recovered; recovering play \ri-ˈkə-və-riŋ, -ˈkəv-riŋ\
transitive verb1: to get back: regain2a: to bring back to normal position or condition.
How about when you realized on your own that you needed treatment in the first place? The people in your past who have hurt you and made you feel unworthy didn't "will" that realization into you. That's the Holy Spirit whispering into your soul "I love you. You are worthy. Get help."
I have often wondered: am I worthy of recovery? Is the effort and time involved in recovery worth it?
Let's say, I have (for the majority of my life) felt feelings that induce negative behaviors and thoughts - such as low self-worth and esteem, and produced addiction(s), then what? What am I recovering? What have I lost?
I should explain that I am not trained in any form of psychology, nor am I ordained. I just write a blog with the intent of helping one person - sometimes that may only be myself, but I would hope that all treatment program clients, patients, etc., would get something from this as well.
The following is a conversation between myself and a "ranking official" at a recovery program. It is actual and did occur. It may not make much sense, but after (or if) you read it, I will make a point.
Jonathan writes: Hello! How can I help you today? I'm available to answer any questions you may have.
7:12 Good morning! I am trying to determine a link between attachment theory and the Bible. If there is "muscle memory" in the brain similar to the physical muscle memory. Meaning if a basketball player can (over time) be trained to hit foul shots every time, can he/she be trained the reverse? How that relates to attachment (say disoriented) in an adult, is the repeated negative behaviors associated with... say neglect in the form of non-physical inattention to childhood emotional needs, can they be reversed and is there an answer for that (hope) in the Bible? Deep, I know.
7:20 Perhaps not deep for someone of the clergy with training in attachment theory, but for me yes - Too much to consider without a background in Bible
7:21 Okay. Thanks anyway Jonathan.
7:21 Sorry I wasn't more helpful!
7:22 That's okay. Maybe you can help: I was once told that it is okay to say I don't know, however, better to say I don't know, but I might be able to find someone who does?
7:23 "I don't know" is a key to humility and as such a benefit, not a deficit. It leads to growth and further knowledge if you seek it
7:24 Possibly someone associated with your facility there in FL? Was that response a "no"?
7:25 We are not a "religious" program, in that we accept any and all opinions and beliefs, however, we do not push one or another, therefore we do not have any opinions when it comes to religion or any text associated with one. So, I suppose my answer is no
7:27 Perhaps asking for an "answer" was incorrect. Take away the Bible and you are left with religion. The Bible is relationship. Religion is authority. Your programs offered - twelve-step programs are an example of religion (based originally Biblically). Good talking Jonathan. Have a great day!
This part is important (to me as a Christian)!! He continues in an email 21 minutes later! This gives me the impression that he may be curious...
7:51 12 Step programs are often mistaken for religion, and that misperception carries into the public view. It is NOT religious, but spiritual in nature
8:01 The misconception is in the use or definition of the word. The definition being an institutional system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices. You are aware that AA was founded on a belief in God and the 12 steps that eventually followed are the practice of that belief, yes? No other way around that.My original question may have baffled you, but it really relates to recovery - and being “worthy” of it. To recover is to get back. If you’ve never had feelings of self-worth, then there is nothing to return to. That could be a beautiful thing for patients in treatment to understand. That thought basically says everything is new and what we need to return to is the original state that God designed us for - why we were born. Kind of a simple philosophy.8:12 Yes, however the idea of a “God of ones own understanding” leads to a spiritual bent for the program, rather than to any specific dogma.It is the basis of my earlier point, where some find the fact that God (which represents many, many different things) is mentioned means their God as opposed to a higher power which means something quite different
8:29 Read the history, my friend. Review the statistics of recovery rates from the beginning where the success rates were much greater. The roots had nothing to do with a "higher power" nor were the words "of my own understanding" present. We may have "re-invented the wheel" by changing the words to "appease people. We took the cliche "Keep it Simple" and ignored the suggestion.
In Alcoholics Anonymous (“the Big Book”), the “basic text” of A.A. (the first edition of which was published in April 1939), A.A. cofounder Bill W. wrote: “Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path.” [Big Book, 4th ed., 58]. What is usually unfamiliar to the A.A. Fellowship is Bill W.’s inspiring declaration in the personal story of AA Number Three (Bill D.) found in the second edition (published in 1955), the third edition (published in 1976), and the fourth edition (published in 2001) of the “basic text”:
“. . . [T]he Lord has been so wonderful to me, curing me of this terrible disease, that I just want to keep talking about it and telling people.” [Big Book, 4th ed., 191]
A.A. co-founder Dr. Bob said in his last major talk to AAs:
It wasn’t until 1938 that the teachings and efforts and stories that had been going on were crystallized in the form of the Twelve Steps. I didn’t write the Twelve Steps. I had nothing to do with the writing of them. . . We already had the basic ideas, though not in terse and tangible form. We got them, as I said, as a result of our study of the Good Book
An effort that began with the founding of A.A. in June 1935 in Akron, Ohio. And Dr. Bob concluded his own personal story in the Big Book by voicing the same emphasis that Bill W. gave when he spoke of his having been cured of alcoholism by the Lord. Dr. Bob stated:
Your Heavenly Father will never let you down! [Big Book, 4th ed., 181]
The problem is that neither I nor most AAs nor most other people in the recovery arena know or even seem to want to know exactly what occurred that put A.A. on the map. Or that generated sales of over 40 million Big Books. Or that brought the worldwide Society of Alcoholics Anonymous to a membership level of about 2 million people. Yet A.A. had produced a wide variety of solid, reliable, spiritual tools between its founding in June 1935 and the publication of the first edition of Alcoholics Anonymous (“the Big Book”) in April 1939. And we want to be sure that desperate, “seemingly-hopeless,” “medically-incurable” alcoholics hear the whole story. Better stated, that they know “the rest of the story” about their cherished Fellowship. And the option of placing their recovery in God’s hands today.
You have a great day sir! Please feel free to contact me anytime. God Bless.
Whether or not this entire conversation thread makes any sense to you the reader, I personally feel that the mere fact that I am searching for worthiness - makes me worthy. I need to go through my day believing and confident that God is looking down smiling!
To recover something we once had: what did we once have? Early childhood and young adult years of pain and neglect - criticism and insult, by people: causing us to believe we aren't worth anything?? Other people and situations created our value or worthiness? NOPE!!
27 “His purpose in all of this is that they should seek after God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. 28 For in him we live and move and are! As one of your own poets says it, ‘We are the sons of God.’ 29 If this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol made by men from gold or silver or chipped from stone. 30 God tolerated man’s past ignorance about these things, but now he commands everyone to put away idols and worship only him. 31 For he has set a day for justly judging the world by the man he has appointed and has pointed him out by bringing him back to life again.” (Acts 17:27-31)
10 It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus, and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others. (Ephesians 2:10)
I have let people and not God create my feelings of worthlessness. Those people will have to figure their own lives out from now on and I wouldn't want to be in thier shoes when it comes time to answer for it.
13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. (Mark 10:13-16)
I wish them the best, but I am worthy of God's love, so I'll take it and love Him in return. I will love Him because he loves me. I will fight this affliction because I am worthy of recovery - to what His purpose was originally intended.
5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5)
Thanks for the time you took to read this. Comments are welcomed. Have a great Thursday!
Today's verse to "chew on":
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."