Demanding Comfort in your recovery is not realistic. This is a common trap – “change should be easy and comfortable, or there is something terribly wrong.” First of all, it is important for you to remember that the patterns you want to change are probably not that comfortable either. Life while using and drinking was often very painful. Second, the truth is that change requires thought and practice to become a new habit. Third, change cannot come through automatic pilot, it comes by living consciously, manually, intentionally accepting yourself and others as becoming. Fourth, the more you allow yourself to feel good about small steps towards your goals, the deeper your changes become. New Program allows you to enjoy healthy steps forward and feel good about learning from steps backward.
The opposite can also be a trap. I have seen many people come to Therapeutic Coaching with the assumption that “for change to be real, there must be a great deal of pain in the process.” You can’t suffer your way into sobriety. You can apply the Fundamental Principles of Healthy Change to your life in the present, by allowing yourself to bring accuracy into your current situations. This is not just intellectual knowing; it is the process of believing these truths at the level of applying (imperfectly) in your daily perceptions.
Not all pain is equal! When you are judging something, the pain from the condemning is added to the experience. The judging also accentuates negative elements in our Selective Movies. Resenting your sobriety as robbing you of the freedom to drink, adds tension and stress, which in turn increases the demand for comfort and relief.
When you experience painful things with an attitude of grateful humility and the Serenity Prayer, it becomes possible for you to relax into the pain, sharing it with your Higher Power, and with other safe people. When you realize that feelings of withdrawal and craving are actually your body’s way of saying: “Make me normal, give me the drugs and alcohol.” As you relax into the physical sensations you can realize the pain is meaning that healing is happening. It is a temporary state while your body learns to recalibrate a new, healthy normal. The longer you experience sobriety, the more normal it will feel. You will begin building new habits and patterns in your sobriety.