Trust- Recovery Word of the Week

 "To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don't grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float" - Alan Watts. 

"To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don't grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float" - Alan Watts. 

            Here at South Orange County Detox and Treatment, we are featuring “trust” as our Word of the Week series continues. In the context of sobriety, I believe that trust is another indispensable component of any serious recovery program. We see the need for application of trust in so many different facets of the recovering addict’s experience. Learning to trust another individual, such as a sponsor, teacher, or mentor in order to seek out wisdom that may facilitate personal evolution can be a transformative experience. When thinking about the traumatic history and lack of emotional attunement that has plagued the relationships of a considerable amount of addicts, learning to trust other individuals can be an arduous task that spans over periods of time. While harvesting this interpersonal trust is a component of any individual’s life that would surely improve their happiness and contentment, I want to talk about a more practical application of trust that can be engaged without another person opposite of us. Arguably as important as trust within relationships for the addict is trusting in the process of the journey of recovery. As addicts, of course, this is no easy task; we are at a distinct disadvantage with respect to trusting any kind of process that isn’t directly guided by ourselves as even in sobriety sometimes we cling to the illusion that our self-will leads us anywhere other than relapse and eventually misery. We often talk in the rooms about “putting one foot in front of the other” and “taking the next indicated step”. Although redundant and sometimes overstated, when we really unpack what is being said here we can begin to see the inherent wisdom in these AA adages. Personally, I tend to overcomplicate things and create unnecessary anxiety for myself in regards to my “accomplishments” in sobriety. When I begin to ruminate about what I am not doing as opposed to giving credit to myself for what I am doing in order to continue growing I become apathetic and my perspective turns pessimistic. If I apply the knowledge that I know works and focus on trusting the process and doing what’s necessary, in this moment, for my recovery, it allows me eradicate “results-oriented thinking” and focus on the journey. We don’t have to be perfect. We don’t have to be great. We can, however, begin to set realistic goals for ourselves and trust that if we continue to take the next indicted step, we will continue to reap the rewards from this unfamiliar leap of faith. Lastly, for those in early sobriety, a good place to practice trusting the wisdom of those who work with addicts and themselves struggle with addiction is by trusting that the serenity prayer is essentially the entire foundation for how to approach life in recovery. If we can learn to trust the notion that this prayer is espousing, we will find that we can actually make our wildest dreams in sobriety come true.