Every week, 365 days a year meetings of addiction recovery take place not just here in America, but around the world. People coming together to take part in a life-saving fellowship, with the mission of not using drugs or alcohol, no matter what. And it is no easy feat. Those who commit themselves to working an honest program must look the darkness of addiction in the eye in order to bask in the light of recovery. One should process things with a sponsor or recovery coach that are not easy, but extremely important.
Most people who begin working a program of recovery get caught up on the 4th Step. The point of the process that involves making “a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.” To make it through to the other side of Step 4, one must work hand in hand with their sponsor to gain a better understanding of some of the root causes of one’s addiction. It requires being honest about your moral deficits and shortcomings. Accepting that the problem is not the other people or even the drugs and alcohol. The problem is You. And nobody, but yourself, is responsible for how you got to where you find yourself and your chances for success in recovery. Please, please do not find ways to put off this most important step.
It could be easy to write a whole article about the minutiae of the Fourth Step; however, that is something you will do at length with your sponsor. What we would like to discuss today is distractions, and how they can impede your ability to feel the sunlight of the spirit, work the steps and be there for your fellow alcoholic or addict.
Connection In Recovery Is Everything
As was mentioned in the last paragraph, success rests upon you. While that is true in more than one way, it is important to remember that without the fellowship the process of recovery would stop in its tracks. People working a program rely heavily on one another to both work the steps and process what is going on in each other’s lives. Failure to do so often results in relapse. Which is why it is so important that people attending meetings give the program and those sitting in the room your undivided attention. Not always an easy task, because at the end of the day we are generally programmed to eschew the process and talking about the hard things going on in our lives. It is so much easier to distract ourselves than it is to face things head on.
All of you reading this post who attend meetings regularly are acutely aware that smartphone use is pervasive in the rooms of recovery. You may be guilty of checking your Facebook timeline or Instagram feed while in a meeting. If so, you know you are not alone. That being said, when one is focusing on something outside the group they become detached from the energy of recovery. You may say that you can listen and scroll at the same time, but in fact you may be missing something that you could potentially provide another member feedback on. Or the phone may be a shield, keeping you from speaking up about what is going on in your own life.
What’s An Hour Without Your Phone
Granted the only requirement for attending meetings is a desire to stop… Everyone is well within their right to stare at their portable devices, as long as it is not distracting others. One cannot argue that it is not a distraction from working one’s own program. In a way, playing games or scanning social media during a meeting unplugs you from the group. You are simultaneously present and not. One of the most important facets to recovery is one’s bond to the group, without it recovery comes apart.
If you are a habitual smartphone user during meetings, we encourage you to turn the phone off for the hour or hour and a half duration of the meeting. Even still, having the phone in your pocket may be too tempting. In that case, try leaving your phone in the car when you go to meetings. Rest assured, you are doing yourself a favor, as it will strengthen your relationship with others. Those people who are often the last line of defense between you and a relapse There’s plenty of time throughout the rest of the day to update your status.