Editor Jul 25 : 12:43
There is no greater need in the life of an addict that consistency in the right direction.
Just this morning I was pondering the concept of consistency. It is something I am not very good at as anyone who knows me can attest to. I'm the kind of person who starts off strong, with great ideas and enthusiasm, like a greyhound from the gate but halfway through the race, I slow down, lose interest and in too many cases simply quit altogether. This is not a good habit for a Christian to have. With this in mind I sought out my good friend, the teller of secrets, the pool of unending knowledge ~ Google! I found some interesting quotes regarding consistency from many famous people in all walks of life. The famous writer Oscar Wilde stated that "consistency is the hallmark of the unimaginative". Mahatma Gandhi noted that "constant development is the law of life, and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position." The motivational speaker Tony Robbins had this to say about consistency " in essence, if we want to direct our lives we must take control of our consistent actions. It's not what we do once in awhile that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently."
In just this handful of quotes we can see that people can have very differing views of the needs and benefits of consistency. Many people equate consistency with being unimaginative or uncreative. Others see consistency as a deterrent to free thought. Ralph Waldo Emerson even went so far as to say that "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."
As a recovering addict, I have again and again been reminded of the need for consistency in my life. For many people in recovery their lives are a trail of unfinished projects or tasks. What I mean is this; for the addict, it was easy to start off a particular project or task with great enthusiasm, however as time marched on, the effort to be consistent was simply too much. For most of us, the only consistent thing has been our desire to use.
The bible has this to say about consistency. Hebrews 13:8 states "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." Again in Malachi 3:6 it states this " I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed." It would appear from the scriptures that God is very much in support of consistency. Furthermore taking His creation skills into account, we can know that both consistency and creativity can exist in the same being.
I have attended a Chemical Recovery group for over 20 years. I feel that my need for the group today is just as valid as it was 20 years ago. When I attended my first group, I was one decision away from my next drink. Today, I'm still only one decision away from my next drink. It would be foolish to think differently. Today many who came through the Chemical Recovery group and graduated are now of the opinion that they no longer have a problem. Some have even returned to " controlled drinking".
What has changed in you that allows you to use when, in the past, you were powerless over it? What did you do to gain the control that you lacked such a short time ago? I have found that when I stop being consistent, I am able to convince myself that anything is true. To remain in recovery we have to be seekers of truth and honest about who we really are.
One of the reasons the tradition of Total Recovery was introduced into the Chemical Recovery group was to meet the needs of those who had some recovery time under their belts. They had graduated and would not have been coming to a group unless they were bringing someone. What we saw was that they were still struggling through many life issues related to their using. Total recovery was the way of making the group relevant to more than just the newcomer.
However, if we only attend group sporadically, or not at all, we miss the benefits that the group can bring. Sitting in a room and listing to other addicts share the things that they go through helps us remember who we are. It also provides us a way to help others which is how we put our recovery into practice.
If you are a graduate of Chemical Recovery and are currently not attending a group, I would encourage you to reconsider. Remember that unless we are consistent we are likely to fail as our past has shown us again and again. Remember also that, like me, you're still only one decision away from using again.