Progress, not perfection explained by Castle Craig

This is a copy of a post by Castle Craig – the organisation I would go into detox process if I had not at the last moment done an extreme addicty thing and decide to do things on my own. 😦

Well, I copied and pasted because their site is one of those who connect my real name to the comment section. Do not know how that works so I think/assume I can not share without my real name showing up some where. Hence the copy-paste. The original can be found here.

The Emphasis of Progress, Not Perfection in Recovery

“No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles,” the authors of Alcoholics Anonymous explain after listing the 12 steps. “We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.”

“Progress not perfection” is a popular term in the world of recovery where people are striving every day to better themselves from a problem which has created complications in their life. For those in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, progress not perfection is an elaboration of another familiar sentiment: one day at a time. Humans cannot be expected to be perfect. Those in recovery who are working the twelve step program are developing awareness regarding their character defects and personal flaws- that is, the parts of their humanity which make them less than perfect. Often, addicts and alcoholics in recovery will fall under the belief that confronting these character “defects” and working to overcome them necessitates perfection. In order to avoid being controlled by the subconscious elements of their character, which could contribute to relapse, they feel they have to be perfect. It’s an unrealistic and damaging belief, which is why the authors, immediately after listing the expectations of the steps, assert that the process isn’t about perfection. The process is about progress.

Mistakes are necessary. Without mistakes, there is no gaining wisdom. It is the mistakes we make and the lessons we learn from them which make us smarter, wiser, and more resilient beings. If we “skip the struggle” as it is sometimes said in recovery, we skip the valuable lessons which were waiting for us in that struggle. Progress not perfection takes a burden off of our backs in recovery and frees us to move at a pace that is comfortable. High expectations can create devastating disappointments, which, for an addict or alcoholic whose brain has been rewired for pleasure, could be triggering.

There is no doing recovery “perfectly” or doing recovery all at once. Like all things in life, recovery is a journey, not a destination. Sobriety, the abstinence from all mind altering substances, is a daily destination and the only thing that has to be done “perfectly”. To not pick up and use a drink every day is perfection. Everything else is progress.

I am happy that I quit. I am happy that I now understand the ‘progress not perfection’ too. I did get that I need to learn that perfection is unobtainable but I did not realise what it does for me. I took it as something to hammer into my system because people who know say it too. AND, I did realise that if I look at the progress I am happy, when I look at perfection I am unhappy. So that part I understood. What I did not understand is that wishing perfection is like emotionally and expectation wise reaching into the future towards the longed for perfection. And it makes me stretch myself thin and lose my centre (or losoe, you know the one). With losing my center I disconnect from the place where I am aware. When I disconnect it is easier to think that drinking is a good solution to anything. While it is not.

Perfection is emotionally living in the future. Pretty useless. The future does not really exist. I have been using it as a place to run away to. I have used my dream of perfection as an ideal to not have to deal with what is.

There is an aspect of wanting to be perfect so they will love me – an approach I upheld (t?) towards my parents. But actually my boss is teaching me that I do not have to be perfect. Funny. Then again, he seems to only accept me when I am honest about what I can and can not do. Where I would prefer…. to not be so honest sometimes. But then again, I’m a bad lier and he sees right through that anyhow.

Tomorrow is the last working day before my holidays. Need to carry over my work to my boss. Wish me luck. There are quite a lot of holes in what I do and he is most likely not pleased. I really need to leave with a good feeling otherwise there is very little use in having a holiday. I would be stressing out the whole 2 weeks. :-(. I am not sure I can learn to let that stress go. Or I need to do the total addict black or white thing where I go like “Ooh, don’t matter, I have another job in no time anyway!” I promised my higher self that I would make myself learn how to stay somewhere for a longer time. That is a difficult thing currently because I want to run! “Run, run, run, run, run, run, run awaaaaay, Oh oooh, oooooh oooooooooh! Ay ay ay ay ay ay aaaa!”

Breathe, Feeling. Breathe. And go to bed. Should have been in bed for 2 hours already but scared for tomorrow. 🙂 Ghegheghe…. sigh. How do other people do this? This work and living thing? Am I the only one who finds it so tricky? Am I complicated? Hmmm, not sure I would like an answer to that, ghegheghe.

I am happy that I quit. I know for sure that if I had not I would have already drunk to the holiday today and well, no,  I would not even have a job to screw up. 🙂 So, I am happy that I quit.

A woman who loves herself, would love herself. Calm down Feeling, have faith. “You worry too much. It’s gonna be alright….”

Wishing you a nice evening/day!

xx, Feeling

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Progress, not perfection explained by Castle Craig

  1. I know it will be all right. You are a smart and conscientious employee.
    Perfection has always been my shield. If I exceed expectations no one can criticize, question or make fun of me….but of course that is extremely stressful and unachievable.
    I try my best. That’s progress.
    Hugs.
    Anne

    Liked by 2 people

    • I read this that you wrote Feeling: ‘I promised my higher self that I would make myself learn how to stay somewhere for a longer time. That is a difficult thing currently because I want to run!’ and was reminded of this quote:
      “So even if the hot loneliness is there, and for 1.6 seconds we sit with that restlessness when yesterday we couldn’t sit for even one, that’s the journey of the warrior. (68)”
      ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heartfelt Advice for Hard Times
      Have a lovely holiday 🙂 xx

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Feeling!
    Now you are on a holiday! Will you be biking anywhere in your country?
    I love what you wrote about progress, because the older I get, that is the one thing I am learning. So there is that to getting old. Maybe we really do get wiser! LOL
    Or not.
    Like right now, it is progress that I got up and made myself some yummy french pressed coffee!!
    Hugs!!
    xoxo
    Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s