Ambivalence in Recovery

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[am- biv- uh-l uhns]

uncertainty or fluctuation, especially when caused by inability to make a choice or by a simultaneous desire to say or do two opposite or conflicting things.
Psychology. the coexistence within an individual of positive and negative feelings toward the same person, object, or action, simultaneously drawing him or her in opposite directions.

#1 Ambivalence-Staying Stopped or Relapse

Hi it's Dermot again. If you read my last blog, you will know that this is a follow up to that blog and part of a "Recovery from Addiction Series", If not read on:

Firstly I'd really like to say just how brave you are, if you are in addiction or co-dependent, taking this Massive step into the journey of recovery. Please constantly pat yourselves on the back, as it is a huge achievement every day. Believe me on this.

As you are well aware the trap of active addiction is extremely difficult to break away from. All types of thoughts, emotions, old behaviours, old lifestyles, attitudes, and even friends, face you like a mountain. That’s even before the thought of a drink or drug comes into the equation. For some people it is even necessary to relocate.

All this overwhelm mounting up in front of anyone in early recovery is terribly daunting. How does anyone even start to deal with “this mountain” of issues ahead, no wonder people become ambivalent and choose to drink or use again.

I hear the excuse: “I just wanted to be 100% sure, I was an alcoholic, that’s why I drank”. Bullshit, if you are honest with yourself the real statement would be: ”I drank again because I’m totally terrified of staying sober & facing reality” or “It’s too hard”. You can't afford to be sitting on the fence, as their can be only one choice.

Psychology today have a good article on ambivalence:

It’s best to be totally honest with how you feel in early recovery. It is not easy and the last thing you need is to be judging yourself too harshly, as that’s just what you are doing.

Stopping is the easy part, staying stopped is the hard part and everyone in early recovery, no matter who they are or how strong they feel, WILL need help and support or ambivalence will creep in. You can't afford to be proud in the face of complacency.

Unfortunately in my line of work, I have dealt with hundreds of people who have relapsed. None of them have ever said the reason why they relapsed was that they were full of fear, struggling and didn’t take responsibility and ask for help. I always hear people say: “I just wanted to just have one or two drinks, that’s all” or “I drank because of him/her”, blame, deflection.

Saying to them that they drank because they are alcoholic, is not enough anymore as that is not covering the core issues. People need to feel comfortable to be able to really say how they feel and get honest, that is the only way they can avoid ambivalence or "sitting on the fence" and the staying stopped gets a little less of a mountain to climb.

My next article is on Anxiety, stay tuned.

The articles in "Recovery from Addiction" Series, are the opinion of the author and if you would like to contribute to it, please leave a comment in the comment box below. If you want to subscribe, for free, to any further blogs of mine please leave your email in the blue box below.

Recovery is about growth and everyone does grow at a different pace. My advice to anyone in early recovery is to wait at least 2 years before making any major life changing decisions that might have emotional ramifications. An example: get a mortgage, get married, change career, emigrate. In light of this everyone has dreams and we all do want to better our lives in one way or another, so it is important in early recovery to start to put those dreams into reality by creating achievable goals which can be reached in time. I found in my early recovery, although I had dreams, I wasn’t aware of creating goals and my life unfolded by default. It turned out well for me, but had I had clear goals, I do feel that it would have been even better.

I do try to learn from my mistakes, and that is why they are little miracles in themselves that happen for a reason. I am a growth seeking being I will continue to seek change in myself. What motivates me is the Pain – Pleasure, which moves me away from my pain points (a lack of finances, time & peace of mind) to my pleasure points (freedom of finances, time & peace of mind). The way I have found to achieve this freedom and to move away from the “Groundhog Day” of life is through on line marketing. I have taken this step into the abyss, I’m not tech savvy at all, and with the support of SFM, I am working my way through it. The internet is here to stay and is the future for all of us, so don’t get left behind because it is gaining momentum. If you want to learn what I am learning and are in a point in your life where you want change, then I offer you, through my mentors, a no obligation FREE 7 day video series to watch.



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