222-2

Title: Total Recovery: Balancing Head & Heart, Body & Soul in Recovery
Author: Jim Parker
Publisher: Do It Now Foundation
Publication Date: February 1999
Catalog Number: 222


Chapter 2: Second Things Second

Accept your
feelings.
Know your purpose.
Do what needs to be done.

–David K.
Reynolds

So you’ve been off whatever you’ve
been on for days, weeks, or months. Now what do you do?

Good question, because this is
where a lot of recovering people get stuck. And this is really
what this booklet is all about.

Because the simple fact of the
matter is that quitting is the easy part of recovery.

Stop and think about it, and
you’ll realize how simple it is to get anybody to quit anything.
All you have to do is tie them up and lock them in a room. They’ll
get off whatever they’ve been on — at least for as long as you
keep them locked up. The trick is keeping them off when the door’s
open.

It’s the same for any recovering
person — because addiction is as complex as each of us, and
operates on a lot of different levels simultaneously.

Whatever you were on — and the
specific chemical or combination isn’t that important, whether
it was heroin or booze, pills, pot, or cocaine — chemicals affected
you the way they affected you through an interplay of factors
that are as unique as your thumbprint and as individual as your
social security number.

Some factors are physical —
say, a tendency toward low — blood sugar, for example, or an
inherited intolerance for alcohol. Others are psychological —
whether you see yourself as basically competent, for example,
or whether you’re often anxious or depressed.

Still others are more spiritual
or existential in nature, and touch on your personal philosophy
of God and experience of yourself.

It gets complicated — because
we are.

And that’s why any program of
recovery that’s going to have any chance of working has to address
itself to all the different parts of you.

Because all of you was affected
when chemical dependency got its hooks into your body and mind
and soul. And until you get serious about getting all of you
into the recovery picture, you’re likely to keep on having problems.

Not that you won’t be able to
stay off what you were on. That’s possible. But you’re not going
to be 100 percent you again until you pick up all the pieces
of your life, and that involves doing more than just giving up
drugs and alcohol.

It’s a lot like trying to put
out a fire in a single room when an entire building is burning
out of control. You might be able to cool things off for a while,
but you’re not going to keep them that way for long. To do it
right, you’ve got to do it all.

That’s why we say the most important
step after stopping is to seriously commit yourself to a plan
of total recovery, a plan that includes simultaneous work on
your body, mind, heart, and soul. Because the simple truth is
that until all of you gets involved in recovery, all of you ain’t
gonna get well.

And as long as any part of you
is still messed up, you’re potentially all messed up.


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This is one in a series
of publications on drugs, behavior, and health from Do It Now
Foundation. Check us out online at www.doitnow.org
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