6 Pieces of Recovery Advice You Should Take With a Grain of Salt
Being in recovery means being open to suggestions. Some might be great pieces of advice while others, not so great. Most of the time, it depends on how you interpret it. Here are 6 pieces of recovery advice you should take with a grain of salt.
#1: Take it slow
It’s true, everyone recovers differently and you certainly shouldn’t rush through your step work. However, if someone tells you to take it easy, this is a piece of advice you should take with a grain of salt because, after all, the point of doing the steps is to experience that psychic change and then be able to turn around and help the next alcoholic or addict who still suffers. If you’re sober four years and you’re still on your fourth step…I feel for you.
#2: Meeting maker’s make it
This is a commonly heard phrase. And, although it’s certainly a good idea to go to meetings regularly, attending meetings in and of itself is not enough to keep us clean and sober. There’s work to be done!
#3: Take the cotton out of your ears and shove it in your mouth
It’s true, many of us talk merely to hear ourselves talk and aren’t always the best at listening, especially when it comes to hearing suggestions that advocate for us to do things differently. After all, we’re used to doing things our way. So, out of this the phrase, “Take the Cotton Out of your ears and shove it in your mouth” was born. And, yes, it can be good advice but, if you’re someone who rarely if at all shares in a meeting, then it doesn’t really apply to you. You probably need to take the cotton out of your mouth and speak up for once! And if you have a burning desire you should definitely speak up!
#4: Pick a sponsor you can relate to
Mmmmaybe. This is yet another piece of recovery advice you should take with a grain of salt. While you certainly want to choose a sponsor with whom you are compatible, you should pick someone who basically can take you through the steps and someone who won’t co-sign your bullsh*t. For example, my sponsor is 10 years younger than me and not necessarily someone I look like I’d associate with. Since getting to know one another, it’s obvious why we work well together. But, when I first asked her to sponsor me, I thought we were complete opposites. And I asked her anyway.
#5: Fake it till you make it
Again, an often said phrase in the recovery community that can be both helpful and harmful, depending on what you think it means. When someone tells you this, they mean get in the mindset that you will feel better and that your life will improve, even if things seem kind of blah right now. It means smiling when you feel like scowling. And there’s actual science behind this, which has found that “the most effective way to move toward change is to act like you’ve already achieved it.”
#6: Drug addicts should go to NA
Yes, you should respect the house you’re in by using the language of that specific group’s conscious. For example, in AA you would focus on parts of your story that have to do with alcohol and you would identify as an ‘alcoholic.’ Likewise, in NA, people self-identify as ‘addicts.’ However, this is yet another one of the pieces of recovery advice you should take with a grain of salt. I know a lot of people who have recovered in the rooms of AA even though they were hardcore heroin addicts in their active addiction. It’s really a personal choice.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-777-9588.