image credit…Huub Onzia Derdeyn
Stage II™ Recovery
Stage I is about arresting the addiction or surviving the crisis. Stage II™ Recovery, which Earnie created in 1985, is about understanding the triggers and imprinting that left us vulnerable in the face of substitutes. Whether the process of trying those substitutes is called co-dependency, shame based living, adult child syndrome or any other label.
Stage II™ Recovery requires discipline, practice, and the ability to refuse to let the past rob you of your present. Choosing this new, healthy road isn’t as easy as it sounds. The assumption is that you know and recognize the difference between the past and the present. Often this is not the case at all. Not recognizing the difference between yesterday and today can mean less choice and freedom in your life.
Stage II™ Recovery answers will seldom be found in Stage I recovery groups. They have different focuses, and that’s okay. Keep in mind, one stage is not better than another. There can be no Stage II if Stage I has not been won. Recovery does not end with sobriety.
this is the intro description from from earnie larsen’s site. i think it reflects some insight that is required to really understand ourselves. i am damn sure i did not possess that insight early in my sobriety. i am not sure am in touch with this afore described self-knowledge. i am still working on this.
but i am very aware that i have gained volumes of understanding how i operate in the world in the years with no substances. i have gained and lost faith and reunited with it again. i have remembered my frailties and stumbled painfully beside them. i have found strength i really had no idea i possessed. i have lost all sight of being able to stay connected on the earth. and i have forgiven myself, many others i know for not living up to my expectations. and i have raised the bar on what might be possible in my life. i have learned to share my joy and i have learned to say “enough” and “no thank you”. and i have started on the path of belief.
i have had an epiphany this weekend. i have realized that i learned to be taken advantage of, used, and joked about publicly was something i experienced before the 5th grade. it became something i have been recreating over and over and over infinitum. because i got loaded so often, it never occurred to me that there might be such a pattern in my life. the new twist is that this is a pattern- not an isolated incident. it is a one-two-three act play that has been handstitched onto the cover of of my story.
and even after i got sober, i hadn’t a clue that such a pattern could even exist in my psyche. but these last few years have revealed not only an existence, but a thriving terrarium holding my head and heart hostage for most of my life and stealing the nutrients that nourish a healthy journey.
but today i have finally been blessed with the grace of some self-knowledge around this. no doubt it is too ingrained a pattern to simply disappear. frankly it will probably continue to sprout with unwelcome like the dandelions and thistles that speckle my lawn. but at least now i have the option of side-stepping this life long habit of turning punk. i thank the universe for the quietly thunderous tectonic plate shift that sobriety has unveiled. truly amazing. so damn happy.