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What does it mean to work a program?
4 Criteria of an effective Program
-Earnie Larson defines a program as a series of small behaviors that if done consistently creates new life options.
-When working a program you are learning new life skills. In order to incorporate new skills into your life you need to practice them on a daily basis. Without practice, nothing changes and if nothing changes, nothing changes.
- Working a program is about changing your character defects and negative self defeating learned behaviors.
- Albert Einstein defines insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Addiction is no different. We so badly want to break the chains of addiction but in order to do so takes a lot hard work. This is when a program for recovery must be developed.
- So what is a program for?
A program is directly proportionate to how you define recovery for yourself. What is the focus of your recovery. How do you want to change your life? What steps are you willing to take?
Working an effective program is about what you are doing in a concrete, practical, focused and consistent way to make some changes and practicing your program on a daily basis. In this case practice may not mean perfect but practice will mean progress.
A program gives you a choice
The Road to Recovery.
While developing your program focus on what you want to change. Write those self defeated learned behaviors down. In order to change those behaviors we first must be able to identify them. After you identify ask yourself what do I use as daily input, new data or information to help me along the way. Through this you will discover ways to cope and deal with triggers and stressful situations in your recovery.
-Recovery is a constant awareness of your situation. When you lose the ability to be aware of your self then we revert to our learned behaviors. If you are not active in the recovery process then the old learned behaviors will ultimately run your life.
-The program creates the awareness; if you are not in program you fall back and face a choice. You either get back into recovery or revert into relapse.
As Bob Francis states, relapse is a thought process; not an action. If we allow our self defeating learned behaviors to take over our thought process this will lead us to surrender our will to our addiction or old behaviors.
Recovery leads to personal growth.
-Alcohol and drugs will always be here; its the thinking process of the alcoholic or addict that needs to change. They MUST learn to think differently which requires rigorous honesty.
-When dishonesty, manipulation and excuses come back into your life you need to recognize that relapse will ultimately follow. As addiction is a disease of lies. Recovery DEMANDS that we start ratting ourselves out when this thinking appears.
-Its imperative that we become open and sharing in our recovery in order to gain knowledge that we ourselves do not possess. However this process being a human endeavor will undoubtedly be open to the ups and downs of everyday life and mistakes WILL be made. It is vital to not isolate and withdrawal into ourselves as addiction is cunning, baffling, powerful, and patient.
-Communication both in the recovery world and within families is the key to moving forward. It is only through communication that we discover others and ourselves. Through association with other people in recovery we learn how to live again.
If recovery is working the 12 steps 1 to 12, then relapse must be working the steps 12 through 1.