A little excerpt from ‘The Hobbit’ reads: This thing all things devour; birds, beasts, trees, flowers. It gnaws iron, bites steel; grinds hard stones to meal. It slays kings, ruins towns, and beats mountains down”. What is it you ask? It’s time, precious precious time.
Time is quite the fickle construct. It takes more of it to understand it, but even so we only begin to make sense of as we run out of it. Paradoxical huh? It passes you by while you stare it down, seemingly never moving and never accumulating, always dwindling in one manner or another from birth. The days drag on, but the weeks fly by. The weeks drag on, but the years fly by. The years drag on, etc. It’s definitely a misunderstood conundrum for most. Yet even so, we do our best to interpret why time gives meaning to life.
It causes us to age. It causes us to wake and sleep. It the catalyst to most ambition and aspiration outside of fiscal responsibility. It causes the gears upstairs to start cranking as the would, could, should mentality transforms desires into intentions. This can be a good thing or bad thing depending how its channeled, but be careful what you wish for. For many, especially the alcoholic thinkers, we turn these intentions into reservations in recovery. ‘The Googles’ defines a reservation as “an arrangement to have something held for your use at a later time” or just as well “a feeling of doubt or uncertainty”.
Reservation for Trouble
Reservations in recovery can go a number of different ways. There may be a reservation to get a new job, or even go back to school, but more times than not they are the provocation of trouble brewing. Reservations in recovery lead to relapse much of the time. Only speaking generally here of course, but most alcoholics have a hard time changing their minds once they’ve made them up. We’re often stubborn people (or rather the disease in us is). We crave instant gratification always, wanting what we want when we want it. So when a reservation in recovery materializes, what we do with it is of utmost importance.
We can harbor it and let it fester on the inside, or we can maybe tell somebody while maybe trying to make sense of it. Nobody can predict what the future holds of course. Nobody’s sobriety is more guaranteed than the next. We don’t know if it’ll lead to relapse, but we can’t be too sure. That’s why we have to listen to our gut and analyze the reservations in recovery that our subconscious existential crisis’ has delivered upon us. We mustn’t ever brush them off as nothings.
It’s times like these we have to take Donald Rumsfeld into account, “There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know”. It’s smart to never take your sobriety for granted.
Reserved Thoughts of Sobriety
Whenever a reservation in recovery occurs, it’s almost like extorting our own selves. We’re make this slight promise to ourselves with a “if you don’t do this, then I’m going to do this” type of attitude. Whether we mean to or not, it happens. “If I’m not happy after a year of sobriety, maybe I’ll try some controlled drinking”. Or another favorite, “If I can’t have XYZ, then what’s the point of being sober”? These are both prime examples of how these type of reserved thoughts for relapse begin. The thought becomes words, the words become action, actions to habits, habits to addiction, etc.
Yet even though it is imperative to pay attention to any reservations in recovery, we still can’t help if they appear. Again, the wheels between our ears can’t be turned off. Even when we’re sleeping, they’re still going round and round. However, we can practice certain techniques to deal with these sober related arrangements we’ve begun to conjure. Some of these practices include:
- Prayer and Meditation
- Practicing Mindfulness
- Creating a Gratitude List
- Playing the Tape Out
- Work on Letting Go of Denial
How you deal with something may depend on a lot of factors, but it all begins with understanding and acceptance. Acceptance of any of these is a huge component to ridding your reservations in recovery. At the very least, they’ll help you loosen your grip on some character defects.
Don’t Overthink Things
Even acceptance should only be taken in small doses though. There’s no doubt about it that for the bulk of chemically dependent persons, uncertainty is the shadow to sobriety. Nobody wants to hop out of bed admitting they think alcoholically, the same as those people don’t exuberantly hop out of bed and claim sobriety for life. Looking at sobriety in the long run can be intimidating to anyone, even those with time under their belts. That’s why the cliché “one day at a time” applies very much to any bit of acceptance or overcoming any reservation in recovery. If you or a loved one are suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, give one of our addiction specialists a call to see how we can help, 888-380-0667.