There are two essential keys to alcoholism recovery: one is the short term recovery process, that basically amounts to take extreme amounts of action. The second is long term holistic growth and personal development…in other words, living an awesome life in sobriety where you continue to challenge yourself and grow.
Many people fall into a trap when trying to navigate their way into long term sobriety. They have made it through short term recovery, and they have taken lots of action and got some good results. They have stayed sober by doing stuff: by going to meetings, by getting a sponsor, by working the steps, by helping others in recovery, by seeing a therapist, and so on. Lots and lots of action has returned good results to them. But then they get stuck.
It happens all the time. People start to fizzle out with their enthusiasm. They start to struggle a bit and so everyone in their support system says the answer is “more.” More meetings, more therapy, more stepwork, more working with others, and so on.
This is a trap. We don’t need more recovery as we stay clean. We need less.
And in its place, we do more actual living. We start enjoying life and reaping the benefits of sobriety. There is no need to devote our lives to recovery related activities 24/7. We can achieve a little something in long term sobriety called balance, if we are mindful enough to keep ourselves in check.
If you find that you cannot make this transition into long term sobriety, then you are probably trying to hard, or feeling too guilty about letting go of “stage one recovery.”
The mindset of “stage one recovery” is that if you don’t go to meetings every day then you are doomed to relapse.
The reality is that anyone who is depending on daily meetings doesn’t have much of a recovery anyway. In the old days, AA meetings were few and far between. They did not have dozens of them in every single town around the clock. People went once, maybe 3 times a week, tops.
So get over the constant obsession with recovery related stuff. Recovery is about living. You can achieve balance in your life without being a slave to guilt about not doing daily meetings. You can achieve meaningful recovery without participating in recovery programs at all, actually.
Start creating the life you really want to live, and find your own purpose. This is the real key to recovery from alcoholism.