Complacency

Defined:

  1. :  self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies

  2. :  an instance of usually unaware or uninformed self-satisfaction

I’m not sure why that word bothers me. Maybe because so often, in recovery, it is associated with failure?

As in “Whatever I do. I must not get complacent.”

And, it’s understandable. I mean, if I return to drinking – everything just falls apart.

I LOSE MYSELF when I am in my addiction. I LOSE WHO I AM. The ESSENCE of me is suppressed and when that happens, I am in danger of losing everything that is precious to me.

So, how would one go about this? This not living in fear, yet not falling into ‘complacency’ and returning to the cycle of addiction?

I imagine that becoming complacent can happen in many different ways.

For me. The further away I was from the pain, from the desperation. The less real,the less INTENSE it felt.

Sort of like child-birth. I mean you remember that it hurt but as time goes by, it seems that it didn’t hurt all THAT bad (ha!) so you decide to have another baby.

Also, as my consequences diminished, that, coupled with hearing others, whose consequences were far more dire than mine had ever been. I began thinking “Maybe I wasn’t THAT bad” and “perhaps I exaggerated how big a problem I had”….again…time is my enemy.

So, those things allow me to become complacent, but those things are all FEAR based.

I was missing something.

I was missing having real RELATIONSHIPS with people in recovery. The relationships that I now have provide me with many things. Many opportunities for growth but, insofar as complacency is concerned. Having these people who care about me and can recognize and call me out on ‘old’ behavior or ‘delusional’ thinking is invaluable. I spoke to one of them today.

Today, I believe that even if I forget how painful drinking was. Even if I decide that I have exaggerated the seriousness of my problems. Even if I don’t attend meetings. If I am engaged in a fellowship (defined: an association of people who share common beliefs or activities) where I am developing new ways of thinking and living and ridding myself of the old, harmful ones, then alcohol just does not fit into my life.

So, changing, growing and remaining committed to relationships that will discourage reverting to ‘addictive’ thoughts and behaviors will help keep me free, regardless of whether or not I’m feeling ‘satisfied, content, or “complacent”.

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