Disappointment in recovery is bound to happen. Life does not suddenly start going our way once we get clean and sober. In fact, at first, the opposite is generally true—at least, that is how it is often perceived.
Yet, it still gnaws at us. Even when we intellectually understand why we should not be disappointed, there is still that part that say, “Yeah, but…”
Our Higher Power(s), our sponsors, The Steps, and The Fellowship: each of these things is a tool and so much more. If we do not shy from sharing these things, nine times out of ten, we see what disappointment in recovery for what it is. It is addiction poking at a dent in our spiritual armor.
If we do shy from these entities and these tools, addiction’s poking makes that dent bigger. Without doing the proper repairs, the dent becomes a pinhole, and eventually, the monster will cleave that armor in twain.
So, it makes sense that we would repair that dent.
That said, we do not always do that, even though we know it is in our best interests to do so.
Instead, we think we can handle it ourselves. “It’s just a little thing. I’m grateful. I’m not really disappointed. It’s just a bummer.”
That very well may be. However, bummers generally do not leave us preoccupied weeks later. That, my friends, is a full-blown resentment. If we know one thing about resentment, it is that it inevitably will kill us. Resentment is the gun to drugs’ and alcohol’s bullets, and addiction is the shooter.
Even if we know full well that we were lucky simply to be alive—let alone be in the circumstances to be disappointed in the first place—we are, as the Big Book says, only as sick as our secrets. As we all know, we can get pretty sick.
It is also important to note that we cannot just use one of these tools and forget. We have to use all of them. We need to pray, we need to share with our sponsors and friends, and we need to take that personal inventory. Each of these things keeps us accountable, and delivers the information to us in ways we cannot otherwise achieve. We can tell ourselves each of these things, but using the same brain from where the problem originates is a recipe for disaster.
We all react differently, but the end results are always the same. Depending on the nature of the disappointment, we might have a momentary flip-out or a quiet, sullen retreat. Then, we cut ourselves off. We think that our disappointment is stupid and petty. That very well might be true, as well—but the feelings and the consequences of letting that disappointment in recovery have very real and painfully tangible consequences. They are valid, and trump any sort of insecurities we have about sharing them with others.
Disappointment in Recovery
When was a time you dealt with disappointment in recovery? Please share what happened in the comments!