One of the fellowships that I attend is focused, in the early stages, on the process of overcoming obsessions. Obsession of one kind or another is a big component of most addictions, but some more than others.
The interesting thing about obsession is that it is a vice best practiced while alone. Our brains go ’round and ’round, and we are unable to shake the undesirable thought pattern no matter how hard we try. Our minds keep coming back to it, him, her, that, those, and it can seem as though ridding ourselves of the thoughts is like trying to push toothpaste back into the tube. But put us in the presence of another human being with whom we have to interact, and things are different.
When we interact with others in healthy ways, we are forced to put our brains in gear. They no longer spin idly, but instead focus (more or less) on whatever is happening in the present . As it happens, being in the present moment is what recovery is about, along with learning to avoid the people, places and things that kick our obsessions back into gear, and dealing with the things that we were trying to hide from by acting out.
That’s why our groups are called “fellowships.” Other people are the key to recovery. Haven’t we spent years trying to take care of our issues in our own way, in isolation? Don’t give me that guff about all your drinking and using buddies. They’re isolated too. When all your pleasure is centered around acting out, whether drinking around the barbeque, doing a line in the restroom or cruising for companionship, it’s all about the “me,” not the “us” (or dat bass).
People need people; that is simply a fact of life. Together, we are more than the sum of our parts. A triangle is the most stable structure because regardless of where you push, each side supports the other. Same with recovery.
That’s how it works.
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