them over to God. Meanwhile, I will return 100% to recovery.

  6. Half measures avail me nothing. So I don’t see prostitutes or smoke. But I am being lax. My wife puts no pressure on me. No line in the sand drawn. If I want recovery, I have to have my own line. I should not need hers. I still show disrespect for others. I put myself first. How can I make money? Forget about commitments I have made if they are not as lucrative. Forget about going to meetings, working the steps, or speaking to my sponsor if it interrupts with my business pursuits. I am putting everything in front of my sobriety and therefore do not have sobriety. Sobriety needs to come first. I have to work for it every day and not 3 days a week. I am going to recommit myself to working for my sobriety every day.

  7. How much commitment?
    A meeting every day? A sponsor call each day?
    Rigorous honesty?

    Just these three important commitment actions I need to take each day seemed overwhelming at first.
    I feared I wouldn’t have the energy for the effort required.

    But what effort does it take? For me so far, more effort than I have ever put into anything in my life (except, of course, for the effort and energy I put in my addiction).

    And that’s the point.

    Oddly, it’s my addict that has shown me that I have what it takes.

    My addict proved time and time again that I have the energy. My addict showed me arguably superhuman strength in its efforts to act out. My addict was able to spend enough energy, time, dollars; endure pain, misery, and loathing; and create chaos, destruction, and dismay with “shock and awe” level strength.

    My addict crushed myself and the lives of those I care about as well as well as the lives of people I’ll never see again.

    That is a lot of energy. And now at the turning point, through my commitment, that is the very fuel available to me to carry out my commitment to mission sobriety.

    So how much commitment does it take? A lot. Will I have the energy? I will. It’s proven.

  8. How committed do I have to be? How committed to stay in recovery?

    I see it around me. I see the commitment in the actions of those in recovery.

    But to remain in recovery, I have to put those actions, recovery actions, first. I didn’t get that. I have a hard time remembering it even now. But I do get it. I see now that those that put their actions of commitment before, in front of, ahead of everything else, like Work, friends and even family, stay in recovery.

    Family is a really hard one to take.

    And when I take that action, putting my recovery ahead of my family – especially my kids and my wife – it takes a lot of energy; requires feeling a lot of sadness and loneliness.

    In front of family? It takes an ability to do what’s counterintuitive. My family has been my support. And they have. But placing their support in front of my commitment – odd as it seems to me -is just the ticket to relapse.

    For today, I will put my commitment to my program ahead of my family. Ouch. But it works. I’m worth it.

  9. Total commitment. Complete Honesty. Unbelievable results.

    Recovery is not just about me. My entire life is centered on the principals of our program.

    Without complete honesty my self esteem would not be where it is today. My relationship would not be where it is today. My career would not be where it is today. My relationship with my kids would not be where it is at today.

    Looking back, the road my addiction took me down was dark and hopeless. I knew what I was doing was wrong, I expected to get caught and I did not enjoy my life.

    Today all is clear. I am able to see what I need to do, have the confidence to get it done and even though our economy is in a deep recession, we are able to communicate our financial problems, celebrate our financial successes and work together throughout.

    I recommend a complete commitment, first to the program, then to your life, relationship, kids and career. You will be amazed.

  10. Commitment – that is what this entry is about. I am extremely tired. However, I have made a commitment to myself and to my program that I would post every night before going to bed as a reminder to me of how to use my laptop in a healthy outer circle way. And just because I am tired, I don’t want to miss even one night. If I was tired, I still acted out, you better believe it. So I should be able to “act in”, as I like to say – “act in recovery.” I am grateful that I have this tool as a means to express this outer circle behavior to keep me in that frame of mind and give me yet another day of sobriety with my laptop. Thank you to my Higher Power, my sponsor for his suggestion that got this started on the first day and to the willingness that I have today and hope to still have tomorrow. Good night and good news!

  11. I continue to post on this topic because it is always a relevant topic for me. I am at a point in my life where there are some things that are idle but there are some things that are changing. For both reasons I need to keep commitment to my recovery in the forefront of my mind. If I am too idle and get complacent, I will slip into half measures and I know where that gets me. And if I allow the changes that are happening in my life to take priority over my program, then I take the same risk. No, I need to be sure that no matter what; I keep the same commitment to my program. I know that I may miss a meeting here and there based on my schedule which has been fluctuating lately. However, I need to be sure that I am always doing my daily step work, that I am always calling my sponsor, that I always working with others, specifically my sponsees, that I am always posting on this blog, and that I am always getting to the meetings when I can get to the meetings. Besides these obvious things, I need to be sure that I continue to take care of myself and my responsibilities because that is part of my program as well. Today it is about being a well rounded individual in recovery. So, for today, I will continue to move forward one day at a time with my commitment to my recovery no matter what.

  12. I am learning, slowly but surely, that if you want what addicts in recovery have, and then you must be 100% committed. Half measures avail nil. Every time I have slipped, it’s followed an incredibly well intentioned and sincere series of highly commendable and outstanding achievements of…………..half measures. And today, almost two months in sobriety, I have been doing the things a committed person does. I have taken the emphasis off of sincerity, good intentions, commendableness and whether or not what I have been up to could be classified as “achievements”. Instead I put the emphasis, effort and my strength into just doing what I have committed to do, not more, not less. Sometimes it helps me to imagine that there is no one left on earth or anywhere else in the universe except for me and God. I keep the commitments to him and to me and thereby to my recovery.

    I am committed to being consistent. That’s a big one for me. I arrive on time, or a little early. I call my sponsor each day at the same time. I work hard at getting the 1 hour minimum of recovery reading or prayer done every day. I journal, daily. For me, these are huge commitments. Other than in school and business, I have almost never kept any commitment consistently. School and business were more of a commitment to others than a commitment for me and my recovery. Today my commitment to recovery is for me.

    My recovery efforts are beginning to bear fruit. For the first 60 days in my life I am without acting out.

    I attribute it all to my higher power, my sponsor and the work that is the action of commitment. To take action for me is take commitment from concept and transform it into reality. In the past I was often “committed” or so I said and thought. But work, effort, the expenditure of energy, that’s what I believe, has begun to free me from the bondage of addiction. It’s not easy. The promises I make must be kept; the choices today are to put recovery first; the free time must come behind the time that needs to be spent on recovery. Because ours is a disease that does not come neatly packaged with an antidote or a silver bullet or some prescription for a magical drug that can cure it, we have nowhere on earth to turn than to our Higher Power for the strength to carry out our commitment to recovery. And without a commitment, I haven’t ever succeeded. I am grateful to have been graced by my higher power with the energy to exercise my strength and endurance and by his will, take action. Actualized commitment for me has been one of the rebuilding blocks as I reform a foundation of recovery. And…….best of all……..I am learning recovery is free, but you need to pay no less than 100% in commitment to get it.

  13. How committed do I have to be in recovery? – VERY. Tonight I was in one of my support groups and one of my brothers in the group who had almost 2 years relapse with my drug of choice and now has one week. As he sat there and described his consequences and what happened it was very scary. He let his program slip away and his self pity get the best of him. I cannot allow that to happen to me. I need to stay vigilant with my program. I need to be committed every day to my sobriety. Even when it is late and I just want to go to bed, but I have not yet posted on this blog, I need to post because that is my commitment to myself. I need to do my step work, go to my meetings and take care of myself. Anything that I can on a daily basis to keep me moving away from my inner circle behaviors and closer to my relationship with my Higher Power. So, today, I need to be very committed to my recovery and tomorrow I will need to be also.

  14. How committed do I have to be in recovery? – 100%. I cannot let up on my program at any time. If I do it is not good for me. Any time I find myself letting up or not doing everything that I need to be doing I can always feel it. Sure, I can do what I want, no one can tell me what to do. But what will I get in return? I will get those old feelings of anxiety, loneliness, misery, unhappiness, all of those feelings that I had before I was working a good program. Why go there? I would rather do what I need to do on a daily basis and have feelings of happiness and serenity. So I will stay committed to my recovery and to working on my relationship with my Higher Power and with others in the program because that is what I want and need.

  15. Halfway measures have been my life. Almost finishing every job, almost being the best, almost learning what I needed to know to be successful. And halfway measures gave me what I deserved – a halfway life.

    Never the satisfaction of an intimate relationship, never the feeling of a job well done, never the confidence of being a whole person, an honest and committed person. A half a person. A half a life.

    Recovery has given me a glimpse of being the person I want to be, to being an authentic human being, the person that my H.P. expects of me. And that’s a great gift.

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