Lakewood Recovery - Sober Home For Professionals In Recovery - Dallas, Texas
Step 2: Letting Go Of Old Ideas
“Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
For me, Step 2 is about letting go of old ideas. We already accepted in Step 1 that we can’t handle our own lives – when it comes to our addictions, we are completely insane. We had to make a change, or we were going to die or live miserably. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous explains it best: …[W]e had but two alternatives: One was to go on to the bitter end, blotting out the consciousness of our intolerable situation as best we could; and the other, to accept spiritual help. – “There is a Solution” (p. 25).
Step 2 is the spiritual starting line for our relationship with a higher power, or “God,” of our own understanding. Cultivating this spiritual relationship provides us not only with a life of sobriety, but a life of peace, happiness, and fulfillment. Choosing to accept spiritual help means that we must first be willing to believe in something greater than ourselves. The first time I took Step 2, the “power greater” than myself upon which I relied was the treatment team I had in rehab. Though I believed in a more traditional “higher power,” I wasn’t quite sure that he/she/it cared if I was sober. I didn’t let my hesitations about “God” or organized religion stop me from working through the steps as outlined; I believed, at the very least, that if the steps could work for hundreds of thousands of alcoholics across the globe, they could potentially work for me. And that’s all I needed to get through Step 2!
As I rework the steps, I realize that Step 2 requires me to abandon a little bit more of my pride each time. I am consistently re-examining some of the old ideas and expectations I had for my life. I have let go of my preconceived notions of AA, addiction, God, religion, my ultimate life goals, my “successes,” and my “failures.” Above all, I have to let go of my need to control. Step 2 reminds me to look outside of myself for help, because my old ideas and beliefs just didn’t work.
Look outside of yourself for help at a place like Lakewood Recovery. Its small, intimate setting is the perfect place to start or continue your spiritual journey.
By: Dana M.
LAKEWOOD RECOVERY - A SOBER LIVING FOR PROFESSIONALS IN RECOVERY - DALLAS, TEXAS
CALL ZACHARY RAKUSIN FOR AVAILABILITY - (214) 462-5619
By Dana M. - For Lakewood Recovery - Dallas's Sober living for professionals in recovery
My last two blog posts discuss the overlapping concepts of “unmanageability” and “powerlessness” as they relate to Step 1 of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. But perhaps more important than understanding such concepts is our honest recognition of them in our daily lives. We must look ourselves squarely in the eye, admitting that we have a problem with drugs and/or alcohol, or we may never receive the help we need to stay sober. We may lose our health, our sanity, or our freedom…maybe even all three. To me, Step 1 is all about honesty.
During my active addiction, dishonesty was as constant as breathing. I subsisted every hour of every day on lies and manipulation. I obviously lied to others about my alcohol and drug consumption… but more fatal than that, I lied to myself about how bad it had gotten. Somehow, I had successfully convinced myself that being constantly inebriated was somehow normal, and that I wasn’t physically capable of lasting even one day sober without going absolutely crazy.
Denial can be just as powerful as any drug. When I could no longer deny that my lies had become so pathetic that they were almost laughable. That I had a web of lies on top of other lies I could not keep track of. When I could not differentiate the true from the false, I began to experience an overwhelming sense of sadness… and then, relief!
For me, this surprising feeling of relief came when I had reached my ultimate bottom; when I had nowhere else to go. I didn’t want to live anymore...but most importantly, I didn’t want to die a lying, scheming low-life. I had to fully concede to my innermost self that I was an alcoholic to save my own life – plain and simple. Then, I had to be willing to accept help; clearly I couldn’t do it on my own. It was such a relief to finally tell the truth!
I don’t subsist on dishonesty like I once did. I don’t need to cover-up or “drink away” my guilt from all the lies… there simply aren’t as many of them anymore! Attempting to center my life in truth means that I MUST surround myself with people who help keep me honest, like Zach Rakusin from Lakewood Recovery. Hopefully this post inspires you to seek honesty in your life, whether you’re just now taking Step 1, or whether you’re seeking a community of individuals like Zach who can help you work an honest program.
“Putting Sobriety First” May Mean Putting YOURSELF First
It is generally undisputed that recovering addicts must “put sobriety first,” lest they suffer from relapse. This idea is theoretically simple to understand… but what does it actually mean in the context of day-to-day decisions that the alcoholic may face? Oftentimes, “putting sobriety first” means that the alcoholic must put themself firstin order to work a successful 12-step program of recovery. This may seem selfish to those who expect the now-sober alcoholic to be “fixed,” but in order to build a solid foundation of support and confidence, it is absolutely vital that the alcoholic prioritize the logistics of his AA program before meeting wants (and even needs) of others.
Take the most common example upon returning home from an inpatient rehabilitation facility, the alcoholic’s loved ones may expect him to be more physically present and/or emotionally available than he was while engaged in active addiction. Unfortunately, this is not often the case… and for many reasons. A large number of alcoholics are sent to out-of-town rehabs for an average of 30 days. This means that when the alcoholic returns home, he may have no AA sponsor, no AA home group, and very few sober friends. Thus, building a solid recovery network must become his #1 goal. If not, he will likely resort to his past solution for dealing with life’s daily stress (drinking or using).
Sometimes, the alcoholic has co-existing mental disorders or addictions that must be addressed or worked through in counseling or therapy sessions now that the alcoholic is sober. Perhaps the alcoholic simply needs time to decompress or re-evaluate his life-goals. Whatever the case may be, the alcoholic shouldn’t feel guilty about prioritizing AA meetings, studying AA literature, keeping appointments with therapists/counselors/psychiatrists, meeting with sponsors, legitimate acts of self-care, or time spent building a sober support community. By the same token, families and loved ones of the alcoholic need not be discouraged if the alcoholic seems to be a little less “available” than you had hoped.
If the alcoholic moves into a sober living facility after inpatient treatment, the transition back to “normal” life will be much easier for both the alcoholic and his family to handle. The alcoholic will have space to himself to work a program, a built-in network of sober friends, and easy access to recommended meetings and sponsors in his hometown. The alcoholic’s loved ones will have peace of mind knowing that the addict has additional accountability along this new road to recovery.
To the fellow alcoholic in early recovery: though it may seem counterintuitive, putting your own needs first will better allow you to meet the needs of others in the future. Just like you can’t save a drowning person without first knowing how to swim yourself, you can’t take care of other people’s needs if you don’t first learn to take care of your own. Do the “next right thing;” take advice from others, and put yourself (aka, your recovery) first!
The Karpman Triangle - Lakewood Recovery - Sober Living Dallas
Mot Hai Ba Modern Vietnamese
At Lakewood Recovery we have many restaurants within walking distance from our house. One in particular that I just went to is a small Vietnamese restaurant called Mot Hai Ba. Let me tell you this place was amazing. It’s located across the street from Buzz Brews, where Live Oak Street and Skillman Street split. If you are not looking for it, you might miss it. It’s a gem. D magazine has rated it one of Dallas' 50 best restaurants.
Usually you would need to have a reservation to get in but on this particular night they had two seats open. A stroke of good luck considering the restaurant only seats about 30 people and it was a weekend. It’s small, quaint and cozy and the majority of the seating available is at shared, long dining tables.
We started with the fried oysters - lemongrass caramel, papaya, and thai chili sauce. The chef, Peja Krstic, served us himself and explained the dish before hurrying back into the kitchen. This Eastern European chef absolutely knows how to cook modern Vietnamese cuisine.
For dinner we shared the seared duck and the green curry chicken. The food looked like art work and tasted even better. The duck was perfectly cooked, seared on the outside, slightly rare on the inside. The green curry wasn’t your standard coconut curry sauce with bell peppers and small pieces of chicken. It was a whole chicken breast with grilled vegetables and a small amount of green curry underneath. The only thing I regret about this meal is that I did not arrive hungrier. Had I known it was going to be such an amazing meal I may have skipped lunch. The service was fantastic and if you like Vietnamese and have never tried this place, it is a must.
I have included a link to Mot Hai Ba below and pictures from our dinner.
By: Zachary Rakusin