Addicts believe they have the abilities to handle situations without respect for the dangers of addiction. But seemingly harmless actions result in grave consequences.
Signs of overconfidence include:
- Calling your own shots.
- Inability to hear what others are saying.
- Feeling contempt prior to investigation.
- Wanting immediate results and having unrealistic expectations.
Calling your own shots is the first sign of overconfidence. When we first enter into recovery, we may have attended numerous meetings, established a relationship with a sponsor and started to build a support system. After awhile we begin to feel better about ourselves and our life in recovery. Once we feel better, it becomes easy to reject what others are suggesting.
We begin to play those old tapes, "I know what is best for me, I can do this by myself."
Inability to hear what others are saying is the second sign of overconfidence. We are at a meeting listening to a speaker, and we are so well practiced at hearing our own voice of denial and justification that we are unable to absorb input from outside sources, and start saying to ourselves, My situation is different, I am not like that."
Feeling contempt prior to investigation is the third sign of overconfidence. We count methods of recovery that have often proven effective. We attend a meeting and decide that after the first 15 minutes of a meeting, "this isn't for me, no one here has anything to offer."
Wanting immediate results and having unrealistic expectations is the fourth sign of overconfidence. We as addicts, want to feel better right now. Instant gratification comes with using drugs or alcohol. Our thinking here is, "I expect that because I have stayed sober, the world will give me what I want and will give it to me right now. IF it doesn't, then why should I put all of this effort into my abstinence?"
This thinking is called terminal uniqueness. We believe that our situation is different from everyone else's and we deserve preferential treatment.
For most people, life in recovery does get better, but it takes time and it is not always in "our" time frame. Remember, recovery is a process--not an event.
Recovery is the ability to genuinely recognize that others do have something of value to offer.
None of us has all of the answers.
Claudia Black - A Hole in the Sidewalk