Of course most readers here know that I work in a rehab center and because of that I see a lot of stuff that does not work so great when it comes to recovery. Not only do I work in the detox unit taking care of sick addicts, but I also get to run a group or two during the week for the residential clients, and I also wander over the long term drug rehab portion where I used to live. So I get to see quite a variety of stuff while I am at work, including people who are still intoxicated and do not even have their first day clean, all the way up to people who have been living in long term rehab for several months or even over a year.
Sometimes good things happen in treatment and lots of times not so great things happen. For example, most people relapse. Just a fact of life I suppose, not what I like to see, but I definitely see a ton of it. Not just from the short term people either….the long term clients end up relapsing quite frequently as well. If I could find a way to change this I would and I suppose that is why I explore new recovery ideas on this website. Mostly I talk about what works for me but as I pointed out I also am in the unique position of seeing a whole bunch of stuff that does not work (such as leaving rehab early, being overconfident about your recovery, getting into new relationships during early recovery, and so on).
Exploring massive action in recovery
Now a long time ago I explored an idea on this website called overwhelming force. Recently this concept has popped back up into my life and so I have found the need to revisit it. Only this time there is a slightly different slant to the concept and I am calling it massive action.
“Massive action” is a bit different from the idea of “overwhelming force,” although they are certainly related concepts. The difference is that massive action puts more responsibility squarely on your shoulders to produce results in your own life, through your own efforts. The idea of overwhelming force can get a bit too abstract at times and really it can become too passive and idealistic. What we want in recovery is to take real action and get real results in our lives. So the idea of massive action has had great appeal to me lately.
The other great thing about massive action is that it can still work for you even if your efforts are not super focused. For example, what would a great day in terms of recovery look like for a certain recovering drug addict? Maybe they would:
1) Exercise vigorously.
2) Reach out and help another recovering addict on a personal level.
3) Reach out to several addicts in a more general way and receive some feedback while doing so.
4) Interact with friends and family that are important to them.
And so on. A person could do all of these things and more in the course of one day and claim that they took massive action, because they did.
Successful addicts at the rehab center are taking massive action
I can usually tell (not always) when a client in rehab is going to do well when they are gearing up to take massive action in their life. For example, they might be making plans to go into long term treatment, or they have a huge meeting list outlined with a huge schedule of meetings they are going to hit every day after they leave treatment. These people are not necessarily the ones with the big mouths who are talking all the good recovery game, but they are the ones who have a solid plan in place and are getting their ducks in a row.
What you say in recovery matters very little. What you do every day is important though. Your habits define you. Take massive action after leaving a treatment center and you will do well in recovery.
My friend Sigal has an interesting blog on Sobering Thoughts. Some interesting stuff there and some deep questions as well….she spends her time trying to help addicts both on and off the internet. Be sure to check her out.