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

Yeah, 1,5 kilo down!

Yeah, 4-5 days continuously without sugar and I lost 1,5 kilo without changing anything else in my ‘diet’. Eh….. 30 to go. 😀 No… not. I am happy that I quit sugar. And I am guessing you will be happy that I quit moaning about it. Progress is good, it makes me happy. Happy is good, it keeps me from drinking. Well, not that I think I would drink if I was unhappy. Not sure, it is an addiction after all. But ha! I don’t have to worry about it because I am making progress and I am happy and I am not there where I would like to drink so no worry. 🙂 🙂 🙂

I just noticed that I am pretty exact-like in anything, boring and possibly shocking people with details on anything but I never told anybody how much I weigh. Funny isn’t it. There must be a taboo there. Let’s see what happens if I let the beast out: I am 1,67 and 82 kilo’s now. I come from 87,5 kilo’s. Ha, it very much feels like it is none of your business (sorry, this is an experiment) and I feel uncomfortable mentioning it :-D. My mind is making up all kinds of things why I should not mention it. Funny how I wrote in my ‘About’ exactly how much I drank because I need that out there to ‘come clean’ and I am hiding my weight. It feels the same but is it? Not sure. Does knowing my weight change anything for you? (You are allowed to say that you are happy that I am fatter than you :-D)

I am happy that I quit. Because otherwise I would be in the same trouble but have not way to figure it out.

I am happy that I quit sugar, not doing it 100% strict but 99%, and that is good. And no pressure. Just see how it goes. I think today I am happy because the fog is leaving and also because I DID IT!! It is so peaceful to not having to hide from the talking that says ‘I should actually quit’. Why worry so much: I have a mild version of hypoglycemia and diabetes runs in my family so obviously our build is such that we do not stomach sugar well. And it gets me sooooo depressed when eaten in large quantities. Ooh, and I am an addict so I can only do the black or white, not the grey and not the moderation.

I am proud of having done that, I am proud of how I have, in the last days tried to find ways to lower my BP, exercise, Falun Dafa, relaxation, be with people, go to bed on time, breathe, lessen the screen time.

I want: everything to be easy, no I would be lost if that was the case. :-/ Hmmmmm.. food for thought.

I need: to get a move on but without the stress and since I can not yet do that I need to take it one step at the time. And I guess that is EXACTLY the lesson that is in there. Hmmm.

I fear: the same shit. And I fear that I, by now (actually by a month ago) have started really boring you with my non developments and moaning.

I take: a few salts on high BP.

I hope you have a nice day / evening / night!

xx, Feeling