Step one of Alcoholics Anonymous states that we must admit powerlessness over our disease. We are no longer in control; it is out of our hands. This is the first step in moving toward recovery. There are many steps we must take along the path of healing in our journey toward recovery. It takes time. We may even slide back a few steps along the way. Recovery is a process, not a singular event, much the same way life is a journey and not a final destination.
On this topic, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
“Now that we are beginning to recognize that overworking, caretaking, rushing around, and always keeping busy are manifestations of the addictive process and are just as much a disease as chemical addictions, we want to stop this immediately. Unfortunately, it is not that easy. The very definition of an addiction or compulsive behavior is something that has us in its grip over which we are powerless. We can’t ‘just say no.’ We can’t just stop what we are doing. This disease is in the cells of our muscles and in the marrow of our bones.
We need to realize that recovery is a process. It took time for us to get this way, and it takes time for us to recover. Part of our disease is wanting everything to happen at once. We need patience with ourselves and support from others to progress in our recovery process.”
How true this is! We want immediate results. We recognize that what we’re doing is bad, we are hurting ourselves, and we want to stop. But we must have patience with ourselves and tread lightly. Our anxiety and overwork have crept up on us slowly, building incrementally, gradually, until they had the ability to crush us. That kind of monumental weight cannot simply be thrown off. We must chip away at it piece by piece until it is removed from our lives. Change takes some getting used to, even when it is positive change, and time is needed for us to adjust to our new stress-free lifestyle. Growth happens slowly over time, and recovery and healing are just new kinds of growth. The good news is that time is on our side.