What I Need to do to Prevent Relapse

Published 15 Mar 2017

One day it dawned to me that I was wasting my life being a marijuana addict. After 10 years of being a regular marijuana user, I came to this realization because of the various negative side effects that I am experiencing as well as the constant appeal of my wife for me to stop this addiction. Aside from the fact that I want to save myself from this addiction, I am sincere in doing all I can to preserve my family. My wife and I have been married for nine (9) years and we are blessed with a beautiful 6-year old daughter. Moreover, at present, my wife is eight (8) month pregnant and is due to give birth to a baby boy next month.

My addiction to marijuana started when we lived in Jamaica from 1998-2000 since my wife is a Jamaican. During our stay there, we owned and operated a restaurant. After the years that we have resided in that country, I have also been to Jamaica for more than 15 times already. Jamaica is famous for marijuana and this substance is commonly used there. This is the reason why I first got into smoking marijuana. I started being addicted to this substance during my visits to Jamaica in the year 1995. At present, my family lives in Minnesota and a lot of my friends here also smoke marijuana on a regular basis. However, because of my personal conviction to stop this addiction, I have not smoked marijuana for two (2) months now and during these times I have not been around my friends who use this substance because I do not want to be tempted to use it again. Now that I am undergoing probation for the next two (2) years, I am doing all my best to follow all the activities and therapy involve din my outpatient drug treatment.

Personally, I want to instill in the minds of people that drug addicts are not essentially bad persons. Instead, we are just victims of our illness. For a drug addict like me, a simple “just say no” is inadequate because the nature of this disease is such that they have not in nature acquired the type of normal self-control that enables a majority of people to stay free of addiction.
Fortunately, millions of drug addicts around the world have now sought rehabilitation. However, upon seeking for help, we should learn to accept the reality that even if we quit drugs forever, we would still be addicted to them, forever. Now, it has become my objective to live life “one day at a time” by not doing any drugs that day, instead of wallowing in staying clean for my whole lifetime, which might look as an overpowering mission. This is a proven attitude, and has assisted numerous addicts to enjoy productive careers and healthy lifestyles.

Upon reading the book “The Serenity Principle” by Joseph Bailey, I have learned that it is probable for the recovering addict to experience a relapse, particularly if that individual was not truthfully prepared to give up drugs. Bailey said that a relapse is an extremely traumatic experience for all concerned individuals, and can cause feelings of hopelessness, and questions of the whole rehabilitation process. The book states that throughout the history of addiction treatment, the antidote for addiction is serenity, which is considered as a spiritual awakening. Furthermore, of the millions of victorious recovering addicts in our society today, a lot of them have had to fight their addiction more than once. Hence, people should never give up hope for such an individual.

In this book, Bailey informs recovering drug addicts how to utilize their own source of positive energy in a new technique or method to the quest for serenity by means of enumerating four principles of psychological function – thought, separate realities, levels of consciousness, and emotions – as “delusion detectors,”. Through this book, Bailey demonstrates how our thoughts in fact have power over our reality. Hence, he employs this belief as the foundation for a new model or standard for recovery from addiction.

Things to keep in mind in how to prevent relapse according to the serenity principle:

As stated in the Chapters 7 and 8 of the book, which discusses two-dimensional recovery and the myths of reovery, our main objective should be learning to live in the moment by means of letting go of memories and limitations and finding our natural self-esteem or serenity within. According to Bailey, this approach is called as “progressive recovery”.

Hence, it transcends further than traditional recovery programs and employs the “unlimited creative power that lies within all of us.” Meanwhile, research results about this approach reveal that therapy averages 9 to 16 sessions. Nevertheless, the ideas and principles that Bailey advocates are global, appropriate, and relevant to all of us.

In Chapter 9 of the book, which talks about living without stress, Bailey asserts that it is a fantasy that external occurrences establish our happiness. He also said that looking outside ourselves for a good feeling establishes a condition of desire and brings about insecurity. Moreover, addictive behavior is a consequence of low psychological functioning and insecurity instead of disease or weakness. Bailey emphasizes that if we were in a condition of well-being, we wouldn’t certainly intend to change it. Furthermore, the book says that the experience of stress is generated by our thinking or our thoughts. This means that stress is the outcome of a busy mind taking its own thoughts and feelings seriously. Bailey also said that stress is a needless burden we unwittingly lay on ourselves. He also maintained that we unknowingly think that life should be complex and difficult and thus, we fail to remember that we are the thinkers.

Lastly, in Chapter 11 (Preventing Relapse), Bailey said that attempting to acknowledge serenity and mental health will enable us to see more and more of it in our lives. Therefore, understanding how to uphold or preserve serenity and mental health and how our minds operate is the solution to addictions. Nevertheless, in order to impart this information we need to practice it in our own lives, or it means that we have to exemplify what we teach.

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