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Honesty, Openness and Willingness - from the Recovery Learning Series at SupportNet.ca - Resources for Your Recovery.

Recovery is learning to enjoy life - without the use of alcohol or drugs that alter mind or mood.

It is treatment for the condition of addiction - an approach to the challenges of life - and a path to personal growth.

Recovery requires us to learn - about the true nature of addiction.

It may be personalized - but it has its necessary Principles and its Ways.

The Principles of Recovery provide direction - to the choices that we face each day.

The Ways of Recovery provide us with tools - that help us to heal - and to enjoy life on life’s terms.

This Learning Seminar introduces the principles of Honesty, Openness and Willingness -

What you need to know about these principles - the H O W of Recovery.

Denial and Dishonesty

Denial is a mental trick that the mind plays on itself.

It is like a blind spot - to the addiction within us.

Denial blocks us from seeing what it is that we are doing - to our selves and to those near to us.

It allows addiction to take hold - and to persist despite all warning signals along the way.

Denial is a type of dishonesty - that occurs without our being aware.

But there are other types of dishonesty on which addiction also relies.

We try to not see the extent of our use - and pretend it to be less than it is.

We justify and try to explain our reasons to use.

Lies hide the truth, blame and distract us from the compulsive nature our condition.

And lies protect us from the shame and horror of what addiction is doing to our life.

Without denial and dishonesty - there is either resignation to addiction or opportunity for recovery.

And in recovery - it is the rigorous practice of honesty that most counteracts the dangerous intrusion of denial.

The H O W of Recovery

The first principle of recovery is Honesty.

It is treatment for denial - and acceptance its goal.

Acceptance is the only way to truly see - to end a struggle and to start a new way.

Dishonesty disconnects us - from our self inside - and from those who can help us.

Honest talk helps us to reconnect - and to face the facts of our health today.

If we are not honest about the compulsive nature of our condition - we will not do the things necessary to recover.

The first step in getting honest with our selves - is to see that the condition of addiction is taking our life in directions that we had not intended.

In a moment of insight - we see that our efforts to negotiate with - and to control our addiction - have taken us nowhere but more deeply in sickness.

And it is in this moment that we open a bit - that there must be another way.

A second principle of Recovery is Openness - that we may not know all the answers - and that there may be more for us to learn.

Addiction closes the mind - to anything that stands in its way. We hear - but we do not listen.

Openness encourages us to listen - to the experience of others - and to the many signals that can guide our way.

Talk is useful to recovery. But listening is vital.

There is a great deal to learn about addiction and recovery.

And like honesty - listening helps us to connect with those who can help us.

Talk about what is really going on with you. And listen to what you hear.

Listen to the experience of others in recovery - those who’ve been where you are at - and have found a better way.

Listening is both an expression - and practice in openness.

Just listen - in recovery group. Don’t distance yourself by comparing.

Listen - relate and reflect on what you hear.

Addiction distorts the thoughts on our mind - and disconnects us on the inside.

Feelings may be raw, sick and exaggerated - often not related to what is happening with us right now.

In early recovery - thought and feeling can pull us in directions that we do not wish to go.

It is a time to listen to the experience of others - and to those who can help.

Read recovery literature - listen and relate to its message of hope.

Your body and mind will heal - and you will later learn to listen to the wisdom of your heart.

What you will hear from the experience of others - are those things that they had to do to recover.

Recovery does not occur by wishing it so - or by exploring the events of the past.

Recovery grows from the actions that we take - and the changes that we make today.

A third Principle of Recovery is Willingness - to do what we need to do.

Set boundaries with those who continue to use. Connect with others in recovery.

Stand your ground and don’t run off. Learn ways to calm and to settle your self.

It is not the things that we intend or wish to do - that help us to recover.

It is the things that we need to do - and it is not always best to pick and choose.

Ask for help in the morning. Give thanks at night - and do what you need to do in between.

In Summary

H O W - The first three principles are often referred to as the HOW of Recovery - Honesty, Openness and Willingness.

Get honest and accept where you are at right now. Listen to the experience of others. And be willing to do things differently today.

You have now reached the end of Honesty, Openness and Willingness.

Look for this and other Learning Series topics at www.SupportNet.ca - Resources for Your Recovery.