C’s. Most people strive for A’s. If this were school, I’d recommend you strive for A’s, but recovery is real life, not school. In recovery you need C’s more than A’s. Let me explain.
Recovery from addiction isn’t something you can approach solely Academically (an A). You can’t study your way out of addiction – though gaining knowledge is a first step. You must add to that knowledge the deeper, experiential elements of life – connection, consideration, and consistency – and you must avoid the siren song of one seductive state of mind – complacency.
Connection is the key to both overcoming addiction and establishing trustworthy relationships. Sexual addiction, in particular, is a form of intimacy disorder and deeply rooted in attachment patterns. Learning to connect with one’s self, God or a Higher Power, spouse or partner, and an accountability partner are key parts of early and ongoing recovery.
Consideration involves “considering” the thoughts and feelings of self and important “others” in our lives. We have to make space in our minds to think about our needs, feelings, and yearnings – and then determine how to address meeting those needs in the context of important relationships. We also have to consider the consequences of our choices and actions on others we care about.
Consistency is the third C of recovery. Recovery requires perseverance, grit, determination, and tenacity on a consistent basis. Ingraining the dailies into our lives and doing our “homework” consistently best aids recovery. Dailies must be done “every day,” not just while in LifeStar, but throughout our lives.
The one C you must avoid in recovery – the antithesis of consistency – is complacency. Too often I see participants in LifeStar achieve success for a period of months and they become complacent. They feel like they’ve “got this” and become lax on their dailies and homework. That’s when slips and relapses happen. The LifeStar program is designed to engage in “prelapse” work a few months into the program to strive to caution against complacency and prevent relapse, but the effort and vigilance must necessarily remain with the person doing the recovery work for himself or herself.
So, strive for C’s in your recovery – connection, consideration, and consistency, but avoid the one C of complacency in your recovery work. You will be prouder of those C’s than any A you ever could achieve on a report card.