10. They do not take direction from others about how to solve their problem.
9. They suffer from low self esteem and do not feel that they deserve to be clean and sober.
8. They do not prioritize their recovery as being the most important thing in their life when it comes to structuring their day and how they spend their time.
7. They don’t learn how to process and deal with the feelings that they used to medicate with drugs and alcohol.
6. Those who are single get derailed by an intimate relationship with another person in recovery.
5. They believe that the solution is entirely social (as in going to meetings), and therefore do not put in the work on changing themselves on a personal level.
4. They seriously underestimate what is needed to stay clean and sober.
3. They refuse to ask for help and insist on recovering through their own devices.
2. They have not fully surrendered to their addiction.
1. And the number 1 reason that addicts and alcoholics sometimes fail to stay clean in early recovery is: They do not take massive action.
Really if you consider all of the things on this list, they almost all point back to the number one reason of taking massive action in some way. In early recovery, the problem is almost always some form of a lack of action. This is because so many of the hurdles and obstacles in early recovery can be overcome by doing the appropriate footwork and actively seeking the help or support that is needed at the time. In other words, there is no problem in early recovery that cannot be overcome without taking massive amounts of positive action towards it.
So many addicts struggle to control their own drug or alcohol intake, when the solution is to let go of the need to control absolutely and find an entirely different path (abstinence). The challenge in doing this is that we encounter a whole new set of problems when we get clean and sober up. Suddenly our feelings and emotions are back. Suddenly we can clearly see our relationships again. Suddenly we can feel our feelings again and have to live with ourselves and be comfortable in our own skin. Suddenly we are faced with a basic choice of self esteem: do we value our life enough while we are sober to avoid returning to the madness of drugs and alcohol?
All of these problems and all of these issues are potential trigger points for a relapse in early recovery. The way to overcome all of them is to start living a new way of life, taking positive action every day, and put in the necessary footwork to make this happen. It takes effort to recover from addiction. It takes a lot of hard work. The majority of addicts and alcoholics underestimate how hard it will be and thus will tend to struggle the first time they attempt to get clean and sober.
The creative life in recovery has the potential to address all of these pitfalls, and so do other traditional recovery programs. It all comes back to taking lots of positive action, asking for help, and taking some new direction in your life. If you can do these things consistently in early recovery then the actual program or framework that you are following is irrelevant. Success will come through effort and application.
People who fail in early recovery do not ask for help and they do not put in the work. Period. The list above just shows various reasons why they might avoid these things. But ultimately, to succeed in early recovery, the addict must take advice and act on it.